Campaign to Protect Rural England - Somerset

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Somerset's landscapes

View from Mendip Hills AONB View from Mendip Hills AONB Photo: © Matthew Collingwood/

What is so special about Somerset?

 Think of Somerset and you immediately think of the beauty and variety of its countryside - from the ridge of the Mendip Hills, to the wildlife-rich levels & moors, our heritage of orchards and cider making, the rocky shores of the Bristol Channel and the rolling hills and pretty villages of the Blackdowns & Quantocks.  

Somerset contains four Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty - the Mendip Hills AONB, Quantock Hils AONB, Blackdown Hills AONB and a small part of Cranborne Chase AONB - plus Exmoor National Park.  We are proud of our iconic and much loved landscapes such as Glastonbury Tor, Cheddar Gorge, Brean Down and Porlock Marsh. 

However, much of our countryside is not designated or specially protected in this way and is becoming increasingly threatened by the push for development and a weakened planning system. All landscapes are important and the challenge is to ensure that local distinctiveness is respected in planning policy, development and land management. Somerset has a strong tradition of agriculture and industry which must be made more sustainable and which must exist alongside the ever-growing need for new homes, energy generation and transport improvements.

Whether you live in Somerset or you have come here to enjoy the beauty of its diverse landscape, we need your support in protecting it for future generations to enjoy.    

Our view:

We work locally in Somerset and through our national office in London to stand up for the countryside: to protect it from the threats it faces, and to positively shape its future.

The thing about CPRE's work is that you don't notice it. People only notice our charming villages, our lovely country lanes and our beautiful and diverse farmland - and they have no idea how much hard work it can be to keep it that way.

CPRE has been standing up for the Somerset countryside for more than 90 years. In that time, we’ve seen some remarkable successes. We fight hard to prevent new housing swamping small villages but at the same time we campaign for more affordable rural housing to keep villages and rural services alive, and we’ve influenced countless planning decisions that have helped preserved the special character of the Somerset countryside.

You can help by making a donation now or, better still, join us!


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Somerset patchwork landscape