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Could you be our eyes and ears?

Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens
The botanical gardens at Fletcher Moss

Our Eyes & Ears Volunteers help us achieve our mission by informing us of any local issues of concern. This does not require any specific planning expertise, and simply means paying attention to issues affecting the countryside or green spaces in your local area, informing the CPRE team of your concerns, and where possible helping us work on solutions. All you would need is access to a computer, a spare hour or two each week, and a passion for supporting the countryside.

We cover 26 Local Authorities across Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region and we are looking for an Eyes & Ears Volunteer for each Local Authority.

Activities involve:

• investigating planning applications which have a significant impact upon the countryside and helping us to influence their outcome
• visiting the local planning offices to look at plans and record details
• reviewing plans, applications and other consultations on the internet
• visiting sites and recording details
• sharing the information, and your thoughts, with CPRE Planning team

As your skills develop you will be encouraged and supported to:

• draft letters to the local planning authority
• research planning policy and best practice
• liaise with parish councils, district councils and other conservation bodies
• assist in the preparation of responses to wider consultations, including planning appeals
• contribute to our Planning Team/Policy Committee and assist CPRE in planning research.

This role does not require any previous experience with planning, as training and guidance will be provided.

What we need from you:

You will be home-based, carrying out activities around your other commitments. We keep in regular contact via phone and/or email to discuss progress and to provide support. You would also be encouraged to attend group meetings.
This is an opportunity to be involved in a vital aspect of our work. You will gain satisfaction from investigating local concerns, improve your knowledge of the planning system, meet local people and feel part of a friendly and passionate group.

Ideally, we hope that you can offer us most of the qualities described below:

• a strong interest in the countryside
• an understanding of the planning system (or be willing to learn)
• an interest in investigative work, with an eye for detail
• a desire to share your knowledge with others in the branch
• good communication skills – written and verbal
• can attend meetings or, when not possible, can provide updates for meetings
• computer literate – the internet, e-mail and MS Word or equivalent

As a guide, we anticipate this voluntary role will take 1-2 hours per week.

What’s in it for you?

CPRE volunteers are motivated to help for a range of reasons, but normally they have a strong interest in protecting and enhancing the environment, as well as encouraging people to enjoy the countryside and all it has to offer.

Benefits include:

• A great opportunity to use your existing experience and to develop new skills
• Working with others to make a difference both locally and nationally
• The potential to meet and discuss issues with a wide range of like-minded people
• Opportunities to attend local and national CPRE activities, events and workshops

The role is voluntary although we will pay all out-of-pocket expenses with prior agreement, in line with our Volunteers Policy.

If you would like to apply for the role, please email For further information, please send us an email with your questions or call us on 01772 378831.

You can also download the role description as a PDF document via the link below.

The English countryside is wonderful – help us to look after it.

Click here to download the role description