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July 09, 2007

An English National Park

Oh, excellent, don't you think?

All of England should be made into a national park, the author Bill Bryson believes.

Mr Bryson, President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), highlighted the 'miracle' of the British countryside in his inaugural speech yesterday and warned that efforts to safeguard it needed to be redoubled.

He told CPRE volunteers at the organisation's annual general meeting in London that he had often wondered why "the whole of England" was not made into a national park.

Let's preserve the whole place in aspic, eh? A theme park for Americans to come over and administrate why don't we?

Quite apart from anything else, how are we going to bring house prices down if we can't ever build anything anywhere?

July 9, 2007 in The English | Permalink


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Don't need Americans for that. It is precisely what the CPRE has been campaigning for ever since it started (under some other name).

Posted by: Helen | Jul 9, 2007 9:25:22 AM

Hey, at least Bill Bryson gives a shit. This suggestion, presumably in passing, may be going too far but you've got to be joking if you think Bryson's more of a problem than the reprobates who litter our verges with shattered TVs and decaying sofas. You can wax critical of an American coming over here to tell us how to get on with things but the really depressing thing is that we needed to go across the Atlantic to find someone of note who gave a damn about the way our nation looked.

Posted by: Philip Thomas | Jul 9, 2007 11:13:22 AM

"how are we going to bring house prices down"

by waiting for property market to crash, starting round about now, and then introducing LVT at the bottom of the market to make sure they stay down.

Sure, building a few more won't do any harm either.

Posted by: Mark Wadsworth | Jul 9, 2007 12:07:37 PM

There'll always be an England,
While there's a country lane,
Wherever there's a cottage small
Beside a field of grain.

Stanley Baldwin (1924): " . . the sight of a plough team coming over the brow of a hill, the sight that has been seen in England since England was a land, may may be seen in England long after the Empire has perished and every works in England has ceased to function, for centuries the one eternal sight of England . . "

In fact, already by the Census of 1851, half the population of Britain lived in towns and cities. Britain is a relatively densely populated country: it is more than twice as densely populated as France (106 people per sq.km), nine times as densely populated as the USA (27 people per sq.km) and 100 times as densely populated as Australia (2 people per sq.km.

England is not only the most densely populated part of Britain, it is one of the most densley populated countries in the world:

"England alone is home to more than 50 million people, making it the fourth-most densely populated country in the world with a staggering 998 inhabitants per square mile."

Posted by: Bob B | Jul 9, 2007 12:32:19 PM

I'll second what Mark says.

Posted by: David B. Wildgoose | Jul 9, 2007 6:51:29 PM

The way to bring house prices down is to make best use of the land available for building. Tower blocks are the best way to achieve this. There's no need to build all over the countryside and ruin everyone's quality of life. It should never be necessary for anyone to have to use a vehicle to travel to a place of natural beauty.

Posted by: Opinionated | Jul 9, 2007 8:21:22 PM

In Glasgow, they have been systematically demolishing those monuments to high density living, the 30-story residential tower blocks.

It seems the ungrateful residents found the experience of actually living in them a great deal less than the utopian ideal of community living in vertical neighbourhoods they were promised at the beginning.

Posted by: Bob B | Jul 10, 2007 1:07:01 AM