The Essex branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England

RCCE House, Threshelfords, Inworth Road, Feering , Colchester CO5 9SE. telephone 01376 572023

 Click here to open Autumn Newsletter 

CPREssex is now on Facebook and Twitter!  Social network savvy members - and anyone else for that matter - are welcome to like/follow cpressex on Facebook, or Twitter at the bottom of this page

Sir Andrew Motion comes to Colchester to give an emotive talk on the importance of preserving rural Essex

 CPRE president Sir Andrew Motion spoke about his love for the Essex countryside when he gave a talk entitled From Stisted to Lavington Street: How I came to the CPRE, and Why to an attentive audience of CPREssex members and friends at Firstsite in Colchester on 28 November 2013.

The former Poet Laureate read aloud extracts from his writing that had been inspired by the landscape which surrounded him as he grew up. 'Rural Essex is the landscape that I have in mind when I think of the English countryside', he said.

Sir Andrew spoke passionately about the need to preserve the countryside for the generations to come. ‘It’s absolutely vital we engage a new generation,’ he said. ‘This is partly so that we can look ahead and feel the defence of the countryside is in good hands, and partly so we can encourage as many people as possible to enjoy and understand our beautiful landscapes. Preserving the Green Belt is one of the major challenges we face.'

To read more about Sir Andrew’s Essex roots, please click here
Andres Motion
copyright Charlotte Knee



Pictured: Sir Andrew Motion with CPREssex Chairman Chris Butler at Firstsite

Sir Andrew Motion

CPREssex Barn Dance: a celebration of all things Essex

Barn Dance

The CPREssex Barn Dance in the historic National Trust Grange Barn on the last day of August 2013 was, once again, a tremendous success.  No doubt partly due to memories of how good it was the year before, Tony Ward’s fabulous cider was in great demand from the very beginning; the Red Fox real ales were so popular that we almost ran out; the hog roast (yes, Essex pigs) by Buntings was devoured with great relish, and all of these were produced in Coggeshall. As a final delight, there was heavenly Caprilatte ice‑cream from Abberton, near Colchester.

Even the Raffle was a celebration of Essex, with baskets of local produce, Coggeshall Vineyard wine, a Kelly Bronze (of Danbury) turkey voucher and an invitation to View Coggeshall Abbey Mill (plus tea and cake) for 8! There were lots of other generous donations too.  It was impossible not to start tapping your feet once the Thaxted-based Scampering Rogues began to play. On and on they played, delivering thumping good tunes again and again, until at the end the tired but happy dancers left chattering and laughing, only pausing to congratulate us. 

We were tired and happy too, we’d had a great evening, our Chairman elect, Chris Butler, had delivered a stirring speech (which we hope will encourage new members) and it looks like (accounts to be finalised) we made more than £2000 for our funds. It was jolly hard work but well worth it.


Exploring your Essexoutandabout

Many of us are visited by family members each year, but how often do we show them the delightful attractions on our own doorstep?  This summer, why not explore your local area and find out what it is you are campaigning to protect? Find out where you can sample an Essex-style cream tea, marvel at the pargetting on nearby buildings, watch otters on a river, or explore one of the many local footpaths and view the countryside from a totally different perspective!

Essex has 350 miles of coastline, beautiful countryside and historic buildings to discover as well as festivals celebrating art, music, books, food and folklore. There is an abundance of walking guides available to help you explore the hidden paths.  So take a look at the website www.visitessex.com

Our pride at stakeLitter

While many county branches of CPRE have arranged litter picks as part of their core activities, in Essex it is individuals and local communities who undertake such activities helping to keep the footpaths, laybys, road verges and hedgerows spick and span by removing unsightly and dangerous litter from the countryside.  Feeling that their area was in need of a clear-up, the rural villages of Moreton, Bobbingworth, Bovinger, The Lavers and Fyfield to the north of Ongar arranged a community litter pick on Sunday 24 March with sponsorship from several local businesses and CPRE.

Organised with military precision and under the banner of Our Pride at Stake, this litter pick involving over 180 volunteers went ahead in spite of the snowy conditions and an amazing 200 bags of litter were collected.  In supporting this litter pick, Eric Pickles the local MP commented: “Taking pride in the landscape around us and ensuring we have a vibrant and healthy environment is important to many people. It’s fantastic that so many people have taken part.”

Forthcoming Events:

CPREssex makes a donation to support the preservation of Thaxted Windmill

CPREssex has donated £1000 towards the cost of preserving the only remaining windmill in Thaxted.  Thaxted’s windmill is a fine monument to our county’s agricultural heritage,’ said Tricia Moxey, Vice-chairman of the Essex branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England. ‘The CPRE is delighted to be able to make this donation to the John Webb’s Windmill Trust to support the further restoration of the mill and to encourage visitors to find out more about the way local land was farmed in the 1800s.’  Built in 1804 to satisfy a growing demand for flour at a time of agricultural expansion, John Webb’s Windmill was the largest and most advanced of all the Thaxted mills and it worked for a hundred years. A tower mill, it took the name of John WindmillWebb, who owned the farmland on which the mill was built. But by 1907 the mill was uneconomic to work and it fell into disrepair until the 1930s, when it was renovated sufficiently to be used as a scout and youth centre. It fell into dereliction again in the 1950s and remained so for 20 years until a Trust was formed to restore the building and open it to the public as a rural museum.  

In 1991 the sails were re-erected and turned for the first time for 85 years and five years later the stones were restored so that the mill could grind grain into flour once more. Funds for the restoration work have been raised through windmill open days, topped up with grants, and the museum is now a tourist attraction.  ‘Although the mill is owned by the Parish, restoration has been made possible through the enthusiasm of many volunteers, and by the support of visitors and bodies such as the CPRE,’ said Len Farren of John Webb’s Windmill Trust. ‘The donation by the CPRE will help to ensure that the windmill remains for future generations to enjoy.’

John Webb's Windmill is open to the public from 2-6pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays, from Easter to the end of September. Entry is free, but donations are welcome.


If you feel that our aims match yours then why not join CPREssex. We need volunteers who have the enthusiasm to promote our campaigns and make sure that our county retains the character and traditions which are appreciated by everyone.

CPREssex is the county branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.  It is a registered charity (no. 1094178) and a company limited by guarantee, registered in England, no. 4536412.  It exists to promote the beauty, tranquillity and diversity of rural Essex by encouraging the sustainable use of land and other natural resources in town and country.

Registered Office: CPREssex, Threshelfords, Inworth Road, Feering, Colchester CO5 9SE
Telephone:  01376 572023
Email: office@cpressex.org.uk


 eXTReMe Tracker