Letter: Countryside in peril

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Sir: The leading article of 1 June ("Make second-home owners pay up") denigrated rural people by implying they should adopt a modern- day servitude and embrace low-paid service jobs, pandering to the needs of wealthy incomers.

Yes, people have the right to live and work where they choose, but forcing hardworking local people out of the towns and villages they grew up in to make way for absentee owners has torn the soul out of communities the length and breadth of Britain.

If we continue to pursue the "let them pay" principle then rural Britain will stagnate - a place where the elderly come to die and the wealthy urban elite unwind at weekends. The alternative is to create a vibrant countryside where the young feel they not only have a future but are welcome in their own communities.


Sherborne, Dorset