I am delighted and proud to become President of the Colne Valley Regional Park.
I have lived in the area all my life, and love this beautiful, varied but fragile landscape.
The Park’s green spaces, waterways and lakes now face unprecedented threats from giant infrastructure projects and urbanisation on a scale we have never seen before, such as HS2 and Heathrow expansion.
I am heartbroken to see the daily destruction being wrought across some of the most attractive parts of the Colne Valley Regional Park by the HS2 preparatory work.
Heathrow Expansion is a grave concern, too: I fear many people still don’t realise the enormity of what is planned. Its impact is unprecedented – the loss of 1,300 acres of Green Belt, 900 of it from the Colne Valley Regional Park. Air, noise and light pollution, diversion of five rivers and an entire village swept away.
The environmental cost of these plans is a price we simply cannot afford to pay.
Nevertheless, there is still much to celebrate in the Colne Valley. Thanks to the successful lottery bid and match funding in 2017, £2.65m is being spent on 19 projects across the Park, helping to preserve it for future generations to enjoy. Real, positive steps, with tangible results that benefit more than three million people living within ten miles of the Park’s boundaries.
I greatly look forward to playing my part in this vital work. This really is a landscape worth fighting for.
Lord Randall of Uxbridge