CPRE, the countryside charity, has launched a new report this week (October 14) called Space to Breathe: A State of the Green Belt, which highlights the importance of countryside near where we live and the need to enhance it for this and future generations.

Green belts are the countryside next door for more than 30 million people.

They give people in our cities and towns space to breathe and are vital for wildlife and communities to thrive. Escaping from urban life into the tranquil countryside improves our health, boosts our mood and gives us pause to reflect on the world around us.

The report highlights the shocking proposals for building more than 250,000 homes in the green belt, most of which will be unaffordable.

We must not squander this valuable asset at a time when it is needed for our own health and wellbeing, and to address the climate emergency, more than ever before.

Other, better, solutions to the housing crisis exist, including building homes on previously developed brownfield land.

Crispin Truman

Chief executive, CPRE