British countryside is a ‘racist and colonial’ white space, wildlife charities claim

The British countryside is a “racist colonial” white space, wildlife charities have claimed.

Wildlife and Countryside Link, a charity umbrella group whose members include the RSPCA, WWF and National Trust, made the claim in evidence provided to Parliament on racism and its influence on the natural world.

MPs in an all-party parliamentary group (APPG) were informed that the British countryside has been influenced by “racist colonial legacies” which have created an environment some fear is “dominated by white people”.

The country’s green spaces are governed by “white British cultural values”, the report argues, and the perception that the countryside is a “white space” prevents people from other ethnic backgrounds from enjoying the outdoors.

The Wildlife and Countryside Link report was submitted to MPs on the APPG for Race and Community, which had called for evidence on the links between “systemic racism” and climate change.

The call for evidence comes in the wake of academic “hate studies” experts launching a 2023 investigation into “rural racism” in the British countryside.

‘Cultural barriers’

One section of the new Link report seen by The Telegraph argues that there are “structural, experiential, and cultural” barriers preventing ethnic minorities accessing the countryside.

It states: “Cultural barriers reflect that in the UK, it is White British cultural values that have been embedded into the design and management of green spaces, and into society’s expectations of how people should be engaging with them.”

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