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CPRE fights for a better future for England’s countryside

View of St Catherine’s Chapel and Chesil Beach View of St Catherine’s Chapel and Chesil Beach Photo: © Rupert Hardy

Dorset is one of the least spoilt counties in southern England with a great diversity of geology, landscape and ecology. This is the county celebrated by Thomas Hardy with its rolling chalk downland, secluded valleys and heathland rich in wildlife, as well as its picturesque villages and towns. It also has the Jurassic Coast, England’s first National World Heritage Site.

Our precious Dorset countryside faces greater threats now than ever before with the pace of development accelerating relentlessly. Every year more irreplaceable countryside is being lost or severely damaged and the cumulative effects are potentially devastating.

Standing up for your countryside
CPRE has been standing up for the countryside for 90 years. In that time, we’ve seen some remarkable successes.

Housing - There is clearly a need to build more houses but national government policy is imposing housing on all our Dorset towns regardless of local needs. We support local communities who wish to have a greater say in where this housing should go, protecting Green Belts and using brownfield sites wherever possible.

Wind and Solar Farms - CPRE is in principle supportive of renewable energy but the government’s drive to boost renewable energy has brought huge threats to our precious landscape. Developers seek to place wind and solar farms in unsuitable locations, where they are visually intrusive and sited on prime agricultural land or within areas of landscape beauty. Subsidy should not be the only driver! Our successes here include stopping the Lower Winterborne Wind Farm in 2004, Blandford Hill Wind Farm 2015 and West Dorset Wind Farm 2015 (withdrawn).                                                                                                                                                                     

Corfe Castle Village Shop winner 2016Supermarkets - CPRE is keen to promote the production and sale of local foods, and stop the relentless expansion of the major supermarkets. In 2013 we succeeded in stopping Tesco build an unwanted supermarket in Sherborne. Dorset CPRE sponsors the class ‘Best Village Shop’, in the Best Dorset Village Competition run by Dorset Community Action. Corfe Castle Village Stores was awarded best village shop in 2016, Cattistock Stores in 2017, and Duck's Farm Shop, Portesham, in 2018..

Litter - CPRE has been very active in trying to stop the litter that blights our roads, towns and countryside. CPRE launched Stop The Drop in 2008 and since then there have been successful campaigns throughout Dorset.

Our ambition
A beautiful and thriving countryside that’s valued and enjoyed by everyone.

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