Pottery designer and businesswoman Emma Bridgewater is to be the new national President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), succeeding former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion, who served four years in the role.
Emma has become a household name for her popular pottery designs, with her business employing 270 craftsmen in Stoke-on-Trent. A former resident of rural Norfolk, now living in Oxfordshire, Emma has a clear perspective on the pressures our countryside faces and is passionate about the benefits of urban regeneration. She is keen to support CPRE’s campaign to prioritise investment in brownfield land over releasing further greenfield sites for development.
On her appointment as CPRE President, Emma Bridgewater said:
“I have a clear mission for my tenure as president of the CPRE: to encourage continuing development on suitable brownfield sites and so help drive the dynamism that development will bring to our towns and cities – and in doing so protect our countryside.
“This will enable our inner cities not just to benefit from redevelopment but help them give rise to the creativity that flourishes when we invest in making our urban centres work for people. And by concentrating on that regeneration we will safeguard the countryside, that vital escape and sustaining hinterland that our urban centres especially need so much.”
Former CPRE President Sir Andrew Motion said:
“I’m delighted that Emma Bridgewater is to succeed me as the President of CPRE; she’ll do a tremendous job in helping the organisation to protect our precious countryside at a time when it’s under graver threats than ever before.
“I am also delighted to have been asked to stay on as Vice President, and will do whatever I can to help the cause in that role.”
Sir Andrew served the charity with distinction between June 2012 and May 2016. He campaigned strongly against the Government’s 2012 planning reforms and sought to place visions of a beautiful but thriving countryside at the heart of planning policy. He also made several notable AGM speeches and questioned the main party leaders ahead of the General Election in 2015.
Emma was formally unveiled as the charity’s new president yesterday, at an event to launch CPRE’s new book, ‘22 Ideas that saved the English countryside’. Published as part of CPRE’s 90th anniversary celebrations, and with its historic campaigns for Green Belts and National Parks at the heart of the story, the book explores the origins, personalities and achievements of the wider conservation movement in England.