The Appeal of Country Life
Spectacular views, wildlife or peace and quiet? Archie Hume of A Hume Outfitters uses data to analyse what we really love about the countryside
A t this time of year, when I’m after a bit of thinking time I’ll wander out to the garden. Our small slice of Kelso lopes lazily down to the Tweed, where it flows slow and wide. In the evening, the air above the river is alive with insects, drawing in swallows, swifts and house martins who swoop and dive as they feast. This nightly aerobatic performance is the longest running show in town.
The spectacle never fails to lift my spirits. I feel better simply for being there in view of the Tweed even if I’m not always a conscious spectator. Even if my thoughts are a million miles away, living in close proximity to the sights and sounds of nature works its peaceful magic.
Moments like this help explain what I love about life beyond the bright city lights. And it seems I’m not alone. Recently, at A Hume, we conducted a survey to find out what’s driving an increasing number of Brits out of cities and into rural areas.
We asked 10,000 people what they love most about country life. Our results reveal that respondents prize, above all else, exactly this combination of idyllic scenery, wildlife and tranquillity. Our survey found: • 52% of overall respondents said peace and quiet was top of their agenda. • 45% of all participants said they love a countryside view. • A third said the chance to get up close with the wildlife is what draws them to the countryside. • For many, it’s the appeal of the country pub, with one in four people saying this is what they love most about spending time in the sticks. • 20% said a lack of traffic is their favourite thing about escaping urban areas.
Personally, the results resonate with all I love about country life. It was heartening that an appreciation for nature and the countryside transcended both age and gender. Both 45% of men, aged 25-34 and 55% of women, aged 45-54 said the chance to get close to nature draws them to the countryside.
The survey also offers interesting insights for anyone with an interest in sustaining a vibrant social, cultural and economic future for rural areas. There’s every reason for country publicans to feel optimistic about respondents’ attachment to country pubs. And good news for local food producers too, with 17% of all respondents saying the availability of good local grub was a top priority. Overall,theresultsindicatetheenduringappealoflifeinthecountry whichcanonlybegoodforallofus.