The conference follows the announcement by the Department for the Environment, FOod and Rural Affairs (Defra), on 27 February, of a consultation on the priorities for the next Rural Development Programme for England. Speaking at the conference will be representatives from Defra, the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Natural England and the Forestry Commission, who will put forward their views on rural priorities for the future.
The speakers will outline proposals for the priorities to be addressed under the next programme, which is partly funded by the European Union, and will look at how it will be delivered in the South East.
Lucy Westcott, Head of Rural Affairs at the Government Office for the South East, said:
"It's vital that we meet the challenges faced by rural communities and the wider environmental considerations of the future. This consultation provides an opportunity for those organisations with a stake in our countryside and its activities to take part in the debate on the next Rural Development Programme for England. This will make a real difference in rural areas by safeguarding and enhancing our environment and fostering thriving communities in the South East."
The Government Office for the South East is hosting the conference from 10.30am until 4pm on 13th March at Sandown Park in Esher.