Managing rural change

OCR AS Geography, Managing rural change

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Rural areas

Rural areas are areas where:

  • the bulk of the land is not build on, being farmland or moorland etc
  • the major industry and employer is agriculture and/ or forestry
  • there is a low population density with few urban centres
  • there is a distinctive non-urban culture and lifestyle
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Functions

functions include:

  • residential
  • services
  • agricultural
  • quarrying
  • forestry
  • industrial
  • tourism
  • military training
  • water supply
  • recreational

high order services require a greater threshold population (minimum number of people necessary before a particular good or service can be provided) to support them and also draw their custom from a much larger sphere of influence

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Processes operating in rural areas

  • population growth and decline
  • growth and decline of settlements
  • changes in the rural economy
  • impacts on rural society and the physical environment

in rural areas close to large urban areas

  • in-migration of population and growth of settlements- counter-urbanisation
  • can cause commuter or domintary settlements to develop as many residents live in the countryside but work in the cities and towns

in contrast some remote rural areas are experiencing decline of economy  oppurtunity and of population affecting the age-structure of the area, and the attractiveness of the region, people move out and a cycle of deprivation and decline may develop

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Factors affecting land-use patterns

Physical factors

  • climate- highland areas= sheep; warm/sunny areas= fruit and vines
  • relief- flat land= arable; steep slopes= sheep, aspect
  • drainage- wet areas= cattle, rice; dry areas= sheep; lakes= reserviors
  • soils- fertile soils= arable; infertile= moorland/forest, alkali soils= cereals
  • Geology- hard rocks= quarries

Economic factors

  • distance- farming less intensive (more pastoral) with distance from town as inputs more expensive with distance
  • capital- lack of capital= pastoral
  • transport- good transport= cash crops (e.g. market gardening)
  • labour supply- lack of labour= pastoral; plenty of labour= market gardening
  • demand from consumers, industry etc- many crops have bi-products, e.g. cotton= lint and oil
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Factors affecting land-use patterns

social factors

  • population type- e.g. nomads keep animals, not static crops
  • religion- some religions favour certain activities
  • culture- e.g. Fulani (north Nigeria) measure their status and wealth in cattle
  • education- the more educated tend to be more progressive

Historical factors

  • inertia- not easy to change farming type as large investment in equipment
  • where change is common, pastoral farming is common as investment is mobile

Political factors

  • planning- land use zoning, national parks etc
  • land ownership, farm size (inheritance laws)
  • government policies- quotas, subsidies, etc e.g. EUCAP, set-aside etc
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Case Study- 2 contrasting farming areas- East Angl

East Anglia- cereals, sugar beet and rapeseed

Physical

  • warm sunny summers
  • cold winters with frosts
  • dry
  • flat land for machinery
  • glacial fertile soils
  • well drained as underlying chalk

Social

  • well educated
  • declining farming population

Historical

  • long history of arable but was once sheep area for wool trade e.g. worsted
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Case study- East Anglia

Economic

  • large scale agri-businesses
  • reduces cost by growing crops that can be machine harvested
  • bult transport
  • needs little labour
  • large scale farms
  • demand from london and agri-industries= brewing, sugar, oils

Political

  • influenced by CAP
  • reduction in subsidies has forced cut in costs= more mechanisation
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Case Study- 2 contrasting farming areas- Southern

Southern Nigeria- tree crops e.g. oil palm, cocoa, rubber

Physical

  • hot humid climate all year
  • high all year rainfall
  • fertile river silts

Economic

  • plantations owned by TNCs
  • run like factories so need constant output
  • near coast for ports
  • plenty of cheap labour
  • large scale farms
  • demand from exporting and local industries= rubber, soap, oils
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Case study- Southern Nigeria

Social

  • poorly educated
  • high birth rate so growing farming population

Historical

  • long history from colonial times- British used area as source of raw materials

Political

  • Influenced by government's need for exports to pay for development
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Settlement patterns

3 aspects to settlement patterns:

  • horizontal- spacing of settlements; even, regular, random
  • vertical- the settlement and its hierarchy and its functions
  • individual settlement shape- linear, nucleated, dispersed etc

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Eu14JCZNXCc/StygRUQxA1I/AAAAAAAAAzw/0Aejh8ahp2k/s400/settlementpattern.jpg)

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Settlement patterns

causes: many are historical, In England, most rural settlements are recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, once existence although some vanished due to the Black death wiping out the whole village

  • physical factors- these dominate as settlements grow up, usually based on farming e.g. fertile soil, water supply, shelter, timber and building material supply. They are often shown in place names e.g. ley means clearing in a wood
  • Economic factors- these tend to control which villages expand into towns e.g. transport routes, power (wind or water mills)
  • social factors- often villages set up 'daughter settlements' e.g. Great and Little Tew near Oxford. Some grew up around abbeys or large houses supplying their needs
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Settlement hierarchy

=the organisation and structure of settlement based on size and the number of functions of a settlement, at the top are cities and conurbations and at the base are dispersed individual farmsteads

Hamlets

  • =small collection of farms and houses generally lacking in all by the most basic services and facilities
  • the trade generated by the population which is often less than 100 people, will only support low order services such as a general store, a sub post-office or a pub
  • low order services usually have a small threshold population and serve a small catchment area
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Settlement Hierarchy

Villages

  • larger in population
  • wider range of services including school, church or chapel, community centre and a small range of shops

Small market town

  • larger populations than villages and a greater variety of high and low order goods
  • catchment area is bigger than that of hamlets and villages and people will range much further to obtain the goods and services that they offer
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Settlement hierarchy

(http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/images/set_003.gif)

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Development

some develop more rapidly than others because:

physical conditions: climate, relief, drainage, soil type, vegetation, water supply, rock type

Economic factors

  • transport- density and type of routes
  • accessibility to large urban areas
  • ability to outbid for sites
  • size of site available
  • mutual attraction/ repulsion- e.g. pig farms and residential
  • availability of raw materials- e.g. sand and gravel, crops
  • nature of local and regional demand for rural produce
  • availability of labour- quantity, quality, price
  • existing rural industries- e.g. sugar refining
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Development

Social factors

  • Historical- conservation, e.g. National Park, reputation, tradition, culture
  • Mutual attraction/ repulsion
  • Population size, type and characteristics
  • Land ownership- estate development e.g. national trust
  • religious factors
  • inertia- difficult to change activities e.g. forestry

Political factors

  • planning controls- national parks, SSSIs, nature reserves
  • controls on farming e.g. CAP, set-aside
  • development schemes e.g. release of green belt
  • government uses e.g. military ranges
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Case Study- 2 rural areas- West Oxfordshire

Environment

  • 30% of area is Cotswold AONB
  • much is grassland for sheep and pockets of woodlands

Historical

  • land ownership has been crucial- large estates such as Duke of Marlborough's

Farming

  • Increase in high yielding cereals but sheep in remoter high areas
  • declined as a source of employment

Industry

  • Traditional rural industries of wool, e.g. Witney, furniture, quarrying
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Case Study- West Oxfordshire

Settlement- villages with market towns such as Chipping Norton

Infrastructure

  • 2 main roads A40 and A44
  • railway line to Oxford

Social

  • ageing population with high percentage of retired people
  • low birth rate
  • relatively prosperous population

Oppurtunities

  • increase in hi-tech and science parks e.g. Begboke
  • increase in tourism e.g. Blenheim
  • increase in second homes and commuter homes e.g. Charlbury
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Case Study- 2 rural areas- Eastern Cape, South Afr

Environment

  • hostile with low variable rainfall so much is uncultivated scrubland

Historical

  • Afrikaans area which was resettled as 'homelands' in 1970s under apartheid

Farmlands

  • Largely poor-quality pastoral
  • subsistence with some arable near rivers- vegetables and maize
  • yields low

Industry- none

Settlements- townships of resettled people, no real hierarchy

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Case Study- Eastern Cape, South Africa

Infrastructure

  • Little water (e.g. 3km walk to get it) power or sanitation
  • few local services
  • 2 main roads but few local tracks

Social

  • most men migrate away for work so unbalanced gender ratio
  • poverty and unemployment widespread
  • youthful population so high birth rate

Opportunities

  • increase in tourism
  • many commute to work in coastal cities
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Social and economic issues with rural change

Changes to rural settlements since the 1970s in the UK have resulted in:

  • depopulation of remote rural areas 
  • fewer farms
  • changing agricultural land use
  • increase in population in more accessible rural areas
  • counterurbanisation
  • increase in long-distance commuting
  • new roads
  • airports
  • housing schemes
  • theme parks
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Improvements in transport

  • there is a relationship between the type and rate of change that is occurring in rural settlements and distance from large urban areas
  • the most accessible villages have grown most
  • many villages have grown at alarming rates and have lost their original character, form and function
  • often described as dormitory, commuter or suburbanised villages e.g. Burford
  • Growth occurs initially around the original core, much of the growth is along main roads but there is also some infilling and incorporation of farms and buildings outside the original settlement (isolates)
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Changes in the suburbanised village

OV- original village, SV- suburbanised village

Housing

  • OV- detached, stone built houses with slate/ thatch roofs, some farms, most over 100 years old, barns
  • SV- new, mainly detached or semis; renovated barns or cottages; expensive planned estates, garages

Inhabitants

  • OV- farming and primary jobs; labouring or manual jobs
  • SV- professionals/ executives; commuters; wealthy with families or retired

Transport

  • OV- bus service; some cars; narrow winding roads
  • SV- decline in bus services as most families have 1-2 cars; better roads
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Changes in the suburbanised village

Services

  • OV- village shop, small junior school, public house, village hall
  • SV- more shops, enlarged school, modern public houses, and/or restaurant

Social

  • OV- small, close-knit community
  • SV- local community swamped; village may be deserted by day

Environment

  • OV- quiet, relatively pollution-free and open space
  • SV- more noise and risk of pollution, loss of farmland
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Key term definitions

Dormitory settlement= a rural settlement that has a high proportion of commuters

Commuter settlement= a settlement in which people live but don't work

Suburbanised village= a settlement where there has been recent growth changing its character from primarily farming orientated to residential with the majority working in nearby towns

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Key factors leading to growth or decline in rural

Increased standards of living- as people become better off and have access to one or more cars, they are able to live further away from their place of work

decreased size of households- the loss of the traditional nuclear family means there is much greater demand for housing, and there are more homes with fewer people in them

growing dissatisfaction with urban lifestyles- many large urban areas are considered to be unsafe, polluted, expensive, unfriendly, and a poor place to bring up a family- rural areas are often perceived to be the opposite

increasing car ownership- allow people and families to commute easily as transport developments improve

improving technology- e.g. internet, means some  called telecommuting 

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causes of change

  • population change- migration, birth rate, ethnic mix, age structure
  • social change- decreased household size, more single person households
  • mobility change- increased car ownership and declining public transport
  • incomes and wealth- increased or decreased, crop/livestock prices change
  • attitudes- desire for and satisfaction with urban or rural lifestyles
  • political- planning initiatives, creating conservation areas, land use zoning
  • employment structure/ location- agricultural versus services
  • changing technology- rise of internet so can work from home, mechanisation of technology
  • increased leisure time- growth of tourism and recreation
  • perception of danger, security, crime risk etc
  • changing infra-structure- gas, water, electricity, tv etc
  • public services- growth or decline type, location
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issues that result from change

Physical:

  • relief- building on unsuitable sites e.g. steep slope, drainage- water shortage, pollution
  • vegetation- loss of habitats
  • pollution- air, water, land, noise, visual

Economic:

  • power- shortage, reliability, high cost
  • industry- lack of jobs or low pay, migrant labour
  • settlement- housing quality and quantity, cost, second homes
  • services- lack of sufficient schools, shops, clinics etc
  • transport- cost, poor public transport

Social:

  • wealth inequality and deprivation
  • age profile-  dependency ratio, birth rates, social services
  • migration- depopulation, cultural change
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Issues in the rural-urban fringe- greenfield sites

Advantages:

  • land may be accessible
  • cheaper land
  • people prefer more space and pleasant environments
  • allows planners more freedom
  • easier to plan for infrastructural developments

Disadvantages

  • habitat destruction
  • reduction in biodiversity
  • increased pollution
  • increased impermeability leads to flooding
  • increased traffic on the road, and cross city commuting
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Issues in the rural-urban fringe- brownfield sites

Advantages

  • redevelopment of derelict land
  • does not harm environment
  • creates jobs locally
  • provides a boost to local economies
  • may use existing infrastructure

Disadvantages

  • land may be contaminated
  • widespread air and water pollution
  • congestion
  • overcrowding
  • land is expensive
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problems associated with the development and growt

urban sprawl- some cities in the UK have a green belt preventing urban sprawl but places such as Swindon, the potential for urban sprawl is greater since there is not planning legislation

need for more housing- pressure on rural areas for housing developments

  • between 1991 and 2001 a further 460,000 new homes were needed
  • increased demand for housing is generated by longer life expectancy, young people leaving home earlier, families splitting up
  • large urban areas are no longer desirable as they are seen as expensive, polluted and unsafe
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problems associated with the development and growt

Where should new homes be built?

  • location of West Oxfordshire and its high environmental quality has helped sustain a high demand for housing since 1981 West Oxfordshire's population has grown by 25%
  • The West Oxfordshire local government's objective in relation to housing is:
    • identify sufficient sources of new housing
    • locate new housing where it will have the least adverse impact on the character and resources of West Oxfordshire
    • seek a range of new residential accommodation which provides a variety of sizes, types and affordability

Industrial growth and urban services

  • some services such as reservoirs or cemeteries located in the urban fringe may be attractive visitor destinations
  • landfill sites, mineral workings and sewage works can be unattractive and polluting
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problems associated with the development and growt

Recreational pressures for golf courses and sports stadia

  • activities in the urban fringe like stock-car racing and scrambling can erode ecosystems and create localised litter and pollution
  • however, country parks, sports fields and golf courses can lead to conservation
  • Golf courses e.g. South Hinksey in urban fringe of Oxford, keep a large area 'semi-natural' with trees, grassland shrubs maintaining biodiversity but there is claims that golf courses waste water and destroy natural habitats
  • country parks provide a more direct way of conserving the environment e.g. Shotover country park in east oxford
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problems associated with the development and growt

transport and infrastructure development

  • motorways destroy countryside e.g. development of M40 to the east of Oxford
  • building of major new roads through environmentally sensitive areas meets much local and national opposition e.g. Twyford Down near Winchester
  • some transport infrastructure can have a positive impact e.g. cycle ways can improve access and promote new development

Agricultural developments

  • well-managed farms and small-holdings in the urban fringe they can suffer from litter, trespass and vandalism and some land lies derelict in hope of planning permissions for development
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problems associated with the development and growt

service development

  • there are some well sited, well-landscapred rural developments
  • there are some incidences of other development 
    • some out of town shopping areas and some unregulated businesses like scrap metal and caravan storage which can be unsightly and detrimental to the environment
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Case study- Oxfordshire- growth

Factors causing change

  • expansion of Oxford beyond its green belt
  • attractive scenery
  • Good link to London via train or M40

Developments

  • increased housing e.g. Blackbird Leys
  • increased recreation e.g. college sports grounds, golf courses, football stadium
  • new business parks e.g. nano-technology at Begbroke
  • park and ride schemes
  • increased arable farming
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Case study- Oxfordshire- growth

Environmental impacts

  • loss of habitats
  • increased flood risk
  • increased pollution- chiefly from traffic and modern farming e.g. eutrophication

Economic impacts

  • increased road congestion as more traffic 
  • soaring house prices
  • decline in primary jobs
  • increase in service jobs- often skilled and well paid
  • loss of rural services as many commute e.g. post offices
  • growth of mini-industrial areas e.g. chipping norton
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Case study- Oxfordshire- growth

Social impacts

  • friction between 'locals' and wealthy newcomers
  • increased social activities e.g. music groups
  • closure of rural services e.g. primary schools as few young people
  • ageing population

political impacts

  • traditional rural values under threat
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Case study- Eastern cape- decline

Factors causing change

  • impoverished population isolated on remote former homeland area- overcrowded and high natural increase
  • increased freedom to move

Developments

  • road improvement- more all-weather roads and bridges means more could migrate for work
  • subsistence farming replaced by cash so less labour needed

Environmental impacts

  • loss of wildlife (used for food)
  • soil erosion from clearing the bush for fuel etc
  • water pollution
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Case study- Eastern cape- decline

Economic impacts

  • rising unemployment
  • rising poverty
  • very poor road maintenance
  • lack of skills (only 4%)
  • most work as migrant labourers
  • agriculture in decline (30% uncultivated)
  • farms and houses left derelict

Social impacts

  • high incidence of HIV and AIDs
  • high percentage of women and elderly as young men migrated for work
  • traditional culture in decline
  • youthful population- high birth rate

Political impacts- traditional rural values under threat

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Decline in rural services

The rural development commission's 1991 survey of rural services throughout the UK revealed that:

  • 39% of parishes had no shop
  • 40% had no post office
  • 51% had no school
  • 29% had no village hall
  • 73% had no daily bus service
  • fewer than 10% had a bank, building society, nursery, day-care centre, dentist or daily train service

population changes have led to most rural areas having about average numbers of elderly people and below average numbers of 16-20 year olds

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Decline in rural services

Loss of local shops

  • in 1991, 61% of settlements under 300 population had one or more weekly mobile shops
  • a significant minority of people- 1/4- still depend on a local shop for their everyday needs

Primary schools

  • many rural primary schools closed in the 1960s-70s especially in smaller villages of under 200 people
  • by 1991 only 40% f parishes had a primary school and these usually had a population of over 500 people
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Decline in rural services

Healthcare services

  • by 1991, only 16% of parishes had a permanent GP surgery

Transport services

  • in 1991, only 27% of parishes had bus services and only 7% had a rail service
  • although by necessity car ownership is higher in the countryside than in towns
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Environmental issues

  • pollution- air, water (eutrophication) noise, visual, solids
  • water- scarcity (transfer schemes, use of aquifers, reservoir building)
  • traffic- congestion, pollution, land use (roads, car parks, garages etc)
  • habitat destruction- direct and indirect, species diversity
  • disease introduction- accidental (e.g. foot and mouth) or planned (myxomatosis)
  • new species introduced- accidentally or planned
  • dereliction- visual pollution, safety, health
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traffic congestion and pollution

causes:

  • increased car ownership and usage
  • improved main roads/ motorways but these feed into minor narrow rural roads
  • increased commuting- daily and at weekends (second homes etc)
  • increased recreation in rural areas
  • bottlenecks e.g. bridges
  • slow farm traffic and/or herds/flocks
  • decline in public transport

Example- Use Hook

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Traffic congestion and pollution

problems caused

  • time lost in delays
  • increased pollution as slow traffic increases pollution
  • accidents- animals killed etc
  • high fuel costs as slow and winding roads
  • decline in public transport- slowed by congestion etc

Management

  • national parks are traffic planning authority
  • use of charging policies
  • subsidised public transport
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Increasing use for recreation and leisure

Causes

  • increased car ownership
  • increased leisure time- shorter working week
  • higher real incomes
  • diversification from farming e.g. karting, fishing
  • creation of National Parks
  • second home ownership
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Increasing use for recreation and leisure

Problems

  • conflicts with farmers e.g. trampling crops, fires
  • honeypots get overused, congested
  • increased noise (e.g. karting) and pollution (e.g. litter)
  • forces up local prices e.g. house prices
  • second home problems
  • road and parking congestion in holiday season

management

  • honeypot sites
  • National Parks, ANOBs, etc
  • Private owner- forestry commission, national trust etc
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Building development

causes

  • urban sprawl, overspill and counterurbanisation
  • family break-up- need for more single person dwellings
  • ageing housing stock- much is old, decaying and wooden etc
  • higher rural birth rate
  • demand for commuter or second homes
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Building development

problems

  • loss of habitats
  • increased risk of flooding- more impervious surfaces
  • rise in land prices
  • overstretched rural services
  • new buildings do not fit into traditional village style
  • pressure on local infrastructure e.g. water, power

Management

  • establishment of key settlements or rural hubs- concentrate development and facilities
  • tight planning controls over number, type and style of housing
  • use of brownfield sites e.g. disused quarries, old aerodromes
  • development of eco-towns e.g bordon
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Impact of changes in farming

Causes

  • need to reduce costs and increase outputs
  • growth of agri-businesses 'mining in soil'
  • labour shortages= increased mechanisation
  • CAP- reduction in subsidies
  • increased use of chemicals- pesticides, fertilisers etc
  • cheap foreign produce e.g. enlargement of EU= competition
  • diversification in consumer taste- quality and variety wanted
  • changing technology e.g. increased mechanisation, hydroponics etc
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Impact of changes in farming

Problems

  • water pollution- eutrophication
  • poisoning or disturbance of wildlife- food chain damaged
  • soil erosion
  • concentration on a few crops- disease/pest risk
  • loss of hedgerows, copses and habitats
  • excessive irrigation leading to leaching or waterlogging
  • soil compressed by machinery= rapid runoff= floods

Management

  • set aside
  • organic farming
  • hybrid crops (GM crops, Green Revolution)
  • deintensification
  • nitrate sensitive areas
  • environmentally sensitive areas
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Case Study:impacts of modern farming- East Anglia-

Mechanisation

  • led to reduction in hedges, increase in field size and loss of ecosystems
  • compresses soil structure
  • high cost- fuel
  • pollution

Agri-chemicals

  • nitrate pollution= eutrophication
  • pesticides get into food chain= loss of wildlife
  • herbicides kill rare plants

Tenure

  • individual farmers brought out by agri-businesses so loss of community
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Case Study:impacts of modern farming- East Anglia-

Irrigation

  • increases crop yields and offsets dry spells but lowers rivers and water table
  • led to construction of reservoirs

Drainage

  • loss of wetland areas
  • chemicals drain into rivers

limited range of crops

  • soil erosion as soil exhausted
  • danger of pests and disease
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Case Study:impacts of modern farming- East Anglia-

Hybrid crops

  • tests of GM crops face opposition

Impact

  • Increased output so much that CAP reformed to reduce surpluses
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Case Study- Impacts of modern farming- India (NIC)

Mechanisation

  • led to loss of rural jobs= increased rural poverty
  • high cost of fuel, parts etc

Agri-chemicals

  • Nitrate pollution= eutrophication
  • high cost of chemicals so discriminates against poor
  • damage to wildlife as little regulation e.g DDT

Tenure

  • Rich farmers expanded at expense of poor= loss of food subsistence crops= increased rural hunger
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Case Study- Impacts of modern farming- India (NIC)

Irrigation

  • increases crop yields and offsets dry spells but lowers rivers and water table
  • excessive irrigation has caused salinisation and droughts

Drainage

  • loss of wetland and pollution of drinking water

Limited range of crops

  • soil erosion and loss of many staple food crops= increased dietary problems pests/ diseases common
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Case Study- Impacts of modern farming- India (NIC)

Hybrid crops

  • 60% of crops are hybrids with higher yields: 3 crops a year but they are more expensive

Impact

  • India was turned into a food exporter by 2000, but has now turned back into an importer
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Land degradation and dereliction

Causes

  • Loss of population- fewer people to maintain people
  • Ageing population- too poor or old to renovate property
  • Decline in farming or swap to a different form= spare buildings
  • Excessive use of agri-businesses
  • Local authorities lack funds as low tax base

Problems

  • Decaying property, outbuildings, etc- eyesore and dangerous
  • soil erosion- silting of rivers, dust storms etc
  • abandoned machinery, overgrown fields etc

Management

  • planning controls
  • taxation of derelict buildings
  • soil conservation, organic farming, set-aside etc
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Environmental issues in Oxford

Traffic congestion

issues

  • increasing due to little road development- at capacity
  • loss of land for parking
  • high cost of road improvements e.g. £100m for A40

Possible solutions

  • Double track the railway line from worchester, revive Oxford to Whitney line 
  • improve bus services using guided transit express system
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Environmental issues in Oxford

Recreation

Issues

  • country park at Shotover
  • Day visits to honeypot sites such as Blenheim
  • Golf course construction

Possible solutions

  • extension of green belt controls
  • careful management of honeypot sites
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Environmental issues in Oxford

Pollution

issues

  • increased air pollution
  • water pollution from roads and farming
  • plan for new reservoir to store Thames water- construction will cause problems

Possible solutions

  • close monitoring of pollution levels by water authority- fines for polluters
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Environmental issues in Oxford

Farm Changes

Issues

  • increased arable has reduced hedges and increased soil erosion

Possible solutions

  • set-aside and organic farming to meet needs of oxford

Dereliction

Issues

  • rare as buildings snapped up for second homes

possible solutions- planning controls

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Environmental issues in Oxford

Other

Issues

  • destruction of green belt- 4000 homes planned to the south
  • increase in impermeable surfaces= increased flooding
  • decreased biodiversity

Possible solutions

  • Development confined to old disused rural sites e.g. Shipton Quarry (5000 homes)
  • Increased flood protection schemes e.g. Witney
  • Creation of SSSIs and nature reserves
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Management Challenges

Management challenges involve how to balance the environmental needs (e.g. wildlife, hydrology and vegetation) against economic factors (e.g farming, employment and transport) and social factors (e.g. rural way of life and historic/ cultural aspects)

Sustainability is the ability to carry the system on into the future without a reduction in the system or standard of living

it is about reducing inputs (e.g. energy, water, chemicals) and reducing harmful outputs (e.g. pollution, soil erosion) but also about ensuring flows in the system are efficient (e.g. transport)

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Issues

  • the exact nature of the environment and water resources and their status
  • the cost, long and short term and who should pay
  • who gets benefits and who loses out, and how effective the scheme is
  • the political will and ownership
  • technology- whether the area has the expertise to develop
  • the size and scale
  • how long it will take, quick fix versus long term
  • balancing priorities
  • the wider impacts
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Case Study-ways farms adapt to change to try to be

Specialise

  • reduce the range of activities so reducing costs
  • specialise in a small range of outputs usually high value, low weight
  • very risky if demand or weather change
    • e.g. Howbarrow farm in Cumbria is an organic farm growing vegetables, herbs and fruit
    • In 2001, it started a home delivery service, also has a farm trail and bed and breakfast
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Case Study-ways farms adapt to change to try to be

Diversify- existing activities

  • use the existing activities or infrastructure in a different way to diversify the sources of farm income
  • not a change in use so unlikely to need planning permission
  • e.g Hicks farm in Essex has a farm shop, rents out disused barns for storage and uses its reservoirs for fishing, it is the latter that earns the largest 'profit'
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Case Study-ways farms adapt to change to try to be

Diversify into new activities

  • develop new activities on the farm that bring in new sources of income so spreading the risk if crop prices fall etc
  • will need planning permission and new build

Examples

  • Leaches farm in Buckinghamshire has set up its own business centre of 8 office units with a £5000 p.a. rent.
  • It benefits from its proximity to the M40
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Case Study-ways farms adapt to change to try to be

Change type of activity

  • move out of farming into a new activity often based on tourism or recreation
  • limited market and often seasonal

Examples

  • Old Macdonald's farm in Essex near the M25 has 50 indoor and outdoor amusements
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Making rural areas more sustainable-Local scale

Example: SSSI- site of scientific interest

  • Notification of an SSSI will include a statement of the views of Natural England (NE) or the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) about the management of the land, as swell as a list of operation that may be harmful to the special interest
  • if the owner or occupier wishes to carry out any of these operations they must first obtain consent from NE/CCW

Comment

  • these fears on preserving rare species or fragile ecosystems, so sustaining them
  • management is by agreement with the landowner but if no agreement can be reached then it can be compulsorily purchased
  • often very small scale but in total can cover a large area e.g 10% of Wales has been so designated. The pembrokeshire coastal path has 17 SSSIs
  • sometimes too small to manage and 'police' effectively
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Making rural areas more sustainable-Area

Example- National Park, Peak District: UK's first in 1951

  • The Authority acts as a planning authority to control developments seen as harmful to the environment
  • it offers specialists' advice on entitlement to grants for any work carried out and there are a number of projects aimed at supporting and funding local organisations that are helping conserve and enhance the environment
  • as well as offering guidance, the authority is also working with its partners to develop mid- to long-term plans and policies protecting the National Park's landscape and wildlife to sustain its community by developing the rural economy

Comment

  • more overtly aimed at sustainability, especially balancing economic and environmental sustainability
  • unlike National Parks elsewhere the authority doesn't own the land and can only control via planning and targeted grants, it is charged with the task of keeping the rural areas vibrant- management not conservation
  • conflict occurs between conservation activities and need to grant visitors access
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Making rural areas more sustainable- regional

Example- Amathole, South Africa

  • the district council aims to halve unemployment, eradicate poverty, invest in sustainable infrastructure and develop the economy
  • it will develop livestock farming co-operatives, introduce drought resistant fodder crops
  • it will also develop essential oils based on local plants (high value, low weight product)
  • focus on improving education and roads

comment

  • focus is mainly on economic sustainability
  • progress is slow as it needs large public and private investments to 'kick-start'
  • may be economically and socially sustainable but any success may endanger the natural environment unless it is closely monitored
  • the area also suffers from a high birth rate and HIV so these may siphon off investment
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Making rural areas more sustainable-National

Example- UK

  • Natural England has powers stemming from the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 to designate land as a National Nature Reserve (NNR)
  • Each NNR has its own reserve management plan e.g. Beinn Eighe, Britain's first National Nature Reserve, features striking mountain scenery and ancient pinewoods overlooking Loch Maree
  • the reserve is home to typical Highland wildlife, including red deer, golden eagles and the pine marten

comment

  • tend to aim at environmental sustainability  at the expense of economic sustainability
  • the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 granted a statutory right of responsible access which puts pressure on such reserves
  • NNRs in Scotland are either managed by Scotland National Heritage or privately ownded and managed under the National Reserve agreement
  • Other NNRs are managed and owned by partner organisations who own land such as the Forestry Comission, RSPB and the National Trust, contrasting priorities
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Making rural areas more sustainable- International

Example- EU

  • limestone pavements were given protection under the European Habitats Directive in 1992, when they were recognised as a priority habitat for designation as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)
  • priority habitat types are those seen as at risk of development across Europe
  • 7 areas of pavement in the UK have been identified as possible Special Areas of Conservation under the directive

Comment

  • Overtly aimed at sustainability, balancing the economic and environmental
  • EU has tried to bring consistency to development policies
  • Rural areas came under Objective 2 funding- where there is a low population density, declining population, high unemployment etc
  • During the 1990s the CAP introduced set-aside, and promoted organic farming, grants for environmental projects and subsidies for converting arable land to woodland, trying to make rural areas economically viable
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Making rural areas more sustainable- Global

Example- UN

  • Biosphere Reserves (BR) are areas of terrestrial and coastal/marine ecosystems which are international recognised under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme launched in 1971. e.g. Braunton Burrows National Nature Reserve in 1976

Comment

  • key sites are recognised as needing protection but the UN also encourages development in a sustainable way
  • ultimately, national interests could conflict with such designations e.g. plan for an airport on Maplin Sands in Essex- an area of international importance for bird migration
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