Strategic Research Programme

3.4.1: Demographic change in remote areas

Research Deliverable 3.4.1 on demographic change in remote rural areas involves Andrew Copus (RD lead) and Jonathan Hopkins and from the James Hutton Institute, and Jane Atterton and Rob McMorran from SRUC.

This project explores the links between trends in farming, crofting and key industries and population change. It will investigate how these affect the provision of ecosystem services and potentially threaten the resilience of rural communities.

The research addresses key questions about the changing nature of peripherality and the role of local territorial capital. Popular theories of rural development argue that at least part of the impetus for local development should originate in the local population but what happens when the local population declines so far as to pass a critical threshold meaning that such local impetus is no longer possible? Can more networked models of local development, which draw on external interactions and resources, compensate for sparse and dwindling local capacity? More information about this project can be found by visiting the main project webpage hosted by our colleagues at the James Hutton Institute.

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