by David Bean

With politics firmly back on the agenda the Countryside Alliance is looking forward to our programme of events at this year’s party conferences.

Following the sad death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II our plans to attend this year’s Liberal Democrat Party Conference have had to be cancelled along with the conference itself, but we will return to the Labour and Conservative Party Conferences with a series of events addressing the big, structural issues affecting the British countryside. If you plan to attend either conference we very much hope to welcome you.

Labour Party Conference (Liverpool, 25-28 September)

Sustaining Rural Communities in the Carbon Trading Age

Tim Bonner, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, will chair a panel discussion focusing on the sustainability of rural communities in the context of evolutions in land use prompted by decarbonisation policies.

The countryside is not just landscape and wildlife, it is also people. We hear a lot about sustainability but how sustainable are rural communities and their culture, faced with the momentous changes in land use which will result from the monetisation of carbon sequestration and government intervention to take land out of agricultural production? Is the only answer to climate change and biodiversity decline that we stop farming altogether and produce food in factories? Or can regenerative farming tackle these challenges whilst continuing to produce food and sustain rural communities with farming at their heart?

Speakers will include the Shadow Environment Minister Daniel Zeichner MP, Hywel Lloyd of Labour Coast and Country, the Farmers Guardian chief reporter Abi Kay and Eleanor Langford from PoliticsHome.

M&S Arena Concourse Room 1 (outside the secure zone)

Sunday 25 September, 15:30-16:30

Refreshments provided

Conservative Party Conference (Birmingham, 02-05 October)

Sustaining Rural Communities in the Carbon Trading Age

We will repeat this event at the Conservative Party Conference to hear the Government’s perspective on this vital rural issue.

This event will be chaired by Sarah Lee, Director of Policy for the Countryside Alliance, with speakers to include Mark Spencer MP, Minister of State for Farming, Fisheries and Food, Sir Bill Wiggin MP and Robbie Moore MP, the Members of Parliament for North Herefordshire and Keighley, and Sam Hall of the Conservative Environment Network.

Hyatt Hotel Allegro (inside the secure zone)

Monday 03 Oct, 11:00-12:00

Refreshments provided

Re-engaging the Rural Base

At the 2019 General Election much attention was paid to Conservative success in knocking down Labour’s ‘Red Wall’, but just as important is its own ‘Blue Wall’ in rural areas. Disappointing recent electoral performances suggest it may be under threat. Two years from a General Election, what does the Party need to do to re-engage with its rural base?

Tim Bonner will chair a panel to include Sir Robert Goodwill MP, Chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, Brecon and Radnorshire MP Fay Jones, Buckingham MP Greg Smith and James Heale, the Spectator’s Steerpike columnist.

ICC Hall 8a (inside the secure zone)

Tuesday 04 Oct, 11:00-12:00

Free to attend with refreshments provided

Countryside Alliance and Conservative Rural Forum Reception

If you are attending the Conference we hope you will join us for the Countryside Alliance and Conservative Rural Forum annual Conference reception, which promises as ever to be an enjoyable evening.

Hyatt Hotel Dolce & Fortissimo (inside the secure zone)

Tuesday 04 Oct, 20:30-22:00

Drinks and canapés provided

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