A healthy natural environment creates a community that is more attractive to live and work in. More and more of us are choosing to move out of the cities to more rural locations. Estimates suggest that more than 100,000 people in the UK make the move to the country each year, giving reasons such as more space, money and quality of life.

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BBOWT work party by BBOWT

Towns and villages that are more 'green' are also more attractive to live in. The inclusion of green spaces, parks, access to the wider countryside and 'green infrastructure' such as roadside verges and trees not only make the community more attractive, but also create the opportunity to lead a more healthy lifestyle, positively affecting our health and well-being.

Many people are not aware that towns and villages often contain areas very rich in wildlife, much richer in fact than intensively managed countryside. There are not only diverse parks and gardens, but also remnants of ancient natural systems (such as woodland), pre-industrial landscape (such as meadows) and naturally seeded areas on disturbed ground, which are unique to settlements. All of these areas harbour wildlife and provide much more opportunity for contact between people and nature than many parts of the countryside.

Nature also unites people, creating a common interest in the community. For a list of all the current community groups in Berkshire see our Nature Directory.