This was the theme of a day conference hosted by the Scottish Churches Rural Group on Wednesday 9th December. Over sixty people gathered to hear presentations which covered a wide range of topics including tourism, agriculture, energy, planning, and land use.
The opening presentation was given by Richard Wakeford, Director General of Rural Futures, who presented an overview of rural Scotland within a global context, picking up on issues of population change and migration, food security, climate change, water availability, and the need for governments to plan regional strategies.
He suggested that there was the possibility of a rural renaissance and that in the face of the continuing urbanisation of the world rural communities had much to offer the urban environment in terms of quality food at a fair price, clean water supply and dirty water treatment, renewable energy supplies and energy security, ecosystems services, climate change adaptation, cultural assets and countryside for enjoyment.
A report from the Conference is now available to download..
The photograph is of Rt. Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness,Scottish Episcopal Church, who led the Welcome, together with Richard Wakeford (Rural Futures), Veronica Burbridge (Royal Institute of Town Planning) and Stewart Housden (RSPB). Photograph taken by Norman MacAskill (SCVO).