Righting the rural wrongs.

The rhythm of producing a magazine each week makes the year fly by. COUNTRY LIFE enjoyed a triumphant 2014, winning two major industry awards—including Magazine of the Year—as well as recording its fifth consecutive annual sales increase, which, when confirmed, will make the magazine the only one in Britain to have achieved this feat. My greatest thanks go to you for continuing your support for COUNTRY LIFE, but also to the staff who produce the magazine on the tightest of schedules to an extraordinarily high quality. They are amazing.

Next year’s General Election looms before us. The political parties haven’t served the countryside well: rural broadband is a disgrace, the country has been turned into the Wild West in terms of planning, wind farms have blotted the landscape and our food security is in crisis. As The Prince of Wales wrote in November, we, as a nation, don’t value the beauty of the countryside. People would be horrified if thugs disfigured a church or a piece of art—I feel the same way about rural Britain. This General Election offers an opportunity for the politicians to right the countryside’s wrongs and for us to insist upon it.