|02-10-2007, 09:41 PM||#1|
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Women "facing extinction" in rural England??
Women 'are facing extinction' in rural England, leaving thousands of bachelors in crisis
By REBECCA CAMBER - More by this author » Last updated at 20:08pm on 2nd October 2007 Comments
Where have all the country women gone? Why, to the city of course
The countryside is in crisis.
But for once it isn't the threat of disease to livestock, the purchasing power of the supermarkets or house building plans that is ruining rural England.
It is the extinction of that species so integral to a thriving village life - the eligible young woman.
Thousands of Britain's unmarried men whose careers are rooted to the land are facing a dearth of prospective partners, according to new research.
Where once whole generations of mothers and grandmothers built their lives around the fields, today scores of young woman from isolated farming communities are leaving the idyllic country life behind for the lure of the city, wooed by the prospect of better career prospects and social life.
Now research drawn from more than 150,000 lonely bachelors has identified the worst ten rural blackspots where the gender imbalance is particularly acute.
An initiative called the Villages in Crisis campaign to fight the phenomenon known a "extinction of the female species" compiled the list of towns and villages using e-mails from forlorn countryfolk, local research and census data where available.
Among the worst were Bere Alston, a small parish in west Devon, isolated Wolsingham in County Durham's Weardale and the idyllic New Forest in Hampshire.
Shenstone in Lichfield, Long Preston in the Yorkshire Dales and Thulston, a small village south east of Derby are also on the list of the most women-deprived areas in Britain.
Surprisingly the fashionable market towns of Hexham in Northumberland and the Cinque Port of Hythe in Kent also make the top 10.
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A dying breed: the farmer needs a wife but members of the fairer sex are few and far between in rural England
The campaign was launched by a 24-year-old former coal worker, Vince Peart who was galvanised into action after working out two years ago that the men in his hometown, Alston in Cumbria were bereft of female company.
Spurred on by a pub survey which revealed that the man to woman ratio was 17-1, Mr Peart mounted the Alston Moor Regeneration Society to encourage more women to come to the Pennine market town.
The initiative was so successful that Mr Peart, now a bar supervisor, was flooded with requests for dates from 6,000 women, bus-loads of single women flocked to the quiet rural backwater and his efforts forced the local council to rethink its plans to scrap a local hospital.
But when Mr Peart was overwhelmed by lonely hearts pleas from other parts of the country, he began to research other rural spots where communities were blighted by the same problem.
He said: "The countryside is in crisis. This is a serious issue for the sustainability of countryside communities.
"I have been campaigning now for two years for Alston, but it wasn't until I got thousands of letters and e-mails from other men that I realised that this is a national demographic problem.
"There is a lack of jobs for young women in many of these areas, many of the jobs are for manual labour like stone walling and farm work and there is a lack of affordable housing.
"I think many young girls also want to go to university and many feel that they are not getting on or doing well if they stay where they were brought up.
"Fifty years ago it was the done thing for the majority of women to stay at home and be mothers and housewives, but now the countryside has been left with this gender imbalance because many are choosing urban over a rural life."
Villages in crisis now plans to organise music and comedy gigs in the worst ten towns to highlight the issue and attract more single, young women.
Mr Peart added: "It's not like I'm the Pied Piper and I can play a tune and attract women, but I hope through going on a fact-finding mission and meeting councillors something can be done to attract more women to these areas."
|02-10-2007, 10:19 PM||#2|
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My shadow's the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
'Til then I walk alone
|02-10-2007, 10:50 PM||#3|
Jonny's personal fluffer
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*note to self, I could be popular in rural England
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