Well, having been brought up to respect the countryside, and having actively been engaged in physical environmental conservation all around Britain for the past 20 years, I was lucky enough in 2007 to move to the small rural idyll of Fulford in Staffordshire.
I knew the area fairly well from the conservation work I had undertaken on the nearby Staffordshire Moorlands and who can forget those memorable holidays at the tiny village of Barthomley, where even when the work was cancelled due to heavy snowfalls, we were made to feel welcome by the local village pub and the church - even with the local villagers popping into the village hall to check that we were OK and warm enough with plenty of food to keep us going.
Fulford struck me as a similar style of village, with the housing set against a backdrop of well managed farms (mainly dairy, but with some sheep), and the only amenities, a local village pub, the church and village hall. I was even lucky enough to be able to purchase a house overlooking the local paddock.
Having been here for a couple of years, it is a far cry from living in the suburbs - the local children and teenagers are friendly, open to a chat and when you see them stood waiting for the school bus, they're not fighting and pushing each other into the road, or smoking, or damaging the local bus shelter.
It is nice to just sit and watch the world go by here, people riding past on horses exploring the countryside around, and all the people out taking their dogs for a walk. When you open your door on a night, the most noise you hear is the local cattle mewing and maybe the tractors (or milk wagon) coming past your door as they go about their business. In fact, it makes a very pleasant change to see the driver of the milk wagon slow down to a snail's pace as he comes past you if you're out walking the dog, so as not to cause alarm.
I do wonder just how many villages in the UK are now like this....