National Trust Director General to give keynote Glos speech

The Campaign to Protect Rural England’s (CPRE)’s Gloucestershire Branch has announced that the Director General of the National Trust, Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE, will give the keynote speech at its AGM in on 11th July at Stowell Park by kind permission of Lord Vestey.

Fiona has also agreed to be a Vice President of CPRE Gloucestershire, the local branch of the 86-year old national charity that promotes the beauty and diversity of rural England and seeks to secure the long-term future of the countryside.

Chairman of CPRE Gloucestershire Charlie Watson is delighted that the organisation has attracted such a high profile speaker: “Dame Fiona personally drove the National Trust’s campaign against the Government’s plans to make it easier for developers to build on the countryside. She has led the National Trust for 11 years and during her time membership has grown significantly, along with visitors to National Trust properties.”

Charlie added: “Her objectives for the countryside fit well with those of our members and we look forward to hearing her views, especially at a time when she may feel able to speak more broadly as she nears the end of her tenure at the National Trust to become Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.”

CPRE Gloucestershire is currently involved in campaigning on a number of issues, including proposed wind turbines  in the Severn Vale close to the escarpment of the Cotswolds and the potential scale of development of a proposed waste incinerator at Javelin Park.

Last month following its review of the Joint Core Strategy, an initiative of Gloucester City Council and Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Borough Councils, CPRE Gloucestershire criticised its out of date housing and jobs projections. Charlie added: “We welcome the decision by these three councils to work together, but their current projections for housing and jobs need re-examining as they are based on past trends, not well-researched future forecasts.

“Over a third of the Gloucestershire countryside remains unprotected.   We have to ensure that it doesn’t fall prey to inappropriate and indiscriminate and unrecoverable development. The support of Dame Fiona Reynolds will undoubtedly help.”

The CPRE Gloucestershire AGM is open to members only. To become a member of this vibrant and active organisation, contact the Gloucester Office of CPRE on 01452 309783 or email


CPRE Gloucestershire – notes for editors

CPRE, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, is a charity which promotes the beauty, tranquillity and diversity of rural England. It advocates positive solutions for the long-term future of the countryside. Founded in 1926, it has a branch in every county.


Why is CPRE Gloucestershire’s view important?


Over a third of Gloucestershire’s countryside remains unprotected. CPRE has been standing up for the countryside for over 80 years. Unlike many environmental charities, CPRE has no vested interests; the organisation owns no land and relies solely on donations and grants.   It is politically independent. CPRE is concerned with land use across England, urban as well as rural. Its campaigning is evidence-based, reasoned and authoritative. Many CPRE members nationally and in Gloucestershire are experts in the planning system at all levels, local, regional and national.


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