Ethnicity, Leisure and the English Countryside
In the UK over the last 30 years many institutions/NGOs have been concerned that ethnic minority groups are not utilising the British countryside as a leisure resource.The reason for such concern centres on the fact that distinguishable ethnic minority groups are simply not seen utilising the countryside. Given that the majority of the British population utilise the countryside as a leisure resource on a regular basis, then this lack of use has been seen as a 'problem' that needs to be addressed. I argue that on one level this is just not the case; leisure for many ethnic groups is often perceived and acted upon differently to the majority norm(s). On another level I am concerned that the need to involve minority groups into the 'joys' and 'opportunities' that the UK countryside can deliver is assimilist-multiculturalism at heart; after all, if the English (usually mobile middle classes) are doing it - why aren't you?
Keywords: Ethnicity, Leisure, English Countryside
Dr Simon Arlidge
Senior lecturer in Human Geography, Geography Department, University of the West of England