The CRT’s founders, Robin Page and Gordon Beningfield, had a vision that was ahead of its time. The understanding of the need for farmland to be managed in an environmentally sensitive way has never been as widely acknowledged as it is now.

It is our responsibility to move with the times to keep the CRT and its founders’ vision alive.

While it’s important to look back for valuable knowledge and experience, we must combine traditional techniques with innovation to help reverse the decline of biodiversity and ensure the countryside we all love is resilient to the effects of climate change.

Restoration suggests a focus on the past. Our new name represents how we are looking forward, so that we are at the forefront of the regeneration of the countryside.

We are still dedicated to the central mission that many of our Friends have supported for years, or even decades, but our countryside needs a champion that is focused on how it can flourish well into the future.

The regeneration of the CRT

Our regeneration goes much deeper than a name, a new logo and brand colours. These are important to reflect what our charity is all about to the outside world, but this goes to the very root of how we deliver our mission.

Central to this is the regeneration of our properties. We are creating tailored plans for each of our farms that set out specific targets. We will soon be recruiting a Conservation Director who will oversee these plans, give our tenant farmers or land managers more guidance and support, and monitor the outcomes. This will empower our tenant farmers to run successful businesses that produce vital food for the nation, while using farming practices that reverse the decline in biodiversity and play their part in storing carbon to tackle climate change.

We are also reshaping the CRT’s offering on key properties so that more people, from all backgrounds, can experience the benefits of the countryside and learn why it is important to protect it. Our farms will be hubs of their local communities, providing education, leisure and wellbeing opportunities and rural jobs.

We are regenerating every aspect of the CRT, from creating a positive, collaborative internal culture to reviewing what more we can offer to our Friends. All this is with a constant focus on how we can bring together farmers, Friends and volunteers to create a community of voices dedicated to being a friend of the countryside.

Raising our voice

Our experienced members of staff, who bring years of invaluable knowledge to the CRT, have been joined by enthusiastic new team members who feel passionately about bringing the charity’s message to more people.

In December, we asked our Friends to complete a survey about their perception of the CRT. Many said they would like us to seize this moment of national focus on environmental land management.

One Friend and former volunteer said: “I hope the CRT can get more interest in its achievements and databases from government ministers etcetera, so that more agricultural and countryside policies are designed around the CRT's successes in showing wildlife and farming can co-exist profitably."

Another Friend said: “I hope that you can move forward in upholding the principles of the CRT, which I think are crucial in transforming farming into a more environmentally sustainable enterprise that is critical to help solve the massive crisis of climate change, loss of biodiversity and again show kindness and respect to our earth, for the benefit of future generations."

We couldn’t agree more, so a key part of our refreshed mission is for the CRT to be a thought-leader and to network and collaborate with like-minded organisations to achieve positive change.

Thank you for your continuing support of the CRT. We hope you are as excited as we are about all we can achieve together.