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Only black person/liberal/gay in the village?

When we think of the English countryside, we probably have a Summer's day in mind, filled with village fetes, trips to the local pub for a cheeky ale, acres of fresh, green grass and farmers tending to their animals. Which seems idyllic until you consider that everyone in your imagination is probably straight, caucasian and a member of a close-knit community. And that's exactly how villagers in England wish to remain, according to a recently published book.

The book details the exploration of countryside values that was undertaken by Jon Garland and Neil Chakraborti, of the University of Leicester, who went deep into rural heart of towns and villages in Suffolk, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire for their findings. Which weren't good: apparently, villagers prefer to remain seperate from people of other colours, sexual orientations or political or modernist persuasions, the Pinknews reveals.

'[The authors] wrote: 'Minority ethnic incomers were often treated with suspicion as many white rural residents felt that they belonged only in the city, with all its concomitant ‘negative’ attributes of noise, pollution, crime and, crucially for some, multiculturalism.''

'The rural, in their eyes, was an escape from all of those things, and the presence of a minority ethnic family suggested that the city was somehow ‘invading’ the space of the tranquil rural they so treasured.'

On the flip side of the coin, I doubt many city-dwellers would get on so well with cousin-marrying, country yokels with a fondness for a good-looking cow or too.

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