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CPRE Sussex AGM 2019 at Bates Green Farm, Arlington on Friday, 5th July

Monday, 15 July 2019 07:31

Our AGM was well received last Friday, with over 70 members, friends and colleagues enjoying the glorious weather and countryside setting of Bates Green Farm near Arlington and the thought provoking presentations given by our speakers Prof Dan Osborn, School of Human Ecology at UCL, and Dr Tony Whitbread, President of the Sussex Wildlife Trust.

David Johnson stepped down as Chair of Trustees and handed over the reins to Prof Dan Osborn welcoming him on to the board of Trustees. David stood for Vice Chair and was duly elected back onto the Board of Trustees. Both are looking forward to working together towards achieving a Branch vision for Sussex we’ll be proud to leave to future generations and one where the countryside and green spaces in our towns and cities are valued and nurtured for the benefit of wildlife and all.

Kia Trainor, Director, talked about the hard work of the Branch over the year and about the work on the Branch Vision running in parallel to the ‘Purpose Project’ being undertaken by the National Charity CPRE to broaden the charity’s wider appeal.

Prof Dan Osborn gave a fascinating presentation ‘Wellbeing, a legacy for the future - the importance of “green havens” and open spaces in our built and natural environment’ set in the context of the need to mitigate and adapt to the challenges climate change will present.

Dr Tony Whitebread followed with a hard-hitting presentation ‘There is no wealth but life’ emphasizing the catastrophic loss of biodiversity since the early environmental conventions in 1992 – loss of biodiversity has accelerated and continues at pace as Tony vividly explained through the impact of exponential growth. He talked about the value attributed to ‘stuff’ – the cheap plastic items we throw away that become waste compared to the lack of value given to nature and its benefits.

As Tony said, ‘you can have an environment without an economy But you can’t have an economy without an environment’.

Tony went on to talk about restoring natural systems such as wetlands and the urgent need to invest in our natural capital for the benefit of all.

The AGM closed with a delicious lunch and many joined our host, John McCutchan for a post lunch guided farm walk.

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