Village stays at heart of UK after ‘no’ vote

Dunsop Bridge
Dunsop Bridge
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Residents of a picturesque Ribble Valley village were today celebrating keeping their mantle as the official centre of the UK.

Officials at the Ordnance Survey regard Dunsop Bridge in Lancashire’s Forest of Bowland as the exact centre of England, Scotland and Wales.

But if Scotland had voted to leave the Union, the UK mainland’s central point would have switched to Walmley, near Sutton Coldfield.

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans today welcomed the referendum – and its impact of Dunsop Bridge.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted that the people of Scotland have decisively rejected the breaking up of the United Kingdom and rejected independence.

“I am Welsh and British in equal measure, and am proud to be both, and it is clear that this is also the case for the Scots.

“In the Ribble Valley we have Dunsop Bridge, the very centre of the United Kingdom, and following the referendum it remains very much at its heart.”

Trevor Rutherford, owner of Puddleduck’s Cafe in the village, said: “I’m pleased but at the end of the day if it had gone the other way we would still have been the centre of the old UK!”

Ordnance Survey experts use the “gravitational” method to settle on geographical centres, which calculates the point at which an area of land would balance horizontally on the head of a theoretical pin.

The method – said by experts to have been used by “everyone from Captain Cook to Nasa” – puts the current centre of Great Britain as a spot 7km north-west of Dunsop Bridge.

Rob Andrews, of the Ordnance Survey, said: “There are several ways to calculate the centre and therefore several different answers. The location of Great Britain’s true centre may never be entirely clear but the calculations we have made are as close as we feel we can get.”