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Tranquillity: Preserving What We Value
When asked about what countryside qualities they most value, respondents to a CPRE commissioned survey rated tranquillity as the most important (73% of respondents). A tranquil area is one of calm, solitude, peace and quiet. However, other factors such as scenery, wildlife, fauna and flora also featured. Such factors along with others (44 factors in total) have been used by researchers commissioned by CPRE to map the nation's tranquillity.
The map for the South East (see this PDF page at the national CPRE website) shows good chunks of Hampshire - outside of the main urban areas - as being relatively tranquil. Overall, though, Hampshire's tranquillity score is -3.17, (where positive numbers mean that visitors feel that tranquil factors dominate), compared to Northumberland's +28.6 (highly tranquil) and Greater London's -76.7 (the opposite). CPRE's national campaign (see CPRE Tranquillity campaign pages) launched in October 2006 raises awareness of the issues and shows actions that various authorities and agencies, as well as individuals can take to preserve what we value.
Threats to Tranquillity
The main threats to tranquillity are:
Fighting These Threats
CPRE Hampshire is supporting the National Campaigns by raising awareness and working with local authorities, parish councils and other agencies (such as the New Forest National Park Authority) to ensure that tranquillity issues are properly addressed in relevant plans.
To give one example, our county branch chairman, Sir Christopher Napier was interviewed on BBC Radio Solent about tranquillity in our region following the launch of the national campaign.
However, don't leave everything to our county and district committee members. You too can play a role. Work with your district group to review local plans and individual planning applications. Search out and enjoy the pleasure of your local tranquil spots (you may want to share them with your friends - or alternatively keep them secret!).
Is the A31 Tranquil?
An article in the Lymington Times on 5th January ('CPRE Hears No Evil') took issue with the fact that the region's tranquillity map did not pick out the A31 running through the New Forest as an area of low tranquillity, in contrast with results from a 1996 survey, and also other roads in the 2006 survey such as the A338 north of Ringwood.
In response, a letter to the editor from CPRE Hampshire chairman, Sir Christopher Napier, pointed out that the methods used today are is more complex, based on survey work of what people value, carried out by researchers at Northumbria and Newcastle-upon-Tyne Universities. Although road traffic noise is a large negative factor, the 2006 tranquillity measures include offsetting positive factors such as the quality of landscape and an abundance of wildlife. Thus the A31 going through the National Park appears on the map as more tranquil than a less busy urban road but with ribbon development alongside. Going a few hundred metres north and south of the A31 will take you into some of the most tranquil countryside in our County.
So now you know the secret of where one of the most tranquil areas in our county is. Seek out your own favoured area of tranquillity and enjoy it quietly!
This page last updated 1 February 2007
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