Representing rural communities2022-03-29T15:55:51+00:00

Representing rural communities

We provide nationwide advocacy for rural communities in England so policy makers, service providers, funders and other stakeholders take account of the unique circumstances of people living and working in the countryside.

Many people think of the countryside as an idyllic place to live, characterised by beautiful landscapes where people live happier, healthier lives. However, living in rural areas has its challenges. Rural communities often lack basic services, homes that people can afford and employment opportunities – problems made worse by poor connectivity to other areas. This can make life difficult, especially for people who already suffer other forms of disadvantage.

In speaking up for rural communities, we draw on a wealth of knowledge and experience about these challenges, as well as the local projects that make life better for everyone in the countryside.

Our principal source of intelligence about rural communities comes from our members. ACRE members reach over 35,000 community groups each year, supporting them with various local initiatives from managing village halls to developing affordable housing solutions. Through ongoing networking and information exchange with colleagues, we have our ears and eyes to the ground and can provide valuable insight into situations both locally and nationally.

We also work with other organisations in the community and voluntary sector and academic institutions to commission and undertake research that equips us with a better understanding of rural communities.

Rural proofing

ACRE supports ‘rural proofing’ as a means of achieving fairer outcomes for everyone in the countryside. No one should be disadvantaged because of where they live.

Rural proofing is about making sure that all government policies and initiatives are examined closely from a rural perspective to understand their potential impact for these areas. It is based on an understanding that rural communities have different needs and characteristics to their urban counterparts which may need may require different solutions and interventions.

We work with members of the Rural Coalition to rural proof policy developments nationally. Members of the ACRE Network do the same with local government bodies and service providers.

Read our commentary on the most recent government Rural Proofing Report.

Publications and resources