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The British countryside is painted either as a rustic idyll or an uninteresting surrogate for the enjoyment of city life, depending on your taste. For me it was constantly the latter. I was born and raised in Somerset, and from about as early as I can remember I desired to get away.

The Conclusive Guide for Village Life Laid Bare in Witton Gilbert, Waldridge, Langley Park, Framwellgate Moor, North End, Ushaw Moor, Durham, Esh, Nevilles Cross, Great Lumley

This was typically passed on to me in terms of having kids: “you won’t wish to bring kids up in the city”. And overall, financial results do tend to be better for those residing in rural locations than for those residing in cities. 15% of households in rural locations live in relative poverty, for instance, compared to 22% in urban locations.

Yet one of the lessons from the Brexit referendum was the degree to which statistics can belie reality. The pre-referendum period now feels like ancient history, however Britain in the first half of 2016 was stated to be on the ‘roadway to recovery’ after a long economic crisis. News broadcasts were filled with good cheer about the ‘record number of individuals’ in work, and so on.

Certainly, a striking spectacle in the after-effects of the referendum was the wave of liberal reporters voyaging to the north of England in a manner similar to 1930s depression-era composing finding, in truth, that a lot of their fellow countrymen were leading unhappy and unfulfilling lives. If anybody had troubled to look, they would have seen this had held true all along.</p

Engish Village

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This mindset is years out of date, if it was ever precise in the first place. A 2017 joint report by the Local Government Association and Public Health England keeps in mind that “within even the most affluent [rural] locations, there can be real difficulty, deprivation, illness and inequalities”, in particular due to seasonal work and bad access to services.

In Scotland nearly a quarter of post offices have actually closed since 2002. Rural neighborhoods struggle with poorer access to even allegedly universal services: while 98% of the urban population live within four kilometres of a GP surgery, the figure is 80 percent for those residing in rural locations. Furthermore, just 55% of rural households live within 8 kilometres of a healthcare facility, compared to 97% of urban households.

Yet in rural locations broadband is often patchy throughout the time it’s required to write this post my Somerset broadband has dropped off two times, for ten minutes at a time. According to Ofcom, rural broadband speeds been available in at around 13.7 Mbps, which is more than three times slower than urban locations.

Portrait of an English Village

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Web access is just one consider figuring out the opportunities available to individuals. Opportunity also associates with a university education. In the town I grew up in, unless a position in the family organisation waited for as soon as you finished school, to get a well-paying job you needed to leave. When youths pick to spend their most efficient years elsewhere it speeds up the decrease of rural economies.

People aged 45 years and above now make up majority of those residing in rural locations in urban locations it is more detailed to 40%. Many of these older citizens depend on public transport, which has suffered serious cuts in rural locations in the last few years due to the unprofitability of far-off services.

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Last year Somerset County Council revealed it would be scrapping Saturday Park and Ride services in Taunton, and Webberbus, one of Somerset’s most significant bus operators, collapsed completely in 2016, leading to the disappearance of 24 services across the county. Solutions like these are a lifeline for the elderly, who rely on local buses to check out shops and access services without them they’re separated.

For one thing, particular type of drugs especially cannabis were far more prevalent in the corner of Somerset I grew up in than when I moved to Nottingham in my early twenties, a city that was allegedly the ‘weapon criminal offense capital’ of the UK. Furthermore, in the last few years there have actually been reports of drug gangs increasingly targeting rural neighborhoods to boost profits.

Possibly due to the fact that there is less to do in the countryside, especially in winter, using leisure drugs has a more apparent appeal. The West Nation smokes more cannabis than anywhere else in the UK. Marijuana growers also appear to prefer rural to urban locations, with 55,166 plant seizures in the north west in 2017 compared to 19,397 in London.

The air is less polluted than in the city. Criminal offense rates are lower. And while the sense of local neighborhood fetishised by outsiders might be overemphasized, in lots of locations, for better or even worse (you know everybody, however everybody knows you), it does exist. Yet this idyllic view of cleaner, much safer countryside neighborhoods overlooks a darker side.

Educational achievement amongst disadvantaged kids is far even worse in rural and seaside locations London boroughs control the Social Movement Commission’s list of schools in which poorer students achieve the best results. And for those without a university education, London life at least uses the remote possibility of an internship to get a foot in the door at a business.

English landscape image

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In typical with the nation’s ‘left behind’ towns, up to now valuable little interest has been shown in checking out the deprivations of the British countryside. Switch on a television and rural life is depicted as an acceptable and serene Eden green fields and stunning nation lanes enclosed by hedges and songbirds where one can hunt in the early morning, fish in the afternoon, and travel to a neighboring retail park on the weekend, to paraphrase Marx.

Rural neighborhoods have their own share of social problems; the concept of the ‘troubled’ central city versus ‘our green and pleasant land’ is hopelessly antiquated. I should know like lots of youths I made the reverse journey to the one typically depicted in popular culture: I got away to London to escape.