Early successes – the Green Belt, 1938

The Green Belt near Kings Langley Elizabeth Hamilton

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, thriving industrialisation and booming urban growth were threatening the countryside with unfettered development.

In 1928 the Hertfordshire branch of the Council for the Preservation of Rural England (CPRE) was formed, two years after its national counterpart.  Its purpose was to prevent further loss of the countryside to urban sprawl and ribbon development.  In 1938 following a decade of warnings from key CPRE figures, local activists and allies in Parliament, the Metropolitan Green Belt Act was passed.  This paved the way for the eventual protection of the beautiful countryside surrounding London, including about two thirds of Hertfordshire.