ENGLAND: Maps show ‘tranquil areas’ down by 21% in 30 years

The Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) wants tranquillity to be recognised officially as a characteristic of English countryside. It has re-issued maps showing that the average size of England's 'tranquil areas' has reduced by 73% from the early 1960s to the early 1990s.

The maps are published to mark National Noise Action Day, which was 7 June. CPRE hopes that public concern over visual and noise intrusion will pompt the Government to action. “We’re campaigning to gain official recognition for tranquillity in the Government’s rural white paper,” a CPRE spokesperson told edie.

The maps were originally produced a couple of years ago by CPRE and the Countryside Commission. To create them, tranquil areas were defined as areas:

  • 4km from large power stations
  • 3km from the country’s busiest roads such as the M1 and M6
  • 3km from large towns (the size of Leicester or larger)
  • 3km from major industrial areas
  • 2km from other motorways, major trunk roads (such as the M4 and A1)
  • 2km from smaller towns
  • 1km from “medium disturbance roads” (defined as difficult to cross in peak areas)
  • 1km from some mainline railways
  • beyond military and civil airfields and airport noise
  • beyond extensive opencast mining

Tranquil areas are a minimum of 1km in radius and analysis shows that such areas reduced in size by 73% in 30 years. The total “area of tranquillity in England” dropped by 21% in the same period, from 91,880km² to 73,012 km².

CPRE’s maps are available in A4, A3 and A2 sizes.

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