Tuesday, 11 July 2017 18:29

University hosts seminar on rural issues

Written by  Ruralcity Media
University hosts seminar on rural issues

Policy makers, practitioners and academics came together at Chester University for a seminar exploring aspects of rural life in England.

The event was organised by the Rural Services Network and hosted by the University's Department of Geography and International Development.

It welcomed members of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers.

The event at Chester is the fourth in this year's series of RSN seminars and focused on rural places, exploring the definition of 'rural', and how it is a spectrum of places (from coast to countryside).

Professor John Shepherd (from Birkbeck College, University of London) gave a lecture about social enterprise and rural places, considering the role of Community Interest Companies in particular.

Other speakers included Ian Baker, from the Small Woods Association; Jeremy Pickles from East Riding of Yorkshire Council (discussing coastal opportunities); and Lois Mansfield from the University of Cumbria explored the challenges facing the uplands.

Host Ivan Annibal, from economic development consultants Rose Regeneration, said: "This seminar – which is part of a regular cycle of learning events developed by the Rural Services Network – surprised me by the depth and range of insights which emerged from the dialogue between speakers and delegates.

"I'm not sure if it was the fact that we were in a Geography Department, or just good luck, but we ended up with a very rich seam of material from the day.

"If I was starting again I would have called this seminar: "Coasts, Woodlands, Mountains and Towns" as it took in almost every distinctive aspect of rural England as a collection of places, with lots of useful resonances provided by colleagues who attended from Wales.

"I was delighted with the support from the University as our hosts and look forward to working on future collaborations between the Department of Geography and International Development and the Rural Services Network."

Dr Martin Degg, head of the Department of Geography and International Development, said: "It was a pleasure to welcome such a diverse range of speakers and participants to the University.

It was particularly nice to welcome colleagues from Wales who are members of the Cheshire and North Wales branch of the RGS-IBG.

Our Department has a strong reputation for hosting a variety of seminars throughout the academic year, including many which are open to the public. We look forward to hosting more events by the Rural Services Network in the future."

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