Head of Policy at the Countryside Alliance, Sarah Lee, has spoken to the Daily Telegraph about what she thinks the countryside will look like in 50 years. Sarah was one of five experts asked for views. To read the article in full, please follow this link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/0/will-our-countryside-still-look-like-this-in-50-years-five-exper/

She expressed concern that unless action is taken rural towns and villages could become little more than dormitory settlements and that it is vital that the Government supports local services, delivers on its commitment to secure superfast broadband for the final 5 per cent and that action is taken to significantly increase the amount of affordable housing in rural areas.

When asked what she believed was the biggest threat the countryside, Sarah said:

The growing gap of understanding between urban and rural communities.

When asked what could be done to help, she said:

Stop the politicisation of the rural agenda and legislation that threatens sustainability of marginal rural communities.

Despite the challenges, Sarah remains optimistic, commenting:

With a little hope, in the future I see a vibrant rural economy that can compete nationally and globally, balanced with the contribution of urban areas and still built on the good, old-fashioned community values we know and love it for. The countryside is just as important to this country as all its towns or cities – and it deserves just as much of a chance to thrive.