There'll always be an England
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 30 May 96 17:54:25 -0700
Subject: There'll always be an England
Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <email@example.com>
Loud clothing disturbs peace of countryside
The Sunday Times, London, July 23, 1995
by Jonathan Leake
The growing popularity of kaleidoscopic outdoor clothing has provoked renewed
conflict between conservationists and sportsmen in the countryside. Ramblers,
mountain-bikers and yachtsmen alike stand accused by the environmental lobby
of a new crime against the great outdoors: colour pollution.
Scarlet socks, lime-green Lycra shorts and fluorescent lilac rucksacks were
never designed to blend in, but the followers of such fashion have been
astonished to find themselves described as blots on the landscape. Some have
even been accused of startling sheep with the sheer garishness of their
anoraks, causing ewes to miscarry.
Attempts to discourage gaudy dressing have been led by the National Trust,
Britain's biggest conservation group with more than 2m members, and the Council
for National Parks, which lobbies for the protection of some of the country's
most spectacular terrain.
Chris Bonington, the mountaineer and president of the Council for National
Parks, said colour pollution by people who were not obliged to wear bright
clothing for safety reasons had become a serious problem in wild places.
"Bright colours destroy the sense of isolation that most people seek in the
countryside. You look back and see the hills polka-dotted with bright blobs
following you up the mountain," said Bonington. "We should encourage people
to wear clothing that merges into the scenery, like greens and browns. It is
aesthetically far more pleasing."
The National Trust has banned windsurfers from Wastwater in the Lake District,
one of the finest inland venues for the sport, on the grounds that their
bright sails and wetsuits ruined the view. Jo Burgon, the trust's coast and
countryside adviser said: "It was threatening the very tranquillity of the
place that people visited it for."
Style experts side with the environmentalists. Eleri Sampson, a personal
image consultant employed by blue-chip companies to help executives improve
their style, said the crusade against colour pollution was long overdue.
"Our countryside is in soft tones of greens and blues and browns, and people
born in the country wear the same soft colours. They do not wear neon red,
blue and green with shiny black. If I had my way, I would take to the hills
and force on-the-spot fines on people whose clothes were considered to be
© 1996 Peter Langston