Members of an environmental group are campaigning to see the Great Ouse Valley become a designated National Landscape.

National Landscapes are what was previously known as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Government aim is for 30 per cent of land area to be protected by nature by 2030.

The Great Ouse Valley Trust (COVT) says it has already held a successful meeting with Combined Authority mayor Dr Nik Johnson and has tabled a question for the CPCA’s next meeting on March 20 to ask for support. A petition has also been launched on the Change.Org website.

Graham Campbell, chair of the Great Ouse Valley Trust said: ‘The Great Ouse Valley is one of the most beautiful areas in the East of England.

“It has unique landscapes, tranquil water meadows and a rich history of water mills since the Romans. It has twice as much water as the Norfolk Broads and extends into the vast wetland of the Ouse Washes, designed in the 17th Century to drain the fens, and now internationally renowned for attracting overwintering birds in huge numbers every year.

“However, Cambridgeshire has the least area of land managed for nature in the UK and the least tree cover. This is why the Great Ouse Valley and Washes area is so important for nature biodiversity and for recreation, physical and mental health within the vast areas of prairie farming that surround it.

“It is also a narrow strip of precious countryside within an area of rapidly expanding towns and villages."

GOVT says designation as a ‘National Landscape’ would result in many benefits. It would put the area “on the map”, bring in more visitors to the local towns and villages and  and attract new funding to help local businesses to thrive.

“Most of all, it will ensure that our area continues to be such a great place to live. With the Mayor’s support, the Great Ouse and Washes National Landscape will help engender a sense of pride and well-being to our area," added Mr Campbell.