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Issue Date:- 1 April 2009


THE British countryside is world renowned for its stunning, scenic natural beauty.  It is often described as the ‘Jewels of England’ and for millions of International tourists, rural Britain is a sight to behold.  However this view is not shared by modern Britons.  A new leisure report out this week has revealed over half of the nation thinks visiting the British countryside is boring as there is nothing to do or see there. 

Travelodge polled 3,000 Britons to find out their views about visiting the British countryside and test their knowledge on the Countryside Code.  Findings revealed despite recession proof Brits searching far and wide for low cost deals, 53% of adults are disregarding the UK’s greatest free attraction – the countryside.  Reasons given included:- ‘being a bore’ and not having the fun factor. 

The report found five million adults would rather stay indoors and play with their Wii than take an exhilarating trip outdoors.  Also its not just adults who feel the countryside is dreary as the survey stated a fifth of British children find nature’s playground unexciting too.

For a third of the nation, the idea of taking a trip to the British countryside has not even crossed their mind.

John Tribe, Professor of Tourism from University of Surrey commented on the findings:- "It is alarming news that over half of the nation thinks the British countryside is boring and there is nothing to do or see there.  Maybe this is because in the last decade Britons have preferred to holiday abroad and as a result; they have forgotten the UK is abundant with great rural holiday locations.  Now is the time to get back to basics and appreciate the best things in life are free.  Rural Britain is full of free things to do and see; it’s just a matter of using your imagination.  With the recession hitting home and the weak pound, 2009 is the perfect year to rediscover destination UK."    

Guy Parsons, UK Travelodge Managing Director, said:- “Our research highlights just how vital it is for the Government to invest in domestic tourism.  It’s obvious Britons have forgotten what great free rural attractions are available on their doorstep and we need to address this problem quickly.  To help Brits rediscover the great free rural attractions Great Britain has to offer, Travelodge is offering over half a million, £19 and £29 rooms in rural locations across the UK.  In addition we have created a free online guide to help Britons rediscover rural Britain the free way.”

To book a £19 or £29 Travelodge Saver room or to download the ‘See Rural Britain The Free Way Guide’ visit:-

The guide can be found in the ‘News & Offers’ section and includes highlights:-

The UK’s seven national gems that are a must see

Where the Areas of National Beauty (AONB) are located across the UK

Where you can find Britain’s National Parks

Details on Long Distance Footpaths for walking breaks

Details on The Countryside Code

►  List of games that can be played outdoors

Sandie Dawe, Deputy CEO of VisitBritain, said:- "Britain's countryside is far from boring and we have some of the most famous landscapes from the picturesque Cotswolds to the spectacular views of the Lake District that draw visitors from around the world.  With more Britons considering a holiday at home this year, it's a great time to get back to nature and get reacquainted with rural Britain.  The last decade has seen a rise in competition and it is important to remind Brits on what they are missing out on and what a great free attraction the countryside is.”

The study also tested the respondents’ knowledge of the Countryside Code and findings revealed only 17% of adults admitted they knew the British Countryside Code.  Over a third of the nation (37%) did not know that a Countryside Code even exists.  Twenty four cent of respondents thought they had the right to pick wild flowers in the countryside (When they don’t).  One in ten adults thought it was safe to eat all berries and fungus they found growing in the countryside.

When asked what right, a Farmer has if he thinks its livestock is being injured or being worried by a pet dog - 60% of respondents said the Farmer could report the owner to the police.  Only 25% got the correct answer – the Farmer could destroy the dog.        

Surprisingly 68% of respondents would not even bother reading up on the Countryside Code before visiting a UK rural location.    

Travelodge also challenged the respondents to identify common flowers / trees and animals that can be found in the British countryside and some of the key findings are revealed below:-

Thirty two per cent of Brits had difficulty identifying a Pheasant


Twelve per cent of adults thought a Stag was a Reindeer 
Forty two per cent of Brits could not identify an Otter

A fifth of adults could not identify a Weasel

Eighty three per cent of adults could not identify the common Bluebell flower

Forty four per cent of respondents could not identify the popular Oak tree
Free image of Horse Chestnut Tree Seventy four cent of Brits could not identify a Horse Chestnut tree
Seventy one per cent of respondents could not identify a Pine tree

Policing Plan 2009 - 12

THE Policing Plan for 2009-12 agreed at a recent Police Authority meeting has been published on the Merseyside Police Authority website.

Jointly owned by the Police Authority and Merseyside Police, the Plan clearly maps out Merseyside’s policing priorities for the period 2009-12.  It explains how these priorities were arrived at, and details how they will be successfully implemented.

The Plan highlights how community consultation played a key role and describes how, along with national priorities, it forms the policing future for Merseyside.

Chair of MPA, Bill Weightman said:- “Community consultation is an integral part of what we do as an Authority.  This Plan could not have been achieved without involving local people and working closely with community representatives.  We are confident we can rise to the challenges laid out in the Plan and determined not to let the people of Merseyside down.”

Everyone can have a say on the Plan as it is now available online with a feedback form attached.

In addition, every household in Merseyside will receive a Policing Plan Summary later in the year with a freepost feedback form included.

The publication is also available in several languages and formats, details of which can be found on the website.


MERSEYSIDE Police are appealing for help in contacting the next of kin of a man whose body was found in Otterspool on Saturday, 28 March 2009.

At around 8am a member of the public found a body, believed to be that of a man in his late 30s or early 40s, in woodland close to the local authority recycling centre.

Police are not treating the death as suspicious but are keen to identify the victim so that they can contact his family.

The man is described as white, around 6ft tall, of broad build, with cropped light brown hair and a short beard.

He was wearing smart clothing, including a grey fleece jacket, and had two distinctive tattoos on his body: one of angels wings on the back of his neck and another of oriental-style writing on his left forearm.

Officers are appealing for anyone who is concerned for the whereabouts of a friend or relative who matches this description, or has any other information, to contact them at Admiral Street police station on 0151 777 5376 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

Remember motorists - take a break this Easter!

ARE you planning on taking a trip this Easter holiday?  If you will be driving to reach your destination, remember to take regular breaks during your journey. 

The helpful reminder has come from the Driving Standards Agency - the Government Agency responsible for improving driving standards and road safety in Great Britain - whose mission is 'Safe Driving for Life'

DSA recommends that to stay alert whilst driving, drivers should take a break of around 15 minutes every two hours at somewhere suitable such as a service area. 

Latest Government statistics show that during Easter 2007 (6 April to 9 April 2009) a total of 346 people were killed or seriously injured on Britain's roads. 

DSA Chief Executive, Rosemary Thew, said:- "We all hope to be able to enjoy the Easter holiday period, but if you're on the roads and planning a long drive, please don't forget to take regular breaks. 

Driver fatigue is a real problem, with research suggesting that it accounts for around 15% to 20% of accidents on repetitive roads such as motorways. 

By taking on board our advice during your trip you can arrive at your destination feeling fresher and make a positive contribution to road safety."


FED up with all those wires and plugs around the house from old mobile phones?  Help may be on its way from Brussels.

The MEP Chris Davies, whose area covers Merseyside, is calling for the EU to cut costs and get rid of waste by introducing common standards for phone chargers and electrical appliances.

Now the European Commissioner for Enterprise, Gunther Verheugen, has told manufacturers that they have till the end of the month to reach a voluntary agreement to improve practices, or an EU law will be introduced to force them to do so.

Mobile phones, digital cameras, mp3 players and laptops would all be able to use the same type of charger under the EU plan.

Davies, the Liberal Democrat environment spokesman in the European Parliament, said that:- "Having just one type of connection would be of real benefit to millions of people.

I'm always losing phone chargers and cursing the fact that none of the other ones I have will fit.

Europe is the world's biggest market for mobile phones.  We have the power to knock heads together, put a stop to wasteful competition, and set standards that will benefit people everywhere."

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