The Prince’s Countryside Fund with Professor Sarah Skerratt from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is inviting anyone living in rural areas of the UK to contribute to their latest research, Recharging Rural.
Professor Skerratt and the Fund want to find out the different ways in which the challenges of ‘remote rural’ are being experienced by people and communities across the UK.
Participants are encouraged to fill in the survey regardless of their location in the countryside – whether they live and work somewhere traditionally seen as geographically remote, or places considered ‘within easy reach’ of towns and cities but that feel remote owing to a lack of connections, such as transport, broadband, or social links.
This research project will discover what makes communities in remote rural parts of the UK sustainable, and aims to identify ways forward into 2030 and beyond.
Professor Skerratt said: “We really want this survey to improve our understanding of what life feels like in these rural areas and gather views on what should be done to address and reduce the challenges they face.
“Some of these experiences are determined by where we are on a map. Other experiences of feeling remote are the result of the ‘layering’ of our personal circumstances or challenges, including economic, social, health, or opportunities available to us.
“Some communities are already actively overcoming these challenges. We want to hear about their projects and programmes too, so that the final report can share the great work that is happening across the country. We also want to know people’s thoughts on what must change to enable more communities to be stronger into the future.”
The Prince’s Countryside Fund uses its research, such as Recharging Rural, in part to plan its future support for rural communities. Their 2016 research into small family farms aided the development of The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme, a £1.5 million programme that helps farming families become more resilient and gain better business skills. The Fund also opens for grants twice a year, awarding £1.2 million a year to projects making a long-term impact in rural areas.
This survey is open to everyone who lives or works in or for rural areas of the UK. The survey will remain open until Wednesday 18th April 2018.
You can access the survey here and it will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.
The report, Recharging Rural, will be published during National Countryside Week, Monday 30 July – 5 August 2018.