A CHARITY has unveiled ambitious plans to make the countryside accessible to all by the year 2026.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England group has outlined its Vision for the Countryside in the build up to its centenary year – 15 years away.
The CPRE manifesto says that work needs to be done to improve links with urban areas and that more than two million high quality homes to be built.
It also predicted that energy efficient rural building and low carbon communities, similar to Ashton Hayes, will be commonplace.
CPRE chief executive Shaun Spiers said: “There is worryingly little confidence that the countryside can actually be improved – that it can become more beautiful and richer in wildlife, with well designed and well planned developments that contribute to both its appearance and its vitality.
“We are confident that with the right political and civic leadership and a consensus on how we should value and safeguard our rural heritage, this vision can be achieved.”
The ‘vision’ also claims that during times of the recession and future national hardships, the countryside will be seen as a valuable and attractive asset that will become popular with people facing growing stresses.
CPRE vice-president Jonathan Dimbleby, who presents BBC Radio 4 show Any Questions? said: “A Vision for the Countryside combines the spirit of optimism with a realistic approach of what it will take to get from here to there.
“The countryside is ours. In 2026 we hope that everyone will realise that ‘our national backyard’ is crucial to us all. Not only is it a place to relax, work, live and play, but as the source of our food with a major role in protecting wildlife”.