Guest Post: Are we losing touch with the countryside?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

As you know on this blog we’re huge advocates of all things outdoors and preferably playing in the countryside. Who doesn’t love the idea of playing down at the river? And with the National Trust bringing out 50 things to do before you 11 ¾ last year there has been a surge in countryside fun however it appears many of us still aren’t enjoying the joys of the English countryside:

YHA: Are we losing touch with the countryside? 

One in four of us have never been to a river and one in 10 couldn't identify a badger, according to

Many of us look back fondly on youthful days spent climbing trees, exploring woodlands and looking
for bugs in the great outdoors, however it seems many of us are losing touch with the countryside.
With school holidays just around the corner, YHA is now urging families to get out and explore the UK

The *survey also found that nearly four in 10 UK adults have never climbed a tree, while nearly
a quarter of respondents claim to have never even been to a lake and 16% have never been to a

As for flora and fauna, many of us have little idea what's out there. Eleven per cent of those polled
believe they might bump into a wolf or a skunk on their ramble through the British countryside, while
one in 10 wouldn't recognise a badger if they saw one. Additionally, 60% of UK adults are unaware
our coastal waters are inhabited by sharks, whales and dolphins.

In total, 38% of respondents have either never been to the countryside or go only once a year or less
- something that YHA wants to change.

YHA (England and Wales) Chief Executive Caroline White said: "This survey shows that a large part
of the population are losing touch with the countryside - and missing out on so much. England and
Wales has an abundance of things to explore and discover – better still; most of it is free or low cost,
which, in the current economic climate, can only be good news.

“Giving people the chance to experience the great outdoors means more of us can find out all about
what is out there and is also good for our health and happiness."

For more information about YHA, or to make a booking at any of its hostels, visit

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