CPRE East of England
UNDISTURBED COUNTRYSIDE IN THE EAST OF
At current rates of loss, countryside free from major disturbance could all but disappear in most regions of
· The East of England is one of England’s fastest growing and fastest changing regions, once quieter with broad stretches of undisturbed countryside now the third most disturbed by noise and visual intrusion.
The region has lost another 840 square miles (2,165 km˛) to disturbance from noise and visual intrusion since the early 1990s
– an area equivalent to half of
· At current rates of loss much of the remaining 50% of the region’s countryside could be blighted in just 70 years.
Hertfordshire is the second most affected county in
Links to maps
Intrusion - 1960s
Intrusion - 1990s
Intrusion - 2007
Intrusion - ranking by counties
Intrusion - ranking by counties
Nationally, since the early 1990s 320 square miles (820km˛) of countryside has been overshadowed by urban intrusion every year – or the area of Greater London every two years. At this rate much of the remaining 50% of the undisturbed countryside in
CPRE Chief Executive Shaun Spiers says:
Countryside which is undisturbed by noise and development is vital for our quality of life and well-being. These maps show what the future may hold if we don’t sufficiently value our wonderful rural landscapes. As the shadow of intrusion stretches further and wider, the peace and quiet we need is harder to find.
It is often said that development will only take up a small percentage of
The new research brings together maps for the early 1960s and 1990s with new maps and data for 2007. They show the extent of urban intrusion, including major infrastructure such as motorways, power stations, and airports.
Shaun Spiers warned:
‘The findings of this research are a wake-up call for the Government. It must strengthen policy to protect the remaining areas of undisturbed land and protect it for future generations.’
The maps show that major infrastructure, such as new power stations, runways and roads, has a far greater effect than the immediate land it takes:
· new roads slice through undisturbed landscapes shattering their calm and disrupting habitats and wildlife;
· aviation growth threatens hundreds of homes with demolition, imposing constant noise on tens of thousands and blighting the skies of our protected landscapes.
Yet people’s right to have their say over planning decisions on major infrastructure will be stripped away if Government proposals in the Planning White Paper are implemented. Members of the public must be heard and environmental impacts properly considered in such significant decisions for our countryside.
To stem the future spread of intrusion CPRE is calling for stronger policies from Government including: more ambitious targets for recycling brownfield land ; promoting public transport as an attractive alternative to the car and halting current airport expansion plans.
Shaun Spiers concluded:
The countryside is one of our greatest national assets. I am sure that the Government wants to protect it – but these maps show the current pace of development is seriously eroding our countryside. The impact of development spreads way beyond its immediate footprint. More must be done to protect what is left from further fragmentation. The Government must act across the board to demonstrate that it takes the future of the countryside seriously. Unless it does so, for children alive today much of our remaining undisturbed countryside will become a distant memory in their lifetimes.
These two maps, from the early 1960s and the present day, show the growth of intrusion - visual and sound. The links above will show the maps in more detail.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England exists to promote the beauty, tranquillity and diversity of rural England by encouraging the sustainable use of land and other natural resources in town and country.