Great Torrington has been identified as the healthiest place to live in Britain according to university researchers.

Great Torrington mayor Keeley Allin says she is extremely proud the town has been named the healthiest in Britain . Picture: GTTCGreat Torrington mayor Keeley Allin says she is extremely proud the town has been named the healthiest in Britain . Picture: GTTC

The University of Liverpool study analysed lifestyle and environmental measures to put Torrington top, while Soho in London came out as the unhealthiest.

The research looked at factors such as levels of air pollution, access to fast food outlets or pubs, and proximity to health services including GPs, and parks or recreational spaces.

Boffins found Torrington has low levels of pollution, good access to parks and green space, few retail outlets that 'may encourage poor health-related behaviours' and good access to health services.

The other 10 healthiest places to live are all located in Scotland.

Walking beside the River Torridge near TorringtonWalking beside the River Torridge near Torrington

Great Torrington ,mayor Keeley Allin said: "I am extremely proud that Great Torrington has been named the healthiest place in the UK.

"We are very fortunate to have so many independent shops including two butchers and two fruit and veg shops, something which can be very rare for small towns, a fantastic local gym, and of course, our wonderful Commons on our doorstep where you can walk for miles without a car in sight.

"We are working hard on environmental issues and beginning to lead the way in Great Torrington being even more ecologically friendly.

"Of course, we already know what an amazing place this is to live, it's just brilliant to have it recognised by others too - well done Great Torrington, I'm very proud to be the mayor of this fantastic town."

Dr Mark Green, who undertook the study, said: "Our updated data release makes it now the most comprehensive free source of data on healthy environments available.

"The statistics reveal important insights about the concentration of certain amenities that may be damaging or promote health. For example, on average, individuals in Great Britain are just as close to a pub or bar, as they are to their nearest GP (1.1 km)."

"We also found that 42 per cent of people are within 1 km (or a few minutes' drive time) of their nearest gambling outlet. These statistics reveal troubling issues with the neighbourhoods we live in and how they may be damaging to our health."

Professor Alex Singleton added: "Our study found that access was not evenly spread - rural areas have poorer access to many health services, and those services which are seen as damaging to health are often concentrated in poorer areas.

"For example, 62 per cent of people who live in the 10 per cent most deprived areas are within a kilometer of a fast food outlet compared to 24 per cent in the 10 per cent least deprived areas."

The data resource is available online http://maps.cdrc.ac.uk and is free for anyone to use.