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Escape to the country

Escape to the country
Escape to the country
"Our research in Scotland during the Covid-19 pandemic showed an increase in demand for rural and island properties. This was prompted by moves to home working, but also widespread reassessment of life and work priorities. This brings unprecedented opportunities for communities in these areas, but also huge challenges"

A shift to hybrid working practices following the coronavirus pandemic has led to some people swapping city living for country life. Now an international project will explore the scale, and pros and cons, of urban migration into rural, island and coastal communities across the globe.

The project, by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and The James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen, will look at how increased migration to rural and island areas offers opportunities for the future sustainability of these communities. It will also look at the challenges they face in adapting to a period of rapid change.

The project, which has been awarded nearly £20,000 by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, will bring together researchers from across the world, including Japan and Turkey, to share evidence and identify emerging policy and practice.

Co-Investigator Ruth Wilson, Social Scientist at The James Hutton Institute, said: "Our research in Scotland during the Covid-19 pandemic showed an increase in demand for rural and island properties. This was prompted by moves to home working, but also widespread reassessment of life and work priorities. This brings unprecedented opportunities for communities in these areas, but also huge challenges.

“This new network will bring together international expertise to understand how these trends are evolving in different places and what this means for rural and island communities across the globe."

Lead researcher Jane Atterton, Manager and Policy Researcher at SRUC’s Rural Policy Centre, said: “There is increasing evidence from different countries that the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a new wave of urban migrants in search of rural, island or coastal living, motivated by access to open space and dispersed populations, and facilitated by a shift to hybrid working practices and improved digital connectivity.

“This project aims to build a strong, collaborative and sustainable international research network to understand these new migration patterns and their implications.”

Outputs from the project will be shared on SRUC’s Rural Exchange web portal which was set up last year to gather and host large-scale citizen science information.

Notes for Editors

About Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC)

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) was established in 2012 through the merger of the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) with Barony, Elmwood and Oatridge Colleges. Through these institutions, we can trace our lineage back over 100 years.

Today, SRUC is on a journey to become Scotland’s enterprise university at the heart of our sustainable natural economy. Our mission is to create and mobilise knowledge and talent – partnering locally and globally to benefit Scotland’s natural economy. 

To achieve this, we draw upon SRUC’s longstanding strengths in world-class and sector-leading research, learning and teaching, skills and training and consultancy (through SAC Consulting). 

A natural economy is fuelled by responsible use of our natural resources: people, land, energy, water, animals and plants. It is an interlinked, shared, living system that creates opportunities and prosperity. It is multi-scale, dynamic and resilient through creative management and mindful custodianship.

By focussing on the sustainable natural economy, SRUC will strive to lead the way in delivering economic, social and environmental benefits for all, in Scotland, and beyond.

www.sruc.ac.uk/news

For more information, contact: rosie.free@sruc.ac.uk; 0131 535 4219.

Press and media enquiries: 

Elaine Maslin, Media Officer, The James Hutton Institute, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395076 (direct line) or +44 (0)7977 805808 (mobile).
 

Printed from /news/escape-country?page=1 on 02/03/24 03:03:37 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.