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The England Issue | A Word From The Editor

Why we've done an England Issue, and what you need to know about it

Depending on your political allegiances, the presence of St George’s Day at the end of April can cause a very different reaction deep down in your gut. For progressive types in England, and the rest of the UK to be fair, it’s a mark on the calendar that feels like it’s become entirely associated with a particularly toxic brand of nationalism. There’s a prevailing sense, for many, that the day is for the EDL lot; for people who call up radio phone-ins to say things like “Foreigners out” and “England for the English.”

Unlike when we were putting together our Scotland Issue, we felt initially a bit uneasy about even doing something called ‘The England Issue’. Issues? With England? I mean, where would you even start? Then, however, we realised that actually a big issue about England could be an opportunity to shine a very different spotlight on the country; one that showcases good people in this country that are working towards positive change within an action sports and adventure context.

“We realised that actually a big issue about England could be an opportunity to shine a very different spotlight on the country”

Take Nick Hounsfield, founder of The Wave in Bristol. Nick believes in using artificial wave pools to push the democratisation of surfing across gender, race, and disability lines. Sam Haddad writes about him, and the project, in this very issue. You can read that here.

Elsewhere in our England Issue, there’s a piece by Stephen Jones all about muslim women in sport; a piece that covers an inspirational London-based football team called Sisterhood FC, a group called Skater Uktis that’s aim is to connect muslim female skaters, and a running club called Hijabi Runners that are all about representing the underrepresented (and very often misrepresented).

Credit: Global Shots

There’s also looks at Snow Camp, an excellent snowsports youth charity based in Hove (who featured in our Ski 100), the historic and life-changing British Exploring Society in London, and Birmingham-based We Go Outside Too. We Go Outside Too was founded by Marlon Patrice, following the tragic loss of his son Nasir to knife crime. Its aim is to invite black solidarity and healing through time spent outdoors.

This issue, we hope, reveals a different, often forgotten, side to England. We’ve put it together with the intention of reminding people that there’s more to this land than division and endlessly bleak news cycles. Yes, this country – lest we forget – can, despite its numerous problems, also be a place of beauty.

Armed with his camera, Daniel Wildey heads out into the Peak District to capture it from up on high and, quite literally, down below. As he does so, he reveals fresh, properly interesting, perspectives on familiar locations.

Elswhere in the issue, we take a look at the work of photographer Ryan Lomas and his shots of the Lake District National Park. Ryan shares with us the stories behind the photos, and what it is about them that he likes so much. It’s a reminder, if a reminder was ever really needed, of why people flock to this part of England in their droves year on year.

“Nick believes in using artificial wave pools to push the democratisation of surfing across gender, race, and disability lines”

This summer, of course, places like the Lake District will, in a post-lockdown world, probably be more busy than they’ve ever been. With that in mind, we’ve served up two (hopefully) very useful guides to the area – one on the Lake District’s best campsites, and another on things to do in the Lake District. If you’re heading that way for an adventure in the next few months, be sure to give those a look first.

Same goes for our guide to wild camping on Dartmoor, for those of you planning on getting out beneath the stars down Devon way. It’s the only place in England where you can legally wild camp, don’t you know.

Shoutout also to Nick Savage and his Hadrian’s Wall adventure. We’ve heard the writer of this piece belt out the karaoke in Sapporo, while dressed as a lion, and, reader, we can confirm that he’s most definitely got the X Factor. With elections looming, elections that could get the ball rolling on a potential breakup of the UK, Nick’s fastpack along a historic border between north and south feels timely.

Elsewhere in the England Issue, there’s a look at lockdown life in London (and why it wasn’t nearly as bad as countryside folk think), a guide to cheese rolling (aka ‘England’s strangest sport’), an interview with Billy Morgan and the story of a first time winter walk on Blencathra.

As always, continue to look after yourself.

Cheers!

Jack Clayton || Editor of Mpora

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Please note. We’ll be publishing and promoting all of the above content over the course of the following week. If you can’t find the piece you’re looking for immediately after reading this thing, don’t worry. The story you’re looking for is on its way.

For more from our England Issue 

Featured image credit: Ryan Lomas

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