Why our Lancashire folk prefer to stay at home

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Home is certainly where the heart is as more than half of North West residents have chosen to stay with their natural-born roots. Reporter NATALIE WALKER investigates the migration habits of Lancashire folk.

The average person from the North West moves five times in their life, but according to a poll by ancestry firm Living DNA over half (59 per cent) end up living within 25 miles of where they were born.

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Almost one in four Brits (24 per cent) have lived 500 miles or more away from their birthplace at some point in their lives.

Yet researchers found that a high number of people stay close to home, with over half of all those surveyed now living in the same county of the UK that one or more of their parents were born in.

In the North West, this figure was higher than the national average at 73 per cent, suggesting people from the region are considerably more attached to areas where their parents came from.

Over half of respondents from the North West said they felt most ‘rooted’ either where they were born or where they grew up, compared to nearly a third who felt most connected where they live now.

David Nicholson, managing director of Living DNA, said: “Whilst the average Brit makes a number of moves in their lifetime, our survey found that as a nation we are still really attached to our family roots and birthplaces. However, our knowledge of our roots appears to be quite limited.

“For example, 18 per cent of people from the North West told us they have no idea where their grandparents were born.”

Despite the importance of roots for many, more than one in ten people from the North West said they do not feel rooted anywhere.

Online readers have informed The Evening Post about their migration habits.

Nicola Shirley said: “I never intended to stay close to home - like most students, when I was applying to university I wanted to move away and live in the city - it just so happened the course I really wanted to do was available on the doorstep.

“A lot of my friends stayed close to home and my husband was in the army when we met so I relied on my family and friends whilst he was away on postings and tour.

“We both have close relationships with our families and when it came to upgrading our home with our two children we even moved in with my in-laws in Fulwood and ended up buying their house.

“I’m still open to the prospect of moving away if the right opportunity presents itself but the network we have around us is invaluable.”

Elaine Edwards has been back and forth to Preston several times.

She said: “I was born in Coventry and moved to Blackpool when I was 16. I then moved to Scotland and Preston, then to Ripon, back to Preston then back to Blackpool and back to Preston again.”

Ian Simon Jackson posted: “I can see the house where I was born in the bedroom from my garden. We have moved seven times.”

Jodie Watson, of the Ribble Valley, said: “I have lived in Read since I was five. I moved out and moved around when I was 16. When I found out I was having a baby at 20, I moved back and that’s where I am now still at age 29. It is a safe and secure place to live.”

Chantal Porter commented: “I have moved about two miles - I am still in Chorley.”

Jayne Morley revealed: “I’m not from round here but I have settled here. I have lived in 10 different parts of the country, but a lot of people have no choice but to move around with their work.”

Julie Dylan Edwards said: “Myself, my partner and our daughter have moved home once and it was from Birmingham to Lancashire.”