Our countryside and towns face many challenges and opportunities, from climate change to the need for new housing. A variety of policy tools are available to address these, including the planning system and agri-environment schemes. But to be effective, local priorities must be identified and suitable targets applied, recognising the capacity of organisations to deliver them.
Rural Focus brings over 25 years of experience to helping local authorities, land owners and community groups assess the issues and develop grounded and ambitious but achievable strategies, including costed action plans.
In the last 18 months, Rural Focus has:
Helped a community-based initiative on the Somerset Levels (‘Reimagining the Levels’) develop a hard-hitting prospectus for action on flooding, the landscape and the rural economy.
We have worked with Cumulus Consultants to prepare a business plan for the New Forest Trust's Love the Forest visitor giving scheme.
We prepared an independent review, with recommendations, on the state of Exmoor’s Moorland for the Exmoor Society.
And we have advised the National Trust on planning and green infrastructure provision in relation to the Cranbrook new town on the edge of its Killerton Estate.
Looking to the future, the implementation of Brexit in the UK will involve significant changes in rural areas, particularly to farm support. This should bring huge opportunities to support rural development and the environment.
But, to be successful, a devolved approach will be needed to developing and delivering locally-supported and evidenced strategies and action plans.
Rural Focus is ready to assist.
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