It has been an absolutely fantastic day walking the Cannock Chase Heritage Trail in fine weather in great company to highlight a vitally important issue to stop the privatisation of our Countryside

Cannock Chase Green Party was joined by friends and supporters from around Staffordshire and beyond as well as across the political divide to walk the Cannock Chase Heritage Trail on Sunday 16th August to celebrate our fantastic countryside and raise awareness of the 38 degrees petition to “Save our Countryside and AONB” which is now supported by over 10,000 signatories.

The invitation was accepted from a large group of over sixty campaigners to walk the Heritage Trail from Cannock to Rugeley and demonstrate against the Council plans which could see the countryside sold or privatised and our heritage put at risk through planned austerity measures in the County.

Staffordshire County Council are considering options to change the management or ownership of up to 6000 acres of our Countryside across 18 locations in the County including beloved areas including Cannock Chase, Chasewater including Norton Bog and Apedale Community Country Park. Options include the private sale and private management as well as industrial or commercial development or transfer to local community/third sector groups. When this is considered along with the SCC Local Mineral Plan 2015 – 2030, the governmental U-Turn to legal protections of country parks/AONB against fracking developments and the persistent agenda of the Council to privatise our public services. (Capita now deliver our school support services, Amey run our roads and Keir manage our buildings.) We are all collectively concerned for the future of our Countryside, Cuts have Consequences.

It was fantastic to walk through our beautiful countryside in the company of great group of people from diverse backgrounds across the County and beyond to demonstrate our opposition to County plans which could see our Countryside privatised. Passing the 10,000 signature milestone and the great turnout for the walk shows the strength of opposition to Council plans and strengthens our resolve to draw a line that shall not be passed – here and no further!

We continue to highlight the plight of our countryside from the effects of austerity with plans from the local authority to consider private management or ownership of up to 6000 acres of Staffordshire countryside and this is attack on our heritage. The next stage of the process is the County Scrutiny Committee Meeting on Friday 4th September which is a meeting in public and would encourage everyone to attend and build upon the campaign

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-staffordshire-countryside-aonb

http://www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk/site/custom_scripts/HeritageTrail/menu.html

Some more pictures from our trek

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