By: Blonde Two

If someone asked you to guess which region of England was home to the biggest percentage of active people, which would you choose?

  • Perhaps London with its parks?
  • Maybe the South West with its beaches?
  • Or even Yorkshire with its national parks?

The Active Lives report

Well of course it all depends on how you define the term ‘active’. Luckily for us Blondes, we don’t have to do the science bit here. Sport England have been there before us with their Active Lives May 2019/2020 report. By the way, if you haven’t discovered the Active Lives reports yet, they make really interesting reading, especially the one on activity levels during lockdown one.

For this blog I’m going to look at statistics showing people who have reported activity for 150 minutes or more each week. If you don’t exercise that much, don’t fret. There’s also the 30-149 minutes a week category. I’m afraid I can’t give you the details for Scotland or Wales but I suspect they would be similar.

Active regions in England

The first thing to report is that percentage-wise there wasn’t much difference there. The English region with the lowest reported level of activity at 58.7% was the West Midlands. The area with the highest was (well done if you guessed) the South West with 67.3%.

Activity by local authority

It has been well documented that I have particular views about where the South West is. The government view differs but here are some of the percentages of active South West people by local authority. If you’re wondering why I have left Devon out, it is because it is split into so many constituent parts.

  • Torbay 65.2%
  • South Hams 73.9%
  • Cornwall 67.3%
  • Isles of Scilly 74.3%
  • Dorset 69.9%

Living in the South West it is sometimes easy to forget how lucky we our to have so many fabulous green and blue spaces on our doorstep. Here’s how our area compares for example to the West Midlands.

Current National Parks – SW 2, WM 0

Current Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – SW 15, WM 1

Coastlines – SW 2, WM 0

Green and pleasant lands

That’s not to say of course that the middle of our country isn’t as beautiful in its own way as the edges. I love exploring old industrial sites, canal towpaths and river routes. My walks through and around London for the Urban Maps project thrilled me (and were as much of a challenge as my walks across Dartmoor). I grew up as far from the sea as it is possible to be in England, but still had the advantage of the wonderful Malvern Hills.

I think its fair to say England has plenty to explore. The question now is, how can we protect those green and blue spaces, at the same time as encouraging even more people to get out there and be active in them.