BWS_suit_headshoulders-1Countryside Alliance Executive Chairman Barney White-Spunner writes: The Countryside Alliance AGM, held in London on Tuesday, was an opportunity to look back at our achievements in 2013, but also an opportunity to look forward. This year the Alliance is looking to its future structure and in particular whether we should apply to become a charity. To that end we have asked all of you to agree to the Board making an application to the Charity Commission to turn the Countryside Alliance into a registered charity. 

The more I have looked at what we do the more I have become certain that everything we do is potentially charitable. All the Alliance’s campaigns are already aimed at supporting the rural economy, traditional activities, proper wildlife management and thriving communities, which are accepted as legitimate charitable objects, and all of our campaigns are justified on the basis of those objectives. We do not do things simply because our members want them, or because it is in their commercial benefit, we do things because they are right.

I am pleased to report that the overwhelming majority of those who voted supported the proposal so we will now begin the process of making an application to the Charity Commission. That application will by no means be automatically successful, but we have taken careful advice and are confident that we can show that our current work, and our plans for the future, fall within the charitable remit.

This is an exciting time for the Alliance and charitable status could only enhance further our reputation for promoting everything that is positive about the countryside and rural way of life.