Peter Williams


Friends of the Earth

Marden Valley, Wiltshire

Peter is involved in many initiatives in Wiltshire, working with North Wiltshire Friends of the Earth, to protect nature and encourage local people to experience the wonderful nature on their doorstep.
Peter’s connection to nature goes back to his childhood growing up in a generation of farmers, and memorable holidays in the wilds of Devon.

In 2016 North Wiltshire FoE launched the Marden Valley project in response to the growing pressure of development. The Marden Valley is an area of great natural beauty, but most of this rural buffer between the two towns of Chippenham and Calne has no protection.

North Wiltshire FoE have raised awareness of the threat, engaging local people by running guided walks, producing leaflets and a YouTube video and using social media. Peter wants Wiltshire Council to help protect landscapes by steering development away from the Valley.

‘Cycling through the Marden Valley away from roads is a great stress-buster and I feel more relaxed when being close to nature.’

Peter has also instigated the innovative Chippenham Tree mapping project in response to the number of trees in the area that have recently been killed off or felled due to development. The project is creating an online map of all the significant trees in the area to determine whether species are being lost, and to secure better protection for trees in the area.

“I have more appreciation of nature through learning about trees and other wildlife species from carrying out tree mapping.  I also appreciate nature more than ever because of the threat – you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”

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