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28 July 2012
Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) President Sir Andrew Motion has congratulated Danny Boyle for his tribute to the countryside, but warned that the celebrated vision of our countryside is under threat.
Following a spectacular Olympic opening ceremony on Friday night – with the epic tribute to our unique and beautiful rural landscape, former poet Laureate and new President of CPRE, Sir Andrew Motion says:
“In his spectacular tribute to all that is great about the UK, Danny Boyle chose to lead with one of the nation's greatest assets. We are the country of Shakespeare: most people would be happy to say that is England's greatest gift to the wide world. But in fact there's an even greater gift – our landscape. The quality of our countryside is world renowned, a draw for many tourists, and the source of great inspiration for our language, literature and poetry.
“We must not take this treasure for granted. Even now many of our most cherished landscapes are under threat from damaging development. For example, Cherkley Court, part of the route for the Olympic road cycle event in London's Green Belt, is at risk of being diminished for the sake of an exclusive hotel and golf course.
“Just as we celebrate the NHS we should value our post-war planning legislation that has done so much to protect our rural areas and regenerate our towns and cities. Our countryside is a national treasure that requires continued support and care. Because it is our greatest achievement, it is also our greatest responsibility to look after it.”