25 August 2023, UK: A team of researchers led by The James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen is hunting for volunteers to help them investigate what helps or hinders rural life in Scotland.
Through a series of surveys, they want to look at issues including rural transport and local food supplies, to see how these impact rural life, as well as preferences for moving to or between rural areas, including from cities.
The surveys are being funded by the Scottish Government and may inform future policies and the rural economy.
“Rural areas cover 98% of Scotland and they are hugely important to the country’s life and identity, supporting sectors from farming and forestry to tourism and energy production,” says Simone Piras, a researcher at the Hutton, who is working on the project.
“While the Covid pandemic saw more people move into rural areas, we don’t think that pattern has been sustained long term, especially in more sparsely populated regions. So we’re keen to learn what the barriers and opportunities are around movement to and between Scotland’s rural areas, but also around affordable and sustainable transport and developing local resilient food systems in these areas.”
People aged over 18 can take part and participants will be able to enter a prize draw for £50 gift cards.
While most of the surveys are meant for rural dwellers, which includes those living in towns with a population under 10,000, one will also look at movement between rural areas or from urban to rural areas, so those in larger towns or cities can also take part.
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