The cost of living in the countryside has fallen slightly for the first time in years, mainly because of cheaper fuel, according to a new study.

A report by NFU Mutual showed that falls in the price of petrol, diesel, coal and heating oil had benefited rural economies.

As a result, people living in rural areas are less worried about their finances, it was found.

Tim Price of NFU Mutual, said: "People living in the countryside have borne the brunt of price rises over the last three years because of their reliance on cars and heating oil, so this fall is very welcome news."