Landscapes for everyone

16th March 2020

We all have our favourite views where everything about the scene seems to fall into place perfectly. We remember the many special times spent there, the smell of the heather or the salty tang of seaweed, and the sense of joy when the sun appears from behind a cloud. In fact, we all keep in our ‘heartscape’ a selection of views – of hills and mountains, valleys wooded and pastoral, cliffs and beaches. And we visit them regularly, just to see they are still there.

But suppose one day they weren’t. Suppose you revisited a favourite scene to discover it had a clutch of wind turbines blighting its perfection. Suppose as you approached it by road, you found the earth works of an open cast mine had been thrown up so that it was now stopping your view of the sea and ruining the delicious anticipation of the pleasure to come as you wandered by the waves in peaceful silence. Or closer to home, perhaps you have enjoyed for years a stroll with the dog from your house along a footpath and out across green fields to a stream. Then you get the news that the fields have been sold to a builder and 300 houses are to be built on them.

But these are not idle suppositions. They have happened in recent years and planning applications are already on the table for them to happen again in various parts of Northumberland, indeed in very many parts of England. The fact is that our unspoilt green heritage is under increasing threat from many quarters more now than ever.

CPRE works ceaselessly to draw attention to this loss and to campaign for more protection for the landscapes deeply loved by people throughout the land. CPRE Northumberland carries the fight locally by pressing for non-negotiable protection for National Parks (we have a wonderful one), Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (our superb coastline has one and a special bit of the North Pennines is in Northumberland), Sites of Special Scientific Interest (we have too many to mention in a short article), not to mention increasing the protection for many other special landscapes not currently protected at all.

If you care about the countryside, then get behind CPRE and the principle of ‘Landscapes for Everyone’ today.  Tomorrow your favourite view may be changed utterly by some inappropriate development and you will be left with nothing more than memories of the pleasure you hoped would be there for the rest of your life.