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Britain’s countryside was created and is characterised by its strong rural communities, and the Countryside Alliance is campaigning hard to ensure their future. Any number of issues threaten their survival, and we lobby to ensure that any legislation passed promotes a sustainable countryside for both those who live in rural areas and those who visit them. In this section you can read about various topical issues of interest to rural communities from policing to broadband, 4G, planning and affordable housing.


Natural England's coastal path update for January 2015

Friday, 23 January 2015

Natural England has published an England Coast Path Update this month, showing stakeholders progress on each of the coastal stretches currently being worked on in England. Natural England welcomes feedback on 0300 060 0113 or via email to

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Fuel tax rebates for 17 areas ‘a big relief for rural drivers’ says Alliance

Thursday, 15 January 2015

The Countryside Alliance is delighted that petrol prices could become more affordable in 17 of the UK’s most rural communities.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander announced today (15 January) that the European Parliament has approved plans for a fuel tax rebate at filling stations in 17 areas across the Scottish Highlands and Argyll and Bute and in Cumbria, Northumberland, North Yorkshire and Devon.
Garages in these areas will be able to claim back up to 5p per litre in fuel duty, allowing them to drop the price of their fuel.

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Rural communities £130 a head worse off under Government funding

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

The Countryside Alliance supports the Rural Fair Share Group’s campaign for equal funding for local authorities in rural and urban areas. The group of MPs today (14 January) lobbied Treasury Minister Priti Patel, drawing her attention to inequalities in Government funding, which mean local authorities in rural areas will receive £130 less per head than those in towns and cities in 2015/16. The issue of equal funding for the countryside is part of the Countryside Alliance manifesto for the General Election.

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Fly-grazing Bill passes Committee Stage

Thursday, 8 January 2015

The Control of Horses Bill, which aims to combat the animal welfare crisis of fly-grazing, today passed its Committee Stage in 40 minutes. We hope that the Bill, which is the Private Members' Bill tabled by Julian Sturdy MP, will become law before the end of this Parliament. The Countryside Alliance has been working in coalition with a range of animal welfare and farmer/ landowner organisations to highlight the fly-grazing crisis, including World Horse Welfare.

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Countryside Alliance calls for more Post Office services

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The retention of the Post Office Card Account, as announced today (16 December) by the Department of Work and Pensions, is an important lifeline for the rural elderly and those on benefits, says the Countryside Alliance.
Countryside Alliance head of policy Sarah Lee welcomed the move, which safeguards the service for seven years with a £250 million contract, adding that allowing access to more Government, local authority and banking services through Post Offices could provide a big boost to this vital network.

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Rural Businesswomen win big at the NatWest everywoman Awards

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Dame Margarget Barbour of the world famous Barbour clothing company, the owner of a Scottish A road cafe and the founder of Yorkshire Provender soups were the winners with a rural edge at the NatWest everywoman Awards in London on 3rd December. Now in its 12th year, the NatWest everywoman Awards has become the defining event for Britain’s female entrepreneurs, celebrating the success of women-owned businesses across the country. Awards were handed out at a reception at the Dorchester in London on Wednesday 3rd December. The event was attended by some of Britain’s best known business owners including Awards Patron Dame Mary Perkins (Specsavers), Chrissie Rucker MBE (The White Company), Cath Kidston MBE and Amanda Wakeley OBE. The combined annual turnover of the businesses owned by women at the NatWest everywoman Awards was estimated to exceed £3 billion demonstrating the phenomenal ongoing contribution that female-run and -led business makes to the UK economy.

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Welcoming Ofcom’s review of the Universal Service Obligation

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Countryside Alliance welcomes Ofcom’s review of the sustainability of the Universal Service Obligation to ensure it does not become a victim of greater competition in the postal industry. The Countryside Alliance welcomes the review into the sustainability of the Universal Service Obligation, announced by Ofcom today (2 December), which will hopefully safeguard the six-day-a-week postal service to all parts of the UK for a uniform tariff. Ofcom will undertake a broad review of factors affecting Royal Mail’s ability to deliver the universal postal service, concluding next year. This will consider Royal Mail’s efficiency and its parcel delivery performance.

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The Alliance in the Telegraph: Rural postal service 'under threat'

Monday, 1 December 2014

On Monday 1st December, the Daily Telegraph reported" Britain’s postal service is under major threat in rural areas because private postal firms are cherry picking lucrative delivery contracts in towns and cities, campaigners have warned on Monday. They warned that “unfettered competition” was making threatening the universal postal service, which means that a letter or package can be delivered to 29 million addresses within the United Kingdom six days a week for the same price. The signatories to the letter – including Sir Barney White-Spunner, executive chairman of the Countryside Alliance....said that the one price anywhere postal service was a “feature of a civilised society, where services meet all circumstances at all times”. Read the article here. Read the letter, "Universal post", here. Ensuring the Universal Service Obligation is part of our Election Manifesto - read that here.

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Independent Shale Gas Report published

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Government must protect the countryside and reassure the public over the exploration and development of shale oil and gas. Funding, oversight and research are needed to ensure that shale gas extraction does not cause irrevocable damage to the countryside and rural communities, says the Countryside Alliance. The Alliance has today (25 November) released an independent report into the potential impact of the exploitation of hydrocarbons from shale in the UK and has come up with five recommendations as to how the Government can ensure that operators maintain best practices and that environmentally sensitive areas are not exposed to unnecessary risk.

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EFRA committee support for fly-grazing bill welcomed by Countryside Alliance

Monday, 24 November 2014

The Countryside Alliance welcomes the Government Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee’s support for proposed changes in the law to tackle the illegal fly-grazing of horses.

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