From Exmoor to Northumberland, the country’s poorest people are being denied access to England’s most beautiful countryside and missing out on the mental and physical health benefits that can result, research has found.
Denied how? Are we building Trumpian walls, with checkpoints at each National Park entrance?
Almost half of the country’s most socially deprived areas are more than 15 miles by road from 10 national parks and 46 areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), according to a submission to a government review into how national assets are being managed.
Well, yes. It’s being that distance away from the urban slums that makes them ‘areas of outstanding beauty’, isn’t it?
The study was commissioned by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and has prompted calls for better bus and train links from towns and cities.
More than nine in 10 journeys to national parks are made by car and Natural England has estimated that people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds account for about 1% of visitors to national parks despite making up about 14% of the general population.
Who cares? Seriously, who on earth is counting? And why?