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Your enthusiasm and skills as a planning volunteer will help keep Herefordshire countryside alive

Dilys Merry
By Dilys Merry
6th May 2022

We’re passionate about making the countryside in Herefordshire a better place for everyone to live in and enjoy. Join us as a planning volunteer to make a real difference.

By volunteering with us, you can have a real impact as a central part of our friendly and enthusiastic team, helping to protect Herefordshire from inappropriate planning applications. We also lobby for better and appropriate developments in the correct place that meet local housing needs

In addition, this role is a fantastic way to help us champion environmental issues such as the climate emergency, renewable energy, biodiversity and sustainable transport. It’s tempting to see planning as complicated and dull, but our recent hedgerow success story is a brilliant example of how important it is.

We’re all now sadly aware of the implications of intensive poultry units for the health of our River Wye. Our dedicated planning volunteer added her carefully researched comments to the many objections to an application for 6 new chicken production units at Lyonshall. These sheds would have housed 312,000 birds at any one time, with nearly 8 times that many being raised over a year. The application was refused in March 2022.

We’ll give you all the training and support you need as we introduce you to the role. You’ll gain valuable skills and experience in the planning process for a range of different developments.

You don’t need any detailed knowledge of planning to start with, just an interest in the planning system and environmental and countryside issues.

What you’ll be doing as a planning volunteer

  • Investigating planning applications with an impact on the countryside for example by viewing proposals online or at the local planning offices
  • Occasionally visiting proposed development sites to look at plans and record details
  • Providing your CPRE group with relevant local and site information, sharing information with other volunteers and attending meetings where relevant
  • Liaising with parish and district councils and other conservation bodies
  • Liaising with National CPRE teams to contribute to consultations and policy development

Some useful skills for the role

  • An interest in the countryside and environmental issues
  • Previous experience in the planning sector and knowledge of the planning system is desirable but not essential
  • An eye for detail and an interest in investigative work
  • A willingness to visit the local planning office and proposed development sites
  • Happy carrying out tasks independently and as part of a team
  • Good written and verbal communication skills
  • Access to a computer and the internet at home and be comfortable using them
  • Be able to commit to volunteering regularly to suit your availability with occasional attendance at meetings

What’s in it for you

  • Use your skills and experience to contribute to the success of our charity and make a positive difference to the countryside
  • Meet like-minded people and enjoy being part of a team
  • Enhance your CV by developing new skills and gaining valuable experience
  • We’ll support you to develop in your volunteering role and provide you with relevant training
  • We’ll give you a reference for your future work or volunteering
  • The opportunity to attend a volunteer induction day at CPRE’s national office in London or a regional centre
  • We provide out-of-pocket travel expenses

Volunteer now


Two planning volunteers working together on laptops
Christina Wotintechchat