LETTER: Bitter about a rural childhood

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The Independent Online
Sir: It was with great sadness but with no surprise to read that "healthy city kids excel over country cousins" (24 April); surely it is apparent that the depopulation of our rural communities does little to improve our children's welfare? Unemployment, seen primarily as an urban problem, is rife in the countryside.

Children in the country don't walk to school. Why? Because their village school is boarded up and they are having to travel many miles to the nearest town school.

As to sports, again access and availability are the stumbling blocks, with village football pitches abandoned and uncared for and the nearest swimming-pool a costly and infrequent bus ride away.

We should not have to send our children out of the countryside to make them healthy. If the rural areas were concentrated on then perhaps we could have village shops that offered more than just a freezer compartment and a sweet rack.

Maybe I seem idealistic, bitter? I think I am, but as a teenager who has grown up in a rural area and experienced all of these problems, I feel I have a right to speak out.


(Aged 19)

Llanfairfelhan, Conwy