LIFE IS UNDER
A NEW Country Lifestyle area opened at the Royal Show this year. The area, developed by the RASE in partnership with the NFU encompassed aspects of the country home, garden and outdoor life.
There you could catch up on issues of the day at the information centre or watch some traditional craft demonstrations.
But there is more to rural life than crafts. While there are many vibrant, thriving rural communities, others suffer from lack of the everyday services that town dwellers take for granted. This is highlighted in a report, The Changing Village, produced by the National Federation of Womens Institutes following a nation-wide survey.
It shows that in some areas 30% of villages are without a shop, 60% without a doctors surgery and 70% are without a regular police presence. It identified the closure of 178 pubs and 145 banks or building societies, and the need, long known but still not properly addressed, for better public transport and youth facilities. Bethan Williams, chairman of the NFWIs Environment & Affairs Rural Committee said that the continuing loss of local services threatens community village life and spirit. "As the government prepares the new Rural White Paper we hope that they will take into account the findings of the report," she said. "Village services are the backbone of our communities and need positive support from us all.
The future of British game species and their place in the rural scheme of things is explored by the Game Conservancy Trust, in A Question of Balance launched at the show. This conservation plan based on scientific observation, is published as a very informative and reader-friendly book. Edited by Dr Stephen Tapper it is well illustrated with colour photographs and clear graphs and well worth its £25 cover price. (Tel 01425-651003 to purchase).
Whether it is the future of wildlife or village life, nothing can be taken for granted today and it is good to know that such diverse organisations are on the case.