Skip to navigation

How we work

Countryside Forum Meeting November 2015 Countryside Forum Meeting November 2015 Photo: © Dorset CPRE

Dorset CPRE fights for a better future for the English countryside. We’re an environmental charity, covering the administrative county of Dorset and our active volunteers work hard to protect, shape and enhance a beautiful, thriving countryside for everyone to value and enjoy.

We have members who are united in their love for Dorset’s landscapes and rural communities.  Together we stand up for the countryside, so it can continue to sustain, enchant and inspire future generations.


We have up to seven Trustees dealing with the finances, administration, and our responsibilities to the Charity Commission and CPRE National Office. The Trustees meet 4 times a year. Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) is held in November. Neil Matthews is Chair of Trustees. Our Annual Return and Financial Year-end accounts are available to view and download from the Charity Commission Website.

Countryside Forum

We have 4 local ‘Groups’ forming the backbone of the charity. Dorset CPRE comprising volunteers who have an interest in particular subject(s), which, for want of a better title, we call ‘Focus Topics’. Some of our dedicated volunteers have developed significant and very useful experience (usually as a result of volunteering for the role) that inform and help the Groups on particular issues. This section is called the Countryside Forum with countryside specialists and invited experts helping us to focus on detailed problems and priorities. We meet four time per year via Zoom or in person. Sir Christopher Coville chairs the Countryside Forum Meetings.  

Dorset CPRE understands the need for economic regeneration. We are not against things because they are new! Only if they are inappropriate. We understand the need for renewable energy, but will oppose proposals to place large turbines or solar farms in inappropriate locations that do serious damage to local communities and to the countryside we enjoy.

Focus Topic volunteers
The membership and focus of the Countryside Forum can vary according to the issues being considered, but we would very much welcome volunteers with specific interests - either to join the Forum, or to join up with and help one of the existing Focus Topic volunteers.

Our local knowledge and national profile means CPRE is effective in tackling both the specific issues that really matter to our members and the public, as well as the wider challenges the countryside faces.

Monthly Planning Group

We discuss the Dorset Council and BCP Local Plans and planning related matters. The meeting is open to Dorset CPRE members, 10 per year via Zoom. Please contact us for the Zoom link if you would like to join the next meeting.

CPRE has been standing up for the countryside independently for over 90 years. In that time we have achieved some remarkable successes.  We led early campaigns to introduce National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Green Belts and the town and country planning system-all of which remain at the heart of countryside protection today.

The Dorset branch (established in 1937) has achieved this in recent years:

  • Our Sherborne & District Group masterminded the successful campaign to save a much needed Sherborne hotel and protect the high street by preventing Tesco building an unwanted supermarket on the site
  • We helped stop the West Dorset, Slyer’s Lane and Blandford Hill windfarms, as well as the Rampisham and Sadborow solar farms, which would all have had serious adverse visual impact on the unspoilt Dorset countryside
  • Our North Dorset Group helped save the beautiful Crown Meadows from inappropriate housing development in Blandford
  • There have been campaigns throughout Dorset to control littering since Bill Bryson launched Stop The Drop
  • We have helped fund the refurbishment of iconic fingerposts and we are supporting Community Land Trusts.
  • We sponsor the Best Dorset Village Shop competition and are promoting local quality food and drink producers. 


Related Video

Standing up for Dorset With thanks to The National Trust and Litter Free Purbeck

join us

Back to top