Open letter from the founders of the Countryside Climate Network

Our rural communities are at the frontline of feeling the effects of climate change. The driest of springs follows a winter of floods. Damaging our food production, bringing hardship to our villages and towns. But we can also be at the forefront of climate action too.

The countryside offers far more than a place to plant millions of trees to offset carbon emissions from elsewhere. Rural communities have always been a great source of national progress and innovation. This is why we have joined forces with UK100 to launch the Countryside Climate Network.

We are a new group of ambitious Council Leaders from predominantly rural parts of the country, collectively representing 40% of England’s land area.

Our goal is to ensure that the voice of rural knowledge and experience on climate action is listened to in Westminster. We need to be an active participant in transforming our national economy into one that saves, rather than harms, our environment. We stand ready to do our bit in the national interest of securing a net zero future for the UK.


– Cambridgeshire County Council

Cllr Steve Count, Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council

– Adur District Council

Cllr Neil Parkin, Leader of Adur District Council

– Canterbury District Council

Cllr Dan Watkins, Climate Change and Cycling Champion, Canterbury District Council

Cllr Barbara Flack, Chairman of the Rural Forum and Equality and Diversity Champion, Canterbury District Council

– Central Bedfordshire Council

Cllr Steven Dixon, Executive Member for Transformation and External Bodies, Central Bedfordshire Council

– Cornwall Council

Cllr Edwina Hannaford, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Neighbourhoods, Cornwall Council

– Cotswold District Council

Cllr Joe Harris, Leader of Cotswold District Council

Cllr Rachel Coxcoon, Cabinet Member for Climate Change & Forward Planning, Cotswold District Council

– Durham County Council

Cllr Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council

Cllr Carl Marshall, Cabinet member, Economic Regeneration, Durham County Council

Cllr John D Clare, Climate Change Champion, Durham County Council

– Derbyshire County Council

Cllr Tony King, Cabinet Member for Clean Growth & Regeneration, Derbyshire County Council

– Essex County Council

Cllr Simon Walsh, Cabinet Member for Climate Change Action, Essex County Council

– Gloucestershire County Council

Cllr Nigel Moor, Cabinet Member Environment & Planning, Gloucestershire County Council

– Hampshire County Council

Cllr Keith Mans, Leader of Hampshire County Council

– Herefordshire Unitary Authority

Cllr Ellie Chowns, Cabinet Member for Environment, Economy and Skills, Herefordshire Council

– Leicestershire County Council

Cllr Blake Pain, Lead Member for Environment and Action on Climate Change, Leicestershire County Council

– North Yorkshire County Council

Cllr Carl Les, Leader of North Yorkshire County Council

– Shropshire Unitary Authority

Cllr Dean Carroll, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care, Public Health and Climate Change, Shropshire Council

– Somerset County Council

Cllr David Fothergill, Leader of Somerset County Council

– South Gloucestershire Unitary Authority

Cllr Toby Savage, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council

– South Lakeland District Council

Cllr Giles Archibald, Leader of South Lakeland District Council

Cllr Dyan Jones, Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency and Localism, South Lakeland District Council

– Suffolk County Council

Cllr Matthew Hicks, Leader of Suffolk County Council

Cllr Richard Rout, Cabinet Member for Environment & Public Protection, Suffolk County Council

– Wiltshire Unitary Authority

Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of Wiltshire Council

– Worthing Borough Council

Cllr Daniel Humphreys, Leader of Worthing Borough Council


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