A HAMPSHIRE rural preservation group is holding a recruitment drive to break through the 500-member mark.

The Upper Itchen Valley Society seeks to preserve the environment of the valley north of Winchester and was set up when the M3 was planned from Basingstoke in the 1970s.

More recently it has campaigned against the Shroner Wood M3 service station in the late 1990s and the growth of music events at the Matterley Bowl.

Chairman Alison Matthews said membership currently stands at 443. Membership is open to local residents for a one-off £20 payment for life membership. For more information contactralphmatts@aol.com