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Our Blog

Welcome to our blogs.

Blog posts on the CPRE Sussex website are the views and opinions of the author(s) credited. They do not necessarily represent the views or position of CPRE Sussex. The CPRE Sussex blog is intended to be a space in which we publish thought-provoking and discussion-stimulating articles. If you’d like to write a blog sharing your own experiences or views, we’d love to hear from you at:

You can also read Paul Steedman’s columns written for the West Sussex Gazette:

What’s nature worth? 

In his third blog Michael Brown, a CPRE Sussex volunteer, focuses attention on how nature could and should take a more prominent place in planning decisions.  He challenges us to look at the importance of nature in a different way. Most of us tend to think of the natural world around us primarily in emotional and aesthetic terms. Michael invites us to think about our environment in a different way as a utility, and its natural features as units of monetary value.

The more that people come to realise the value of our woodlands and countryside as assets of real and measurable economic value both for themselves and for the services that they provide to us humans, the greater the chance of their being protected and enhanced.

Recognising the value to us of the natural world, and recognising that we are dependent on it, not owners and masters of it, is at the core of building a sustainable society.

Read Michael’s blog: What’s nature worth?

Rooftop renewables

Climate breakdown is the biggest threat to our countryside. We need renewable energy but industrial scale solar farms intrude into our landscapes. How can the two be reconciled? CPRE Sussex and Hampshire have teamed up with researchers at the University of Southampton to map the potential for rooftop solar on existing buildings and car parks across the two counties.

We want to show councillors, planners and other policymakers the scope for rooftop solar – and encourage them to make the policy changes to get as many panels on roofs as quickly as possible, minimising the need for other land use.

Read blog by Hannah Dalgleish, University of Southampton: Rooftop renewables

Can you help find the oldest trees in Sussex? 

The Lost Woods of the Low Weald and Downs project is aiming to restore ancient woodlands on our doorsteps in Sussex. This includes finding and mapping all the ancient and veteran trees in the 314 sq km project area, spanning from Lewes in the east to Storrington in the west.  And the project needs your help.

Finding the trees and identifying those facing threats from development is the crucial first step in making the case for protecting these trees. The project is seeking volunteers who, with a few days of training, will identify ancient and veteran trees and make records of their condition. Volunteers will survey small areas at a time that suits them and be a part of a huge citizen science project.

Sign up at:

Read blog by Bob Epsom, Woodland Trust Outreach Adviser for the Lost Woods of the Low Weald and Downs project: Can you help find the oldest trees in Sussex?

Sussex Grazed – A meat box scheme sourcing high quality, grass-fed beef and lamb from the Sussex Downs

Sussex Grazed is Brighton and Hove Food Partnership initiative for Changing Chalk; a National Trust project which aims to restore and reconnect chalk grassland habitats.

We believe it is possible to farm in a way which supports biodiversity in local environments, whilst feeding local people. Responsible grazing is the best way to support chalk grassland restoration, and we are lucky to have a wealth of farmers who respect their livestock and this historic landscape right on our doorstep….

Read Brighton & Hove Food Partnership’s blog: Sussex Grazed

In praise of Greta Thunberg: We need to turn up the volume

In his second blog Michael Brown, a CPRE Sussex volunteer, discusses climate change. He argues that ‘quietly, quietly’ has not worked. The bounty of fossil fuels has turned poisonous. The Government has gone missing on fighting climate change, so local planning authorities need to step up to the plate. We need action now.

Read Michael’s blog: In praise of Greta Thunberg

Michael’s first blog – Our housing shortage – our politicians have got it wrong

We are having to build a whopping 6,500 houses in Sussex every year above what we actually need. ‘Mike’s Gripes’ is a new blog by Mid Sussex lead volunteer Michael Brown. In his first edition he explains why the Government’s standard method for calculating a planning authority’s housing needs – a methodology all local authorities have to use as the starting point for calculating their local plan housing target – is flawed. This means, not only are Sussex planning authorities having to plan for vastly more houses than Sussex really needs, they are building the wrong kind of houses in the wrong places.  The blog explains two simple changes to that methodology that CPRE has been actively campaigning for that would transform the game, removing much of the irrationality and toxicity from the system.  Even our local MPs and district councils want to see the changes CPRE has been calling for.  Is there any sign the Government is listening and preparing to act?

Read Michael’s blog: