It’s always amusing to see people tripping over a massive failure in logic so well done to the Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England for so enlivening the nation. They’re complaining that poor people don’t have the access they think they should to the national parks. Actually, not quite, for there’re quite a few poor people who actually live in National Parks – hill farmers for example. The more detailed and specific complaint is that the country’s socially deprived areas seem to be a long way – 15 miles! – from the National Parks.
Well, yes, it seems fairly obvious why this is so:
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. 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. The worst for accessibility is an area between Leicester, Grantham, Kettering and Corby. Other places out of range include Liverpool, Nottingham, Birkenhead and South Shields. Wealthier areas such as Exeter, Bath, Oxford and Brighton are far better connected. The study was commissioned by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE)
It should be fairly easy to work out what is happening here. In fact it is fairly easy to work out what is happening here. Those National Parks are the more glorious areas of the British countryside. Those areas of social deprivation are the urban slums. And it’s just one of those things that the countryside tends not to be urban, nor urban out in the country. You know, they being the direct opposites of each other.
So, the actual CPRE complaint boils down to the pretty bits of the country aren’t in the middle of towns and isn’t this appalling?
CPRE is a charity so perhaps we’d like to rethink our habit of sending money off to people quite this dim?