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This page is no longer updated. The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute joined forces with SCRI joined forces on 1 April 2011 to create The James Hutton Institute. Please visit the James Hutton Institute website.

Wednesday 19th June 2024

Developing Rural Scotland


People continue to have the greatest influence in shaping Scotland’s rural environment :

  • Directly through primary production (farming, forestry and fishing)
  • Indirectly through patterns of consumption (food, fibre, energy and housing) or through other uses (lifestyle, leisure and tourism)

People have the unique capacity to learn, cooperate and plan using knowledge to adapt and mitigate to changing conditions.

Our quality of life and health are, in turn, profoundly affected by their environment – so there is a close coupling of the socio-economic and ecological systems.

People have significantly differing perceptions, preferences and priorities meaning there is the need for processes of deliberation, trade-off and decision making.

“Environment – Land Use and Rural Stewardship” (Programme 3) will contribute to the evidence base for the Governments’  five strategic objectives of a

  • Healthier
  • Smarter
  • Safer
  • Stronger
  • Wealthier and
  • Fairer , as well as,
  • Greener,

Scotland. In particular, enhanced knowledge will inform policy schemes that shape and sustain rural landscapes and communities for the benefit of all Scotland’s people.

Research Information

Expected Outcomes

  • A holistic understanding of the ‘actors’, drivers and processes underpinning sustainable rural development by integrating knowledge from natural and social sciences
  • Improved participation enhancing the exchange of knowledge between researchers and stakeholders leading to more informed policy
  • Evidence to assist in the development, monitoring and evaluation of Scotland’s rural development policies
  • Effective cross-sectional responses to climate change



Sustainable farming systems:
Work package 3.1

Protection and enhancement of rural landscapes and communities
Work package 3.8

Rural - first slide

Slide show as 8MB pps