Coalition of charities launches vision to protect and promote Britain’s landscapes
Charities across the UK this week joined forces to campaign for the protection and enhancement of our treasured landscapes.
Encompassing 27 national and regional organisations, including The Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland and the Scottish Campaign for National Parks, the coalition is believed to be the largest ever to be formed on this issue.
Ahead of May’s general election, the coalition aims to raise the profile of landscape and to emphasise the importance of landscapes to our wellbeing, environment and economy. With ongoing speculative development in and around sensitive areas, such as National Parks and AONBs, the varied group of organisations believes that it is vital for future government policy and funding to reflect the extraordinary value of landscapes. The Landscapes for Everyone vision was supported at its launch at the UK Parliament by Natural Environment Minister Lord de Mauley, Shadow Minister for Natural Environment Barry Gardiner MP, and Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Environmental Affairs Baroness Parminter. The vision calls for better landscapes for people, better planning for landscape and better places for nature.
Landscapes for Everyone can be read on the APRS website at:
John Mayhew, Director, The Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland
“Scotland’s landscapes are of a richness, diversity and distinctiveness that make them unparalleled in Europe. From the wild open spaces of the Cairngorms to the intricate farmed and wooded lowlands, our landscapes result both from the forces of nature and from the efforts of countless generations who have shaped our country.
“Yet these precious rural landscapes are under constant threat from inappropriate development; sometimes in the wrong place, sometimes simply too large for their setting. All landscapes are important; degraded or neglected ones which need positive change as well as spectacular ones which need protection. That is why we support the Landscapes for Everyone initiative.”
Stuart Brooks, Chief Executive, John Muir Trust
“Our wellbeing now and in the future depends on having access to wild places, which are vital for nature to thrive and people to restore their spirits. The John Muir Trust is proud to support this call for our precious landscapes to be properly valued in public policy and given the protection and enhancement they deserve.
“As Muir said “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.””
Peter Ogden, Director, Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales
“Landscapes create nations, and nowhere is this truism truer than in Wales, Cymru. No matter where they are, whatever their size or shape, landscapes connect people and places to create our sense of place and distinctive identities. They are the canvas on which we build and live our lives and the foundations which underpin our individual wellbeing and nations’ prosperity. Every landscape matters and is valued by someone. This is why the Campaign for the
Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) supports and will promote this important “Landscapes for Everyone” initiative in Wales.
“The priority for everyone who shapes our landscapes, must be to work together and ensure landscape are safeguarded and the diversity of values and benefits they provide maintained when change occurs. I look forward to Landscapes for Everyone embedding sound landscape principles into the mind-sets of all those who influence change, so that the responsible stewardship and spectacle of Wales’ landscapes and seascapes and those beyond, is assured.”
Kate Ashbrook, General Secretary, Open Spaces Society
“The Open Spaces Society has, for the last 150 years, championed and celebrated our rich and varied landscapes, from the grand open tracts of wild country to the local green spaces close to home. It is vital that governments recognise the public benefit of good-quality landscapes for our health and well-being, for nature and the economy and put robust policies in place to protect them.”
Benedict Southworth, Chief Executive, Ramblers
“As Ramblers, we value landscapes for their natural beauty, tranquillity and wildlife. We also recognise that landscapes make an enormous contribution, through the recreational opportunities they offer, to the health, wealth and wellbeing of the nation. We call on the Government to protect and restore landscapes as well as the paths, trails and open green spaces which allow people to enjoy them and lead happier, healthier lives.”
Shaun Spiers, Chief Executive, Campaign to Protect Rural England
“For far too long, England’s landscapes have been undervalued given the understandable focus on economic recovery. But beautiful landscapes and a strong economy go together. CPRE believes that government at all levels needs to do more to ensure our diverse landscapes survive and thrive, and to support local communities in safeguarding them. We are calling on all political parties to commit to the calls to action in Landscapes for Everyone.”
Dave Turnbull, Chief Executive, British Mountaineering Council
“Climbers and hill walkers value the cliff and mountain landscape as places to experience the great outdoors, challenge themselves and maintain their health and fitness. The BMC fully supports the shared vision of protecting our precious landscapes for the benefit of the current and future generations.”
Julian Woolford, Chief Executive, Campaign for National Parks
“As the organisation campaigning to protect and promote some of our most beautiful and valued landscapes, the Campaign for National Parks fully supports the Landscapes for Everyone initiative. National Parks are ‘living landscapes’ making a significant contribution to the economy through tourism, farming and other related businesses as well as containing breathtaking scenery, rare wildlife and cultural heritage. We want all political parties to commit to adopting the actions set out in ‘Landscapes for Everyone’ to ensure that National Parks and other landscapes are valued for the benefit of all, now and in the future.”
Peter Nixon, Director of Land, Landscapes and Nature, National Trust
“From the public park to the National Park, and the historic townscape to the natural seascape, Britain has extraordinarily varied landscapes, which provide limitless opportunities for enjoyment, exploration and inspiration. But they are threatened as never before by inappropriate development and lack of resourcing. “As organisations, we’ve come together to ask Government and political parties to celebrate landscapes, and to show their commitment to a better future for these areas, that have inspired generations of people.”
Rachel Stancliffe, Director, The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare
“The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare supports Landscapes for Everyone as it is vital to protect and enhance natural places, both to benefit people’s health and for the wellbeing of the planet. Multiple studies show that people stay healthier if they are able to access and enjoy nature. It is crucial to protect landscapes for current and future generations, so that the environment can continue to provide sustainable health benefits.”
Notes to editors
 The coalition comprises: Association of Garden Trusts; Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland; British Mountaineering Council; The Broads Society; Campaign for National Parks; Campaign to Protect Rural England; Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales; The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare; The Conservation Volunteers; Dartmoor Preservation Association; English Outdoor Council; Friends of the Earth; Friends of the Lake District; Friends of the Peak District; Groundwork UK; John Muir Trust; Landscape Institute; National Trust; Outdoor Industries Association; Open Spaces Society; Ramblers; Scottish Campaign for National Parks; Snowdonia Society; South Downs Society; Wilderness Foundation; The Wildland Research Institute; Yorkshire Dales Societ