houses-of-parliamentThis parliament comes to an end on Monday 30th March ahead of the General Election on 7th May. This provides a good opportunity to review just some of our work over the lifetime of this parliament before we look ahead to the next one in May. We would ask that you take part in our ongoing e-lobby and write to your parliamentary candidates today – click here – asking them to endorse our Rural Manifesto (which can be found here) and asking them where they stand on hunting and shooting. We can all play a role in keeping rural issues uppermost in candidates’ minds as they seek your vote. If you have not yet registered to vote you can do so here until 20th April. 

  • We continue to work at ministerial level on mobile phone coverage in rural areas. We are holding mobile phone operators and government to account through our RootMetrics map.
  • Worked with the Association of Chief Police Officers to ensure their guidance on firearms regarding unannounced visits/Crimestoppers line is fair to the shooting community.
  • Took the lead on the controversial Lobbying Act, making the case for freedom of speech and the right to lobby.
  • Ran an e-lobby on lead shot in which over 20,000 of you participated. Political website DeHavilland called it the “largest ever lobby of the EU”.
  • We continue to hold government to account on the rollout of rural broadband.
  • We continue to make the case for repeal of the Hunting Act.
  • As the first Police and Crime Commissioners were elected we published a rural manifesto to ensure rural crime is a key priority taken seriously and included in local crime plans.
  • National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) – we have worked alongside 28 Police and Crime Commissioners and other rural stakeholders to form the NRCN.
  • Held a Parliamentary reception to honour the value of shooting. Olympic gold medallist Peter Wilson attended and we worked with the House of Lords catering team to produce game canapes.
  • We gained clarity on the ability of hunts to operate under the Hunting Act on Ministry of Defence Land.
  • Cost of petrol in rural areas – we demonstrated the inequality in prices across the country and showed that rural communities on average pay 25% more for their commute.
  • HS2 –  we have opposed HS2 consistently as we do not believe the business case has been made. Our view has been backed up by numerous reports and most recently by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee
  • Outdoor education – we have lobbied to ensure that outdoor learning is part of every child’s education. Our Fishing 4 Schools project has gained cross-party support and held awards receptions at parliament.
  • Our Countryside Alliance Awards are now ten years old and have cross-party support. Parliamentarians back the scheme which supports rural businesses, producers and communities. Environment Secretary Liz Truss and her predecessor Owen Paterson along with Defra Ministers including Richard Benyon, Sir James Paice, Lord de Mauley, David Heath and George Eustice have backed the scheme.
  • Food Labelling – we lobbied for country of origin labelling on meat, which we achieved, but continue to campaign for all meat products to be included in the legislation.
  • We worked to see the Gamebird code of practice under the Animal Welfare Act scrapped at the start of the parliament.
  • Our political team has responded to numerous consultations and inquiries including the Home Affairs Select Committee’s Firearms Control Inquiry.
  • Successfully exposed the weak arguments employed by Thomas Docherty MP’s Private Members’ Bill to ban under 14s from having a shotgun licence.
  • Took part in the Law Commission review into wildlife legislation. The review is expected to be published following the Queen’s Speech in the next parliament.
  • Responded to the BBC Trust Review into rural coverage and had several of our recommendations endorsed by the Trust.
  • Secured articles from party leaders David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband for our Spring 2015 magazine, gaining widespread media coverage for rural issues. The leaders are just some of the politicians who have featured in our magazine during this Parliament.
  • Played a key role (in coalition with other organisations including World Horse Welfare, the RSPCA and the NFU) in supporting and promoting Julian Sturdy MP’s Control of Horses Bill.