A recent survey, which concluded that South Cambridgeshire is the best rural area in which to live in the UK, has been queried by some commentators who say that many of the areas named should not have been considered.

The annual Halifax Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey tracks living standards across categories, including housing, the environment and education, in 140 authorities with populations of less than 10,000 residents.

It concluded that South Cambridgeshire was a great place to live with a higher than average life expectancy, an employment rate of 79 per cent and a relatively good climate, with less rainfall per year than the national average.

However, South Cambridgeshire resident and former councillor, Shooting Times columnist Robin Page, told this magazine that not only did he feel that his local area should not have come top, but that he also felt it should not even be called ?rural?.

He said: ?This survey is a complete joke. The standard of living may have gone up, but with the suburbanisation of South Cambridgeshire, the quality of life for country people has plummeted. The amount of wildlife has decreased dramatically, congestion on the roads has increased, and there are queues in the doctors? surgeries. There are few villages out of range of the noise from a main road.

?In my view, South Cambridgeshire has ceased to be a rural district, and is now semi-urban. The results reflect the values of the people who set the study in motion. I would say that their values are not the same as my values and their idea of quality of life is not the same as mine. We?re talking here about two different cultures.?

The rest of this article appears in 27th April issue of Shooting Times.

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