Dear Editor, With the General Election fast approaching, now is the time to ask those who aspire to be our MPs in the future what they will do if they are elected.

All too often, the environment and the countryside do not get the attention and priority they deserve from politicians, and they risk being forgotten altogether in the pre-election hubbub. But the next five years will be a critical time if we are to protect the countryside that is valued by so many people across the UK from inappropriate and excessive development, neglect and mismanagement.

So I am supporting the manifesto for the General Election produced by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, and I have written to my local candidates calling on them to do so too. The manifesto calls for strong, democratic planning that will protect the countryside and create vibrant urban areas, protection for our best landscapes and the Green Belts around our towns and cities, and action to tackle litter and fly-tipping in the countryside.

You can read CPRE’s manifesto, and urge your candidates to support it, by visiting www.cpre.org.uk.

Hannah Newton

Towyn Road

Birmingham