It was all the fault of Ponteland. I was driving through on my way to the Borders when I saw a large outcrop of estate agent signs. Except they weren’t, they were Save Our Greenbelt signs. Now, I am familiar with saving the greenbelt campaigns because we live in a beautiful part of the North Downs which is equally threatened by the attack on the greenbelt caused by the governments housing targets.

A flash of the blinding obvious was that all the work we were doing was being duplicated across the country by other local groups. It will be beyond anyone to co-ordinate these groups but we thought there should at least be a place on the web where we could all find each other and later a place where we could exchange good practice, thoughts and news.

The greenbelt is one our most precious common spaces. It was created to prevent developer driven sprawl and as a green lung for our major cities. It is important to everyone not just to those of us who are lucky enough to live in it. But we who live here have a special responsibility as guardians of these special places.  The pressures we face are very similar wherever we live in the UK. We can all learn from each other.

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