Protecting Our Countryside

Kent is widely known as the “Garden of England”. Its beauty and open spaces bring people from all over the world, proven by Kent’s thriving tourist industry. Julian lives near to the Denge Forest and walks frequently in Kent's countryside.


He strongly believes in maintaining this natural beauty as well as Britain's environment more broadly, and has fought to preserve it over several campaigns. Indeed, his first Parliamentary triumph as an MP was in initiating a debate resulting in a change in tree preservation orders to protect Kent’s coppice woodland.


Julian has fought numerous plans for overdevelopment in Kent. He strongly supported Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart’s battle to save our green belt and recycle wasted brown land to minimise the impact on the countryside. He strongly opposed both attempts to desecrate the Elham Valley with the proposed multiple development at Kingston and played a major role in the successful campaign to prevent the proposed rubbish dump at Lamberhurst Farm near Seasalter, which would have been an eyesore. He has also fought to preserve Whitstable Beach and long before it became a public issue, Julian lobbied for a cleanup of the Thruxted Mill animal rendering plant.


Julian has emphasised that a pleasant urban environment is vitally important, and is anxious to protect playing fields and children's play areas, which are important features for a happy childhood.


More recently, Julian has campaigned to mitigate the worst aesthetic damage that the proposed Richborough Connection (which connects the UK national grid with Belgium) would have had on Canterbury’s environment. The planned pylons are as tall as the subsidiary towers in Canterbury Cathedral, which will blight the Eastern end of Canterbury and swathes of the Kent countryside.


Julian led a delegation to the Energy Minister in 2013 to raise these concerns with the Government, and has met senior figures at National Grid on several occasions to discuss it. It is unfeasible to put the entire line underground, but Julian has fought to ensure that the pylons are better hidden and more aesthetically pleasing.


Environmental considerations however must not allow us to lose sight of the fact that our food, and the employment of many local people directly and indirectly comes from agriculture. Julian values the briefing he receives from the National Farmers' Union and the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) and maintains a keen interest on government policy in this area.