Skip to content

Our analysis of the Conservative manifesto

Conservative Party Manifesto 

Following the Liberal Democrats the previous day, the Conservative Party has launched its manifesto in a document whose rural components mainly focus on confirming and maintaining current policies. Our analysis maintains the thematic structure of our earlier article. 

Of primary interest to Countryside Alliance members and supporters will be the Conservative Party’s re-commitment to making no changes to the Hunting Act, replicating its 2019 position. Other areas of our campaigning that have been met with policy pledges include promoting the use of buildings for renewable energy infrastructure, requiring the public sector to spend at least 50% of food budgets with local suppliers or on food meeting higher environmental standards, and promoting responsible access to nature without imposing a universal ‘right to roam’. 

Other policies of rural interest are as follows: 


Crime and Policing: To enhance rural safety, the Conservative Party proposes recruiting 8,000 additional police officers dedicated to neighbourhood policing. It plans to strengthen penalties for fly-tipping and combat organised waste crime, especially in protected nature areas. 

Net Zero/Climate Change: The manifesto commits to an energy efficiency voucher scheme for households and supports solar energy in appropriate areas, avoiding prime agricultural land. The party assures that it won't mandate replacing existing boilers with heat pumps and will seek democratic consent for onshore wind projects. 

Natural Environment: Through a review of network technologies, the party aims to prefer underground cables over pylons where cost-effective. Water company fines will fund river restoration, and tree planting and peatland restoration efforts will continue. The party plans to designate an 11th National Park and improve existing parks and trails, including the Coast to Coast Path and the King Charles III England Coast Path. 

Food and Farming: Rural communities will benefit from a £1 billion increase in the UK-wide farming budget. The Conservative Party promises to fast-track farm infrastructure planning permissions and support cutting-edge agricultural technologies. It will maintain a seasonal agricultural workers scheme until 2029, introducing a food security index and negotiating favourable trade deals for farmers. 

Housing: To address housing needs, the party will empower councils to manage the proliferation of holiday lets and boost affordable housing availability. It will support rural exception sites for local home ownership and create a Homes England taskforce focused on rural housing. 

Communities and Local Government: The manifesto includes a Dental Recovery Plan to increase the availability of NHS dental appointments and offer incentives to attract dentists to rural areas. It sets out plans to train more healthcare staff for rural and coastal areas and ensure fair funding through the Rural Services Delivery Grant. The commitment to the universal postal service remains, with no plans to scrap Saturday deliveries. Investment in technology aims to meet broadband targets for remote areas, and public bodies like Natural England and the Environment Agency will be made more accountable to rural communities. 

Transport: The party pledges £4.7 billion for transport improvements in smaller cities, towns and rural areas, and will extend the £2 bus fare cap in England throughout the next Parliament. It opposes pay-per-mile road pricing and has pledged to prevent its introduction by local councils. 

The Countryside Alliance will review and communicate the rural impacts of all major parties’ manifestos, setting the agenda on rural policy through the general election and beyond. To support our work, please consider joining the Countryside Alliance today. 

Become a member

Join the Countryside Alliance

We are the most effective campaigning organisation in the countryside.