7 things you never thought you’d see in the country

Who would have believed our rural landscape would play host to these modern-day additions!

1.

Glass extensions
Country homes are getting bigger and more complex with people opting to stay put and extend rather than moving house.
Forget bricks and mortar, the modern day building material of choice is glass, resulting in traditional style cottages and rustic barn conversions complete with sci-fi style glass attachments!

2.

Crazy sculptures
Walking through the grounds of country estates, you’ll likely see beautiful walled gardens, tranquil lakes, hedgerow wildlife… and a bonkers sculpture slap bang in the middle of it all! Country-based sculpture trails such as this are now commonplace, with everything from giant furniture to crazy light installations on the agenda.

3.

Motorway madness
Ever wondered why some country houses are built so close to motorways and main roads? The likelihood is they were there first. Our growing need to travel and communicate fast means major transport links have sprung up all over the place in the last 100 years – weird when you think the majority of England used to be countryside!

4.

Vineyards
The UK has never been renowned for wine – until now. Our warmer climate means that parts of Kent now enjoy the same temperatures as France’s Champagne region used to, resulting in more and more vineyards popping up across our rural landscape. The sparkling wine they produce is attracting attention worldwide, giving the likes of France and Italy a run for their money!

5.

Wind farms
These days, the sight of several hundred gracing our hilltops doesn’t even raise an eyebrow. Roll back 100 years and these giant windmills would have looked more like something out of Doctor Who rather than energy generators!

6.

Wild elephants
Normally found South of the equator, these beautiful beasts and many more exotic creatures have made their way over to the UK, living alongside our native animal residents in zoos, aquariums and wildlife parks. London Zoo was the first of its kind to open in 1847: since then these controversial attractions have continued to thrive.

7. Derelict local shops
Once a flourishing retail scene, local village shops and independent stores were plentiful until the invention of supermarkets and malls. On a positive note, current campaigns to keep them alive are making a massive difference, with the desire for retaining community spirit at an all-time high, so hope is not yet lost!

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