Meet the team

New opportunity
Chair, CPRE Berkshire

We work to promote, enhance and protect the countryside in Berkshire. Could you provide leadership to help us to achieve our vision and ensure the long-term success of our charity?

We’re passionate about making the countryside in Berkshire a better place for everyone to enjoy. Our team of volunteers inspire people to care for the countryside and enjoy the benefits it brings wherever they live.

Volunteering with us is a fantastic way to help us champion environmental issues such as the climate emergency, renewable energy, biodiversity and sustainable transport.

With your support we can do even more! As chair of our board of trustees you’ll have an essential role in the development of our charity.

Our friendly team will provide you with training and support to develop in your role, and you will gain valuable skills and experience in charity governance and leadership.

For a more detailed job profile and more information, such as why we want you, what you will be doing, the skills you need, and what’s in it for you, please contact Gloria Keene, Branch Secretary on 0118 930 6756.

Gloria Keene, M.B.E
Branch Secretary

Gloria’s association with CPRE began when she was invited to join the CPRE Newbury & Hungerford District group, working with Lady Barber, who was campaigning to save 1,000 oak trees in the North Wessex Downs AONB, eventually sacrificed in the building of the new A34 Newbury bypass. She was then asked to take on a more challenging role as Secretary of the SE Region, an area she was familiar with during her earlier career in various government departments. Subsequently, the CPRE Berkshire Branch Chairman, Mike Spence, saw an opportunity locally and asked her to join the Berkshire Branch as Secretary.
As the years progressed Gloria took on more roles as volunteers retired, first as the editor of the newsletter, the branch accounts, the production of the Annual Report, marketing, planning and campaigning, all of which capitalised on the skills acquired during her working life, as well as organising trips for CPRE volunteers, setting up the original branch website and running the biannual conservation Berkshire Schools Award.
During those years she was awarded the CPRE Countryside Medal for services to CPRE. A few years later this led to the rather more significant award of her MBE, for services to the countryside and her role as a Parish Clerk in the North Wessex Downs AONB. Currently Gloria works with Newbury & Hungerford District, is Secretary of the CPRE South East Region and South East Transport group, and Branch Secretary of the Berkshire Branch.
Please do get in contact and share your queries or problems with her about the Berkshire countryside or better still JOIN CPRE and let her know how much you value the countryside.

Rebecca Murphy
Bracknell District Chairman

Rebecca is the newest CPRE Berkshire committee member, recruited in 2018 for willingness to churn through reams of documents, review the evidence base for the emerging Bracknell Forest Local Plan, and steer CPRE Berkshire’s response to it. She is looking forward to the end of that process and being able to focus on other ways that CPRE can work for residents in Bracknell Forest.
She will be delighted to hear from current and prospective members in Bracknell Forest about ideas, large or small, for what CPRE could do. In addition, there is a huge potential for collaborative projects, particularly in relation to the environment.
You can contact Rebecca via the main office on 0118 930 6756 or email cpreberkshire@btopenworld. com.

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Edward Golton
Bradfield District Chairman

I grew up in the countryside so came to have a love of it and protecting it. After moving to West Berkshire, I joined the Parish Council, looking after Public Rights of Way. Soon after, I joined CPRE, and became Chairman of Bradfield District in 1999, which covers parishes east of the A34.
Hedgerow protection was an issue that led to the 1997 Regulations and I organised surveys in several villages, using the CPRE packs. Some interesting finds were that the ends of hedges meeting woodland had more species, and some rarer finds were Buckthorns whose berries were used as a purgative in ancient times, and a Wych Elm with seed pods, something they rarely produce even in southern England.
Light pollution is another concern which I have managed to limit at Planning Appeals. Developments on higher ground cause light from street lights and housing to be seen over a wide area; that we have designated ‘Dark Sky’ areas in the North Wessex AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) is a great help. Another area of unnecessary and wasteful lighting is the increase in those located at gateways. Lighting should just illuminate the ground, not the highway of the sky. The worst are those set in the ground shining up, and more recently those with light coming from the top as well as the bottom.
You can contact me via the main office on 0118 930 6756 or email cpreberkshire@btopenworld.com

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Dr Peter Wilford
Wokingham District Chairman

I have been Chairman of CPRE Wokingham District for some 28 years and prior to that I was Chairman and then President of the local Civic Society, the Wokingham Society.
Wokingham District has probably seen more development than any other similar District in the country – developments such as Lower Earley, Woodley Airfield, Woosehill, Spencers Wood, Shinfield, North Wokingham and South Wokingham – in all tens of thousands of houses. Why has all this happened? Regrettably, Wokingham District has only a small area of Green Belt land in the North of the District; the rest of it is unprotected countryside. There is no AONB or other significant protection and its proximity to Reading town centre and rail connections to London and the airport make it an attractive area for commuters.
For many years CPRE has fought and campaigned to limit the extent of development but with only limited success. Currently, as at July 2020, the Wokingham Local Plan update intends, in the fullness of time, to put some 10,000 – 15,000 houses in the Grazeley area – some of these would be over the border in the West Berkshire district. CPRE Wokingham will be opposing such a development – which has been turned down in the past – because this is good agricultural land which will be of great importance as the constraints of Climate Change come about. In the future this country is going to need all the food production it can get. CPRE Wokingham will need all the support we can get for the task ahead. If you live in the Wokingham District please lend your support to the Committee who will be working hard to support the countryside for our future generations and for the well-being of those who live in the area by contacting me via the main office on 0118 930 6756 or email cpreberkshire@btopenworld.com
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Penny Desmond
Administrator

Penny has always loved the countryside and has been a member of CPRE for many years. Penny noticed an advertisement for an administration assistant for CPRE Berkshire whose office is in Theale where she lives. In recognition of her long-standing work with CPRE, now some 15 years, Penny was awarded the Countryside Medal by the High Sheriff of the Royal County of Berkshire.
Penny completed a secretarial course at school and has always worked in offices. In retirement, she likes to keep up her office and typing skills, and helps Gloria with mailshots, typing, filing, and the biannual conservation Schools competition.
Her most important fundraising duty is running the 500 Club. More information about this Club will posted on the website soon. In the meantime, if you would like to find out more, please contact Penny at the Branch Office – telephone 0118 930 6756.

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