Author Topic: Crowded Britain(I mean England)  (Read 2756 times)

tyreon

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Crowded Britain(I mean England)
« on: 09:39:23, 02/07/19 »

Did anyone hear Claire Baldings Walks the other week? R4. She was doing part of the SWCP Dorset with a Dutch couple. Did I get it right that the Dutch people mostly walk on National Walking Days when they walk from town-to-town wherein the whole country comes out playing band music? It sounded as if there was little space between villages and towns and the whole place was full-up. It sounded frightful.


I linked the Dutch couple to two I met on a train going through Devon some years back. They saw the empty fields and greenaways of the county and said there was lottsaspace to build more housing and industry here! The fields were a waste of space.


I linked that to the DM piece about Suffolk being in-filled by covert housing and estates that have despoiled the county: old(e)codger reminisces about disappearing countryside,being replaced with Lark Drive,Pippet Drive,Kingfisher Close.


I linked that to my county of birth,Kent. Now much trampled over: roads,railways,new towns.


Can we talk about it becoming too crowded around here without me feeling frightened?




ninthace

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Re: Crowded Britain(I mean England)
« Reply #1 on: 10:46:09, 02/07/19 »
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18623096  may reassure you
We are not as bad as the Dutch in that we do not have to start extensions to our country yet as they do  :) .  There are some wonderful areas of heathland and forest in the Netherlands.  They have a lot of other open spaces too but they are still covered in water!  Incidentally, I have climbed to the highest point in Holland, sadly it was not even at the top of the hill as I recall because the top is in another country.
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Islandplodder

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Re: Crowded Britain(I mean England)
« Reply #2 on: 10:55:30, 02/07/19 »
I live in Scotland and I must admit I find the South of England a bit scary.  I love the weather, but I find the driving difficult, so many roads and so many people on them!  North of Leeds I am happy enough though.

fernman

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Re: Crowded Britain(I mean England)
« Reply #3 on: 11:09:49, 02/07/19 »
It's mainly the south east of England, Tyreon.

East Berkshire, south Bucks, south Herts, south Essex, north Kent, the Sussex coast and south-east Hampshire have all become swamped by commuter suburbs, trading estates, retail parks, miles of electricity pylons, etc. It really brings it home to me when I drive from somewhere like Hatfield to St Albans and see nothing but development on both sides of the road for most of the way.

But your fear is a sign that you need to get out travelling some more! Away from the above-mentioned areas there are miles and miles of nothing but farmland and woods in between the towns. It is something that still amazes me on my bi-annual journeys to north Wales via Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Shropshire. To me (living in what was once Middlesex that is now nothing but London borough suburbs) it is like England as it used to be.
« Last Edit: 11:14:26, 02/07/19 by fernman »

barewirewalker

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Re: Crowded Britain(I mean England)
« Reply #4 on: 11:39:03, 02/07/19 »
There still a lot of open countryside out there, it just that there still large areas that we are not allowed into. The national average of right of way, I think, comes out 2 miles per square mile, this is probably a very rough guestimate, but it serves to illustrate the true picture. For every mile square we have a right to walk two sides.
What about the diagonals, that is just under 5 miles. I think that figure was based on the rights of way for England and Wales. As Wales had a large percentage of absentee landlords at the time of the creation of the definitive map, there is a higher concentration of rights of ways in parts of Wales.

At the time of the creation of the Definitive Map, post 1949 through the 1950-60's, agriculture was going through a sea change from emergency war food production. The Definitive map was formed at a time that the leisure industry was not considered important and a crucial element of the nation's health. Old time landowners still occupied prominent positions in local government, and large areas of the access network was not filled in as it should have been in the spirit of the postwar act.

Around the time of the 1980's, the landowners started to realise that they were losing their veto, through the house of Lords, against any threats of their control of the countryside. The County Landowners' Association started to recruit membership secretaries from farming families to boost the membership from a few aristocrats with large land holdings to anyone owning some land.

The National farmers' Union had been the political voice of the professional countryman and had been appointed by the war cabinet as the voice of the countryside, during a time of national emergency. After this period agricultural land prices escalated from under £50 to over £10,000 per acre as there was a dramatic drop in the working farm population.

Inheritance Tax has also forced large landowners to identify their business as working farm enterprises rather than tenants being the representatives of food production.

Access to the countryside is important to the nation's well being, the Definitive Map was intended to give those generations who made tremendous sacrifices through two world wars the freedom of their countryside and bequeath it to future generations. Instead it is now used to define those areas of private land, held by a minority.

Scotland has a freedom to roam, the land was stripped of footpaths by the clearances and the absentee landowners of the 19th and 20th century ensured that a rights of way network would not have had the support of the ordnance survey record.
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Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Crowded Britain(I mean England)
« Reply #5 on: 19:34:28, 02/07/19 »
Incidentally, I have climbed to the highest point in Holland, sadly it was not even at the top of the hill as I recall because the top is in another country.
How far below sea level is that?

tyreon

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Re: Crowded Britain(I mean England)
« Reply #6 on: 08:57:29, 03/07/19 »

All the above valid points.


Barewirewalker's comments I see as very well put +++ In argument against it! I can only say opening up more countryside to myself and others might camouflage the fact that our remaining countryside and land is being piecemeal sliced,diced and eaten by continued growth. I don't know if that's a proper argument or not :-\ Joshing here. I guess I'm saying in my own experience and travels(extensive but also limited),I'm seeing lottsa incremental but growing roads,settlements,expansion. In the area(s) I know I find it a bit disheartening. I realize things can't stand still,but I'm linking global growth with population and expansion and thinking...where's it all going? Anyone at senior management level getting concerned at this?


A by-the-by. Having posted this I left to do shopping to call in to read the DT at the local supermarket. Whilst waiting for the wife I read Lt Colonel Whatshisname had written in to letters to complain Rutland was being built over by having 220,000 houses built there by covert means. He seemed to be complaining!


And can I mention HS2.


Some part of England are being cut up. It hurts. I know its called progress,but….I dunno whether I like it!! :(

Mel

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Re: Crowded Britain(I mean England)
« Reply #7 on: 09:28:29, 03/07/19 »
And can I mention HS2.


No, you can't. 


It's got nowt to do with walking.  It should be in The Hikers Bar if you must mention it (as should this topic)  O0



barewirewalker

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Re: Crowded Britain(I mean England)
« Reply #8 on: 11:56:17, 03/07/19 »
My own observations on Media commentary in countryside access is that it usually ill informed and lacking in factual basis. There is a "Top Secret" :P document kept well out of the public gaze, and that is the Country Landowners' Association 2012 Policy on access. When preparing it the head honcho wrote, in his usual arrogant style about 'what walkers want'.

This is, 'well sign posted circular walks of a certain distance from a car park.'  ??? sad they don't do an emoji for blowing a raspberry. In that learned document there is no mention the part their ancestors played in corrupting the definitive map. I was led to this subject by a particularly knowledgeable rights of way officer, sadly a trip down the lane of logic, which the Ramblers organization choose not to exploit.

I add this seasoning to this particular pot, as my town of Shrewsbury will be finally be enclosed in a concrete and tarmac straitjacket in a couple of years  as they finish the last of the towns byepasses. As the areas with car parks and walks of a 'certain distance' suitable for obese, couch potato to struggle around under the guidance of the family dog get put under more pressure, the chance that a citizen of the town can lock front door, run through the continuous traffic stream using the town's newly acquired inorganic chastity belt, the chance of safely reaching the countryside beyond will be rare.

All the traditional market day routes walked by our ancestors, who did not want to jostle along the roads into town, competing with herds of cattle, sheep and pigs, will have been lost. Lostways eradicated by an estate agent, servant of Lord Berwick, and lesser titled landowners, who had estates surrounding the town.

As we try to reduce the noxious fumes in our built up areas, does the common sense of hopping on public transport to escape our urban environment become easier and safer to enact. The field margins that might lead on easily to 'rightful way' are 'Private Land'. Despite our millions in tax that go to conservation of wildlife ( or is it the landowners pheasants that are lurking in this hallowed ground).


Was the way Julia Bradbury positively grovelled as she walked along the outer side of an private estate wall on one of her TV-ized walks, the lesson that enforces sycophantic cringing to be shown by all commentators on countryside matters to hereditary freehold. Or is it because they hope they might get a below stairs part in the next remake of Downton Abbey?






BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

fernman

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Re: Crowded Britain(I mean England)
« Reply #9 on: 12:29:43, 03/07/19 »
No, you can't. 

It's got nowt to do with walking.  It should be in The Hikers Bar if you must mention it (as should this topic)  O0

Well, the topic is very loosely connected with walking in my opinion, Mel.
When I drive 10-20 miles into Buckinghamshire or Hertfordshire to walk a circuit in the Chilterns, as I do regularly, I often find the walk disappointing because there are always houses in the view.
Anything more local to me, i.e. within 10 miles, can be far from ideal, with too many people, too much traffic and too built-up.
I yearn to "get away from it all", to walk in places with more open land with few signs of habitation but for this I have to drive 30-40 miles to the Oxfordshire part of the Chilterns, which I don't always have the time for - or the petrol!

tyreon

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Re: Crowded Britain(I mean England)
« Reply #10 on: 14:30:00, 03/07/19 »

I never knew there was a Hikers Bar. Sloppy,I know.


No offence,I would have pasted the comment there. I relate living to walking,and relate almost all things to walking. I walk in my house,walk to my garden,walk to town. I haven't divi-d up walking but can understand why it comes about. I am not a proper poster,I haven't the time. My comments were 'chat',maybe unfocused. I see most things related. 

ninthace

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Re: Crowded Britain(I mean England)
« Reply #11 on: 14:33:36, 03/07/19 »
In my penultimate posting before retirement I used to fly regularly between Birmingham and Glasgow.  I was surprised how much empty/wild country there still was up the spine of England from Manchester northwards.  I ended up living in it for a while after I retired.  It was fabulous wild walking country and you rarely saw a soul outside the Lake District honeypot.
However there is a downside to living in such an area day to day as opposed to being a visitor.  When I first moved in and got some sort of internet I connection I looked up where my nearest Tesco was - the choices were Catterick or Carlisle.  Our standard supermarket run was a 32 mile round trip and if you needed a good shopping area the choice was Carlisle, Kendal or at a pinch, Penrith.  The nearest "proper"hospital was a 92 mile round trip.  Mobile phone reception was non existent in many areas for extended distances and there were areas where even the car radio faded out completely.
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fernman

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Re: Crowded Britain(I mean England)
« Reply #12 on: 17:31:52, 03/07/19 »
I can second that, Ninthace, I used to fly London to Edinburgh for meetings once or twice a year, when I looked down from the plane window onto nothing but mile after mile of empty moorland and peat, with light snow sprinkled on the higher parts in winter. The complete opposite of what I am used to. But after dark the street lights of the North-West and the West Midlands connurbations sprawled in all directions.
As for your rural downsides, I have two of the major supermarkets within 5-6 minutes' walk of my home and the other five major ones (and one duplicate) within two miles, but I pay the price with crowds, traffic conjestion and pollution. One can't have it both ways.

ninthace

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Re: Crowded Britain(I mean England)
« Reply #13 on: 20:35:55, 03/07/19 »
One can't have it both ways.
Indeed not, my post was more a cautionary "be careful what you wish for".
I forgot to mention there was only one bus a week to the shops.  It came on a Thursday so there was no need to have a watch to go out to catch the bus, a calendar sufficed.  It went to Morrison's in Barnard Castle in the morning and left their car park mid afternoon.  We all knew each other and I hardly ever saw anyone buy a ticket on it as we all had bus passes.  In the winter it went straight there but in the summer it went the pretty way over the fell road to Middleton.  The bus was usually an elderly vehicle run by Cumbria Classic Coaches and on many occasions I thought we would have to get out and push or at least walk alongside it.
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Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: Crowded Britain(I mean England)
« Reply #14 on: 16:16:42, 17/07/19 »
Without getting into a heated argument for us leaving the EU, the population of the Uk is fast approaching 67-68million residents.
We still remain an island, and i cannot see that changing any day soon.
With the best paid jobs, and work opportunities centralised near or in and around London, it stands to reason that those people looking for well paid work, will choose Southern England.

Birmingham, Manchester, maybe Leeds as well, have significant populations, but their infrastructure allows easy and fairly quick access to the capital, HS2 springs to mind, just so these areas of England can reach the capital that bit quicker.


Forget the despoiling of the countryside, destruction of entire villages around HS2s intended route, London is calling, and the highest paid work is in and around the capital.

Take away that easy access to the city of London, and the population density simply falls off a cliff.

Just about all of us need a decent income to survive on a monthly basis, and the large populations centralise where the work is fairly plentyfull and well paid, or not so well paid in some cases.


Huge populations of Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds etc grew up on the Industrial Revolution of the 19C, and nothing has really changed in the last two hundred years, the jobs are still there, some well paid, others less so, but its London where the highest sallaries are to be found.

The last thing on any would be migrants wish list, is to move to sleepy Wales or the Lakes or Cornwall, why would they, when the work simply is not there, and never has been.

Travel anywhere else in the country, such as Wales, NW England, Devon, Cornwall and beyond the commuting belt of the greater cities, and the population is very small, and it will always remain so.

With a very small population, the requirement for housebuilding is less acute, and due to the beauty of open countryside, demand for housing far out strips supply.

Take away the need to work, and we can choose where we live, and most of us aspire to live in the country, but still within easy access of good shopping facilities.

Britain remains and island, with Londons stranglehold on our economy, and best paid job opportunities.

With an ever increasing population, its an unfortunate fact that SE England suffers the most, due to the ever increasing population density.

The only noise i can hear, is the occasional car in the far off distance, and because work is virtually non existent in Dyffryn and this part of NW Wales, the population is tiny.

In the last election in the Dyffryn, Harlech, Barmouth ward, the entire electorate totalled less than 2400voters, that's less than your average commuter train in London.

Is there a downside in living in the remote countryside ?  well, the nearest hospital is over an hour away in Bangor, and for real emergencies you have to travel to Wrexham and beyond.

That's no fun when your hospital appointment is at 9am, and you live where i do.
« Last Edit: 16:30:31, 17/07/19 by Dyffryn Ardudwy »