Changing Rural Environments

  • Created by: zuljupri
  • Created on: 15-04-17 20:24

Rural-Urban Fringe

Rural-Urban Fringe- the area right at the edge of a town or city where there are urban/rural uses.


  • Out of town retail outlets.
  • Leisure facilities.
  • New transport links- motorways.
  • Housing.


  • Traffic Noise and Pollution Increase as there's more traffic.
  • Inhabitants may feel the developments spoil the area.
  • Farmers may be forced to sell their land, meaning they can't earn a living.
  • Wildlife habitants are destroyed by building on them.

Some urban areas have 'greenbelts'-  a ring of land where development is restricted.

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Cumbrian Villagers- CASE STUDY

Cumbria is a rural area in North West England- and includes the Lake District.

The population has decreased slightly.


  • Fewer Jobs- agriculture and manufacturing declining- 700 agricultural jobs lost.
  • Rising House Prices- 15% homes are holiday lets in Lake District. Average House Price in Ambleside was over £400,000.

Population Decrease resulted in decrease in services- schools, shops, businesses are closing.     35 Post Office branches closed in Cumbria in 2008.

1 in 5 people are over 65 compared to 1 in 6 for UK average.

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UK Commercial Farming

Agri-business- Large scale commercial farming.  

  • Large companies own large farms.
  • Modern farming practices used by agri-businesses help to maximise production and profits.

Environmental Effects:

  • Monoculture reduces biodiversity as there are fewer habitats.
  • Removing hedgerows destroys habitats and increases soil erosion.
  • Herbicides used to maximise crop production, but can kill wildflowers.
  • Fertilisers used to maximise crop production, but can pollute rivers and kills fish.
  • Making these products uses fossil fuels which adds to global warming.
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UK Commercial Farming

Organic Farming:

  • Farming without the use of artificial pesticides or fertilisers.
  • Crop Rotation/Manure Fertiliser/Manual Weeding/Biological Control.
  • 700,000 hectares of land is organically farmed in 2003.
  • Demand for organic food has increased.

Government Policies:

Environmental Stewardship Scheme:

  • Involves paying farmers money for every hectare of land they farm organically.

Single Payment Scheme:

  • Involves paying farmers a subsidy if they keep their land in good environmental condition.
  • Encourages farmers to reduce environmental impact of their farming.
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East Anglia- CASE STUDY

East Anglia is an area that includes Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex.

Produces 1/4 of England's wheat and barley. Farms in the area produce 2.2million eggs everyday.

Agri-Business increased from 828 farms to 849 in 2005.

Organic Farming Increased to 1.3% in 2008, but national average is 3.7%.

Farmers are trying to reduce the environmental impact of farming.

More land covered by Environmental Stewardship Scheme than any other area.

Farmers have been affected by supermarket prices and overseas competition.

Peas from East Anglia sells at 17p per kilo in 2002.

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Sustainable Rural Living

Unsustainable Rural Living:

  • High Car Use due to lack of public transport. This uses up fossil fuels and releases carbon dioxide, increasing global warming.
  • Use of artificial fertilisers which use up fossil fuels.
  • Irrigation of farmland can deplete water resources.

Sustainable Rural Living:

  • Conserve water and fossil fuel resources.
  • Use more public transport.
  • Reduce use of herbicides, fertilisers and pesticides.

Community Rail Partnerships- increase local train use by improving bus links, cycle routes to stations and improving station buildings. Reduces car use and the impacts it has.

Rural Development Programme- gives financial support to farmers to diversify their farms- providing a B & B accomodation or set up a tourist attraction.

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Faming in Tropical Areas

Subsistence Farming- farmers only produce enough food to feed their families.

It is being replaced by Commerical Farming:

  • Subsistence farmers are forced onto poorer land where it is harder to farm food.
  • Farmers who are dependant on one crop, prices may drop and they won't have enough income to buy food.
  • Food has to be imported which increases food prices.

Technology Changing Agriculture:

  • Treadle Pump- human powered pump used in Bangladesh. It pumps water from below to irrigate small areas of land. It increases farmers' average annual incomes by $100.
  • Stone lining- used to trap water on sloping fields in Burkino Faso increasing crop yields by 50%
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Irrigation changing Agriculture

Irrigation- arificially apply water.

Positive Physical Impacts:

  • More land can be farmed, increasing crop yields.
  • High yields mean farmers don't need deforestation.

Negative Physical Impacts:

  • Irrigation can cause soil erosion.
  • Salt can build up causing crops to fail.
  • Land can become waterlogged preventing crop growth.

Positive Human Impacts:

  • Higher Crop yields = more food = more profit = better quality of life.

Negative Human Impacts:

  • Large-scale irrigation projects can be expensive. Waterbourne diseases are more common.
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Factors Affecting Tropical Farming

Soil Erosion:

  • Makes the soil unsitable for farming- not enough nutrients and can't hold water.
  • The farmers have to move away, clear more land and start again.
  • The eroded soil washed into rivers, raising riverbeds, making it more likely to flood.


  • Mining companies can force local people off their land.
  • Mining uses a lot of water, reducing crop yields.
  • Land is unusable afterwards due to pollution.


  • Deforestation can make floods more common.
  • Less water is removed from soil, fewer clouds form and rainfall is reduced, reducing crop yields

Farming Difficulties lead to Rural-Urban Migration.

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