The National Rural Conference 2024

The Rural Services Network (RSN) is thrilled to announce the National Rural Conference 2024, taking place from 16th to 19th September. This virtual event, accessible via Zoom, is the premier gathering for senior officers, members, policymakers, and rural service professionals.
Further information and booking details can be found here

Hinterland - 9 May 2023

Hinterland is back after a lay off of a few weeks. In this royal week – we have two stories of doing dare involving a helicopter and earth digger! We also have cycle lanes, rainforest, 100% mortgages and the return of Llandegley International Airport in Powys, which may or may not exist!!!                    

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Prince Louis drives a digger as he joins volunteering efforts

We all know rural England is brimming with social capital so perhaps best that the royals target their efforts to bring more forward in Slough…

Prince Louis has been driving a digger as part of volunteering efforts on the final day of Coronation celebrations.

The five-year-old, along with brother Prince George and sister Princess Charlotte, helped Scouts in Slough, while the prime minister made food in a village hall.

People across the UK are being urged to get involved in local projects such as beach cleaning and flower planting.

It is part of a drive to encourage a post-pandemic return to volunteering.

Tens of thousands of charities have been taking part in the Big Help Out, with a total of 30,000 organisations putting on 55,000 events across the UK.

Woman rescued from top of church tower in Cornwall

The risks some people take as part of the ongoing support for our monarchy! This story tells us:

A woman has been rescued from the top of the highest church tower in Cornwall.

She became ill after climbing the tower in the village of Probus, near Truro, on Sunday afternoon, rescuers said.

The tower had been open to the public as part of celebration of the Coronation of King Charles III.

Because of the difficult location, a coastguard helicopter and cliff rescue teams were also involved, as well as an air ambulance, police and firefighters.

The tower, which dates back to the 1500s, is the tallest of any parish church in Cornwall at 126ft (38.35m), according to the parish council.

Villager Paul Bassett said the operation was an "amazing to watch".

He told BBC Cornwall: "There were a lot of people trying to work out how to get the poor lady down. Then all of a sudden there was lots of activity and the rescue suddenly unfolded."

Calls for removal of Keynsham 'optical illusion' cycle lane

This story leaves me unclear as to whether it’s the cyclists or the pedestrians or both who are being injured. What is for sure is that we have clearly not solved the challenge of integrating the two in modern small urban (or indeed any type of) settings!!

In March 2022, a new cycle lane was installed on Keynsham High Street.

Personal injury claims against Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) Council have been made by 21 people. Seven of those have been rejected, but the rest remain open and under investigation.

The council stated that no insurance claims had currently been settled and no payments had been made yet.

People have described the white road markings as "optical illusions", as the white kerbs and painted white lines look similar.

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, the figures were obtained through a freedom of information request to BANES Council, submitted by Councillor Alan Hale.

He is calling for the cycle lane to be removed in the interest public health and safety.

The lane was painted red in August 2022 with the hope of reducing the number of falls.

Councillor Mark Roper, the cabinet member for economic development, regeneration and growth, defended the council's response to the issues.

He said the cycle lane was built to the government's current LTN120 standards and a series of mitigations were put in place in response to the reported incidents, and a Stage 4 Road Safety Audit had been commissioned to suggest any further improvements.

Cornish farm launches project to triple UK’s temperate rainforest

I say the nature offer of rural in these islands is not fully managed or facilitated and Im very pleased to see another example of something good in that context in this story! Which tells us:

Tripling Britain’s temperate rainforest is the goal of a new charity founded by a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who found solace in this unique and biodiverse habitat.

The Thousand Year Trust is being launched this week by Merlin Hanbury-Tenison, who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after three tours of Afghanistan and is now transforming his 120-hectare (300 acre) hill farm on Bodmin Moor into the largest rainforest restoration project in England and Wales.

The charity is working with local farmers, landowners and charities to identify land suitable to triple Cornwall’s estimated 1,200-1,600 hectares of surviving temperate rainforest, with the ultimate aim of tripling Britain’s surviving rainforest to 1m acres over the next 30 years.

UK mortgage lender to offer first 100% loans since 2008 crisis

I think we should say three cheers to the Skipton Building Society for seeing the potential of this product particularly for those hard working individuals who in life have only themselves to rely on to get a start on the property ladder!

A leading lender plans to launch a 100% mortgage aimed at would-be first-time buyers who cannot save for a deposit, the first since the 2008 financial crisis.

Standard home loans where the borrower does not have to put down a deposit used to be fairly commonplace but the last was axed in the wake of the financial crisis.

However, Skipton Building Society is getting ready to launch a mortgage targeting those “trapped in rental cycles” and who do not have access to “the bank of mum and dad,” and so are therefore unable to save up enough for a home deposit.

And Finally

Powys: Spoof £25,000 airport sign makes a welcome return

I know this is a story from Wales but its so good I had to include it in and finally…..

It is the mid Wales landmark that started out as a joke and lasted for 20 years.

Now, it is making a comeback.

Up until last November, there was a billboard for Llandegley International on the A44 in Powys between Rhayader and Kington.

But drivers who followed the directions to Terminal 1 or 3 ended up not at an airport, not even an airfield, but just a field on the outskirts of the village.

The sign was taken down last year when the man who spent £25,000 keeping it in place decided he would try to make it an official landmark.

Nicholas Whitehead launched a crowdfunding campaign with the slogan "give us a sign".

Six months later, a brand-new one has appeared.

The airport's "founder" said he was delighted.

"When the sign came down we gained thousands of followers on Facebook. There was so much support for getting another, I felt sure the crowd-funder would work," he said.

About the author:
Hinterland is written for the Rural Services Network by Ivan Annibal, of rural economic practitioners Rose Regeneration.


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