Ready to breathe that clean country air?

Country air has long been touted as the healthier alternative to the atmosphere in ‘big smoke’ cities. But there was also comfort in the knowledge that smog and thick dirty clouds had become a thing of the past, in the UK at least. Except now we know that just because we cannot see the toxic air does not mean it is not there.

The World Health Organisation estimates that air pollution kills around seven million people worldwide every year and singles out air pollution as the most significant environmental health risk we face today.

In the UK, 36,000 deaths are attributed to air pollution every year and Global Action Plan, the charity behind Clean Air Day points specifically to the effect air pollution has on children’s health and wellbeing. So, given that cities such as London have poorer air quality than the countryside, is it time to pack up and escape to the country for the sake of your health and that of your children?

Poor air quality causes heart and lung disease, is linked to low birth weight and children’s lung development. The British Heart Foundation has funded around £5.8million of air pollution research and the findings are sobering. Much of that research focused on fine particulate matter, known as PM2.5, which cannot be seen with the naked eye like smoke and smog, but can remain in the bloodstream for at least three months and is a major cause of respiratory problems.

Country air is cleaner than city air because there is generally less PM2.5 pollutant emitted by traffic, factories, power plants and industrial facilities than in urban areas. And according to David Newby, British Heart Foundation professor of Cardiology at the University of Edinburgh, when it comes to air pollution, “being in the country is better for you”.

Of course, living in the country comes with additional health benefits aside from cleaner air. There are more open green spaces, more places to enjoy outdoor pursuits. If the pandemic and lockdown has taught us anything over the past year it is that being outside and the freedom to go for a walk has a tangible positive impact on our physical and mental health.

Lockdown and the subsequent rise in homeworkers has also seen many people reassess their priorities when it comes to where they want to base themselves and their families. With remote working increasingly becoming the norm, why not live and work in a new home in the country where the air is cleaner, the views are prettier and life moves at a more relaxed pace?

As the country leaves lockdown and we begin to hope that wearing masks will soon no longer be necessary, air quality may become even more of a priority. In a recent study conducted by the University of Cambridge, 91 per cent of adults surveyed in the UK agreed that all national governments should do more to protect the environment, including commitments to tackling air pollution and climate change.

As well as governments and individuals, businesses have a part to play in keeping our air clean, and Allison Homes is committed to creating communities that are as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible. They are also committed to choosing sites for their developments that have demonstrably cleaner air than major UK cities.

Sam Hart, Sales and Marketing Director says:

“We want to build homes in areas that offer our customers a good quality of life. We plant hundreds of trees and allocate green areas on our developments because we understand the importance and value of creating new open green spaces for our customers and their children. We have also always been passionate about research and development, which for Allison Homes focuses on reducing carbon emissions, increasing energy efficiency in our customers’ homes and delivering environmental gains for our industry.”

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