Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Campaign to Protect Rural England

Skip to navigation
Dame Fiona Reynolds cuts the celebration cake
Speaker CPRE’s Oliver Hilliam

Delegates from CPRE Cambridgeshire and Peterborough were delighted  to attend this event on the 6th July in Peterborough, hosted by CPRE East Midlands and East of England Regions.

Over 60 members, volunteers and staff from fourteen branches in the East of England and East Midlands regions (and even further afield!) came together to celebrate 90 years of CPRE and our achievements.

The day included presentations from Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE, who spoke about the arguments in her book, The Fight for Beauty, and Oliver Hilliam, CPRE Senior Communications and Information Officer, and co-author of 22 ideas that saved the English Countryside.


Dame Fiona Reynolds addresses delegates

CPRE’s future was not forgotten, and a range of workshops including campaigning, planning (co-hosted by our branch Chairman Michael Monk), branch development and communications enabled delegates to learn from each and share experiences and advice.


There were plenty of opportunities to meet people from other CPRE branches, staff from CPRE National office, and representatives from other organisations.

Monday, 16 November 2015 00:10

CPRE Cambridgeshire & Peterborough AGM 2015

Written by Samantha Owen

Our AGM was held on 10th September at the Countryside Centre, Hinchingbrooke Country Park, Huntingdon.  Our President Christopher Vane Percy welcomed members and guests alike.  


A highlight of the evening was presenting CPRE awards to four of our volunteers: 


Winner: Lawrence Wragg, 20 Year Contribution Award


Winners: Sean Traverse-Healy and Gareth Ridewood, 10 Year Contribution Award


Winner: Shirley Fieldhouse, Lifetime Achievement Award


Our newsletter editor James Burton, who wasn’t able to come to the AGM, also received an award for Making a Difference.  Our speaker, Jason Peters, then gave us an entertaining and fast-paced talk on “The Lost Forests of Huntingdonshire”.  Jason covered a range of subjects – we were extremely impressed that he managed to cover local history, mediaeval history, language, law, forestry, cartography and landscape in one talk!  For information about Jason’s research and talk visit:



Tuesday, 15 September 2015 20:02

Green Belt is 60- but not ready to be pensioned off

Written by Samantha Owen


As the Green Belt celebrated its 60th birthday, a new poll showed clear support for it to be protected. Countryside campaigners in Cambridgeshire said it’s time for the Government to turn its words into action and are calling for the Green Belt that surrounds Cambridge to be left to do its job - ensuring the City retains its unique character.


The Ipsos MORI poll, commissioned by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), shows that nearly two-thirds of people surveyed believe that Green Belt land should not be built on. The strong support for the Green Belt is clear across a range of different groups, including 62% of people who live in towns and cities.


“This suggests that people who live in urban areas feel they too benefit from a protected green belt,” said the Chairman of Cambridgeshire CPRE, Michael Monk.


He says the Cambridge Green Belt was one of those designated specifically to protect the special character of a city and its setting. “It is, however, one of the smallest green belts in the country,” he continued. “In recent years substantial areas on the edge of Cambridge city have been taken out of the original green belt to allow major developments to take place - to the north, north-west, east and south.


"This small green belt is fragile and precious and we must protect what is left of it. There can be no justification for building on more green belt here given the large scale of building that has already taken place and is continuing to take place on our green belt.


“We all want Cambridge to prosper but we also want it to continue to be a special place for future generations to enjoy. Let's celebrate the protection the green belt gives Cambridge where the city is surrounded by open countryside which penetrates even right into the historic heart of the city."


The anniversary poll came just weeks after the Government re-emphasised its support for Green Belt protection at the launch of its Productivity Plan. However, despite this support and existing protections, local communities have repeatedly found themselves fighting proposals to build on Green Belt land. CPRE research shows more than 200,000 houses are currently planned for Green Belt land nationally.


“We know the Green Belt is greatly appreciated,” said Mr Monk. “It’s served an important purpose for 60 years, and this is not the time to pension it off.”


L-R Su Sayer, Ian Jackson, Michael Monk, Sally Jackson (behind; no relation to Ian!), Shirley Fieldhouse (front), Lawrence Wragg


Su Sayer CBE, the newly elected national chairman of CPRE made a fact-finding visit to Cambridgeshire to meet local trustees and committee members to find out about the issues confronting Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Su noted that there are plans to build over 100,000 new homes in the area as well as potential adverse impacts on the landscape and high grade farmland from wind turbines and solar farms. 


Su also met the Chairman of the Friends of Holt Island Nature Reserve and Mayor of St. Ives, Ian Jackson, who gave Su and the committee a guided tour of Holt Island at St Ives. Su commented, "I greatly appreciated understanding more about the pressures on rural Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and I was very impressed with the beauty of Holt Island and the views of the meadows of the River Great Ouse - what a beautiful piece of England!"


L-R Ian Jackson (Mayor of St Ives and Chairman of the Friends of Holt Island Nature Reserve), Su Sayer

L-R Shirley Fieldhouse (committee member) Michael Monk (head just visible!), Su Sayer, Lawrence Wragg

L-R, Su Sayer, Lawrence Wragg (Branch Vice-Chairman), Sean Traverse-Healy (Branch Vice-Chairman), Sally Jackson (committee member)

L-R Ian Jackson, Su Sayer, Michael Monk, Tracey Hipson (Branch Administrator), Sally Jackson, Shirley Fieldhouse

Friday, 17 April 2015 07:47

Step change in energy efficiency

Call for step change in energy efficiency to avoid disastrous impacts on countryside

New research by Cambridge Architectural Research and Anglia Ruskin University for the Campaign to Protect Rural England has shown we need a massive reduction in our energy requirements if we are to avoid inflicting widespread damage to the countryside.

Friday, 17 April 2015 07:27

Radio 4's Today programme

BBC R4 Today programme logo

Our chairman, Michael Monk, took part in  Radio 4's Today programme

join us

Back to top