An independent body established in 1968 to promote the conservation and improvement of the countryside in England (and formerly in Wales) and to encourage the provision of facilities for public recreation and enjoyment.
In 1991 the Countryside Commission's responsibilities in Wales were taken over by the newly established Countryside Council for Wales. A separate body, the Countryside Commission for Scotland, was set up in 1967 and subsumed by Scottish National Heritage in 1992. In 1999 the Countryside Commission merged with the Rural Development Commission to form the Countryside Agency.
1960s; earliest use found in The Times. From countryside + commission.