Tuesday, 26 June 2007 19:22

Brown urged to promote countryside

Written by  Ruralcity Media
ImageGordon Brown being urged to use his position as Prime Minister to promote the countryside as part of England’s national identity.

Rural campaigners believe Mr Brown will have a huge opportunity to affirm England’s national identity with initiatives on the environment and development.

Mr Brown will succeed Tony Blair as Prime Minister on 27 June.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has lined up an identity parade of six iconic aspects of national life which it claims defines and unites people in England.

The six characteristics include

     • Classic countryside
     • High quality food production
     • Our finest landscapes
     • A rich historic heritage
     • World renowned cities towns and villages
     • Access to local shops 

CPRE chief executive Shaun Spiers said Mr Brown had made interesting observations on the nature of Britishness.

The incoming Prime Minister expressed an interest in “the power of the countryside as a symbol of what it is to be British” in a recent speech to the Green Alliance.

Mr Spiers said: “One of Prime Minister Brown’s first big challenges will be to make sure that planning reforms support, rather than undermine these assets.”

He added: “We urge the incoming Prime Minister to promote the six iconic treasures in our national identity parade: we’ll all benefit from that if he does.”

Reversing the decline in the quality of the countryside would help give people pride in where they lived and enhance their quality of life.

Almost a quarter of England was recognised by the government as being so beautiful that it was under national protection.

Mr Brown should ensure any new policies did not undermine nationally protected landscapes.

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