The Countryside Agency was formed in 1999 following the merger of the Rural Development Commission and the Countryside Commission. The new agency brought together for the first time experts dealing with all aspects of the countryside - economic, environmental, community and recreation - into a single national body. Its objective was to conserve and enhance England's countryside, spread social and economic opportunities for the people who live there and to help everyone, wherever they live and whatever their background, to enjoy and share the countryside.
Following the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 part of the Countryside Agency merged with English Nature and parts of the Rural Development Service to form Natural England. The remaining part of the Countryside Agency became the Commission for Rural Communities.
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