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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.


E-campaign - ask your MP to support the Private Members' Bill on fly-grazing

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The Countryside Alliance is working in coalition with a range of animal welfare and rural organisations trying to get the law changed on fly-grazing. A Private Members' Bill will have its Second Reading in the House of Commons on Friday 24th October, and we urge you to use the below e-campaign to write to your MP before then, asking them to support this Bill and help solve an ongoing animal welfare crisis. Fly-grazing is the illegal grazing of horses on public or private land, and an estimated 3,000 horses have been abandoned in this way across England and Wales. It brings with it misery for farmers and landowners who have to deal with the abandoned horses, and misery too for the horses who are out in all weathers with no veterinary care or feed.

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Chief Constable Simon Prince writes exclusively for our magazine on rural crime

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Chief Constable Simon Prince of Dyfed-Powys police is the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) lead on wildlife and rural crime. He has written exclusively for our Autumn magazine about rural crime and working together to tackle it through initiatives such as Farmwatch and via the National Rural Crime Network, of which the Countryside Alliance is a part. Read "Working together to bring down rural crime" here.

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We stand alongside charities calling for change on fly grazing

Monday, 1 September 2014

The Countryside Alliance has joined forces with several other major rural and animal welfare charities, including the RSPCA, the NFU and World Horse Welfare, to launch a landmark report into the horrors of fly-grazing ahead of a parliamentary committee discussion on the issue.

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Mounted Police volunteers sought for rural Suffolk patrol

Monday, 18 August 2014

Rural communities in the west of Suffolk will see the first wave of special constables mounted on horseback patrolling the countryside to combat crime, the East Anglian Daily Times reported on 18th August 2014. Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore, who is spearheading the plan, said the horseback specials will provide reassurances to rural communities, help prevent crime by using their local knowledge to access areas deemed inaccessible to police patrol cars and improve the force’s intelligence picture.

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Rural mobile phone users less happy with service than those in urban areas

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

The Countryside Alliance welcomes a report into mobile phone call quality that was published by Ofcom today (12 August 2014).
The report, based on independent research, shows that whilst 78% of those living in urban areas are satisfied with the service from their mobile phone network, this drops to 67% in rural areas. Those living in the countryside also experience a higher number of failed calls.

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Rural crime cost the economy £44.5m in 2013, survey shows

Monday, 11 August 2014

Criminals are turning their attentions to the countryside because they are less likely to get caught, the new NFU Mutual Rural Crime Survey 2013 suggests.
Rural crime is at near record levels and is estimated to have cost the UK economy £44.5m in 2013, according to the survey which also reports that incidences of livestock theft are up by 25%.

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Reporting rural crime

Thursday, 7 August 2014

If we want to tackle rural crime then we all need to work together by ensuring all incidents are reported which will ensure the Police are able to target their resources efficiently. Reporting rural crime can be done in a number of ways:
• Always dial 999 in an emergency• Suspicious incidents can be reported to the 24-hour Police Enquiry Centre on 101• You can also report information and intelligence to your local police station or community support officer• If you do not want to leave your name then call Crimestoppers on the 24-hour hotline 0800 555 111 or contact the charity using the on-line form at
With harvesting underway you may see an increase in unauthorised access to stubble fields by people intent on criminal activity. This may be for poaching, coursing, using the fields to access properties, raves etc. Please keep an eye open and report any suspicious activities to the police via the numbers above.

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National Rural Crime Network receives Home Office funding

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Home Office has awarded almost £40,000 to the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) which will look at innovative ways to reduce crime in rural areas, provide information and support for rural communities and share best practice.
The concept of a rural crime network was developed by the Rural Services Network (RSN), working alongside most of those Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) serving rural communities.

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Mobile phones are essential to modern rural life, study shows

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A study for Ofcom has revealed today (22 July) that good mobile phone reception and the ability to use your phone or tablet to access the internet are essential to modern rural life.
Respondents to the study said being able to contact the emergency services, keeping in touch with family and friends and being able to access information, education and entertainment were among the most important services they required.
This research backs up the Countryside Alliance’s assertion that good broadband and mobile phone services are as important to those who live in the countryside as water and energy.

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Fly grazing Parliamentary debate welcomed

Thursday, 17 July 2014

The Countryside Alliance is among a powerful coalition of equine welfare charities and countryside organisations that has welcomed a parliamentary debate of solutions to the illegal fly grazing of horses through a Private Members Bill  which was launched in the House of Commons on Tuesday (15 July).
The Bill was introduced by Julian Sturdy, MP for York Outer who has done a huge amount of work with local groups to help address this growing problem. Find out how you can help
Welfare charities estimate that in England alone at least 3,000 horses are being illegally grazed on public and private land without the permission of the landowner.

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