Days out at beaches across Britain are in decline, according to new research. A report by National Trust revealed a worrying 20 per cent decline in UK seaside trips over the last 10 years.
Only 42 per cent of people have visited the British coast for a day out in 2015, compared with 62 per cent in 2005, meaning over half the nation (58 per cent) have not had a single day trip to the beach in the last 12 months.
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The study of 9,000 people over a 10-year period detailed a steady decline in the nation's connections to the coast despite 88 per cent of UK adults saying they regard the coast as a national treasure.
Only 14 per cent of 18-24 year-olds said their happiest childhood memory is being by the sea, which is half the national average (29 per cent). This rises to 38 per cent among 55+ year-olds.
Coastal value in the older generations saw 94 per cent of those aged 55+ agreeing that it is important that all parents give their children the opportunity to experience the UK's coast or seaside. 88 per cent of people with children in their household also agreed, and this fell to 77 per cent agreement among those aged 18-24.
Dr Philip Long, Head of Tourism at Bournemouth University, says: "The steep decline in visitor numbers to the British coast over the past 10 years is disturbing for me, and a number of possible inter-related causes may underlie this.
"Cost barriers are of course a concern with families, also another factor may be the increase in recent years of many British cities becoming attractive places to visit with some, such as Sheffield, recreating a seaside resort with an 'Urban Beach' in the city centre."
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