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CPRE Hampshire AGM Day 2024 - A Successful Year

23rd April 2024

This year’s CPRE Hampshire Annual General Meeting has been a great way to celebrate the successful year and look forward to the upcoming projects we have in store.


The CPRE Hampshire President, The Earl of Malmesbury, alongside CPRE Hampshire Chair, Margaret Paren, had a fantastic reception of trustees, staff and individuals attend the event. With highlights on our Protected Landscapes, Hampshire Hedge Project, Countryside Awards, Dark Skies and Rooftop Renewables.

Protected Landscapes

Accompanying the strategy plans for these projects, Chair Margaret Paren ran a brilliant talk celebrating 75 years of Protected Landscapes, including analysis of legislation around water pollution and how we can act to improve Hampshire’s water quality. She also touched on a recently published book “The Fight for The South Downs” by Robin Crane, which covers the fascinating story of The South Downs campaign and how it came to be.

The Hampshire Hedge Project

With an ambitious target of planting 5,000m of hedgerow across South Hampshire, this was overachieved by almost 100m. Led by Hedgerow Project Officer Ellie Banks, this project has been an absolute success in it’s starting year. Hundreds of young people have been getting involved with hedge planting events and traditional hedgelaying training days. And with plenty more to be done, the green corridor between The South Downs and The New Forest will only be getting stronger.

Countryside Awards

Alison Talbot, CPRE Hampshire Operations Manager, presented the award winners for The Countryside Awards 2023, featuring some incredible community groups who have gone above and beyond by improving our countryside last year. Because of these awards, with funding from Hampshire County Council, Hastoe Housing and the Newbury Building Society, we saw a successful year of climate action. Following the showcase of these winners, some new categories for this year’s awards were revealed, The Hampshire Grass Roots Action Award, The Hampshire Projects in Protected Landscapes Award, The Hampshire Climate Action Award and The Hampshire Countryside Health and Wellbeing Award.

Dark Skies

This year, our Dark Skies project doubled the amount of volunteers who provided star count surveys to analyse the level of light pollution in The New Forest. Although over 46.3% of volunteers saw less than 10 stars, indicating severe light pollution, we put forth a project proposal to The New Forest National Parks Authority to secure a dark sky designation for the area.

Rooftop Renewables

With help from our PPG partners and the University of Southampton, we’ve launched an online map of solar farms across Hampshire which is accessible via our rooftop renewable web page. With funding support from The New Things Fund from the Centre for the South, and researching help from the Energy & Climate Change team at the University to demonstrate the potential of rooftop solar across Hampshire & Sussex. The results will be showcased at a conference in Southampton in June 2024.

Future Projects

Led by Chair of Planning, Carole Oldham

Our Chalk Meadows Project is a promising new plan to reclaim the Bar End Meadows in South Winchester. This project would involve the community along with our local ecologist Rachel Remnant to increase biodiversity and create a greenspace for the local residents.

The North Hampshire Hedge Project is an upcoming larger-scale operation to connect The North Wessex Downs to The South Downs with a green corridor of hedgerow. Based around Chawton and Whitchurch, this would involve training volunteers to gather information on hedge health and surveying local farms for potential improvement.

The AGM 2024 was very well attended and hosted, with delicious cake and refreshments and wonderful conversation. We gained support for our Big Give Green Match Campaign, which directly funds our projects and received integral feedback from our trustees.

We’d like to thank everyone for attending, and hope to see you all again next year.


cpre hampshire agm 2024 meeting