Countryside Agency

From Academic Kids

The Countryside Agency in England is a statutory body with the task of improving the quality of the rural environment and the lives of those living in it.

The Agency was set up in 1999 to 'conserve and enhance England's countryside, spread social and economic opportunity for the people who live there, and, help everyone, wherever they live and whatever their background to enjoy the countryside and share in this priceless asset more'.

Funding comes from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the annual budget is some 100 million. The Agency is based in Cheltenham and London with smaller offices in the regions and total staff numbers of around 600.

The Agency was formed from parts of several predecessor authorities including most notably the Countryside Commission, and many of its powers are inherited from that body.

Following a review by Lord Haskins parts of the Countryside Agency are shortly to be integrated with English Nature and parts of the Rural Development Service to form Natural England.

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