Introducing the project

Rural communities are under pressure, whether from declining populations, reducing services or an ageing population. Yet they are an integral part of how we see our place, making the central South of England a unique area to live, work and visit.

This project, sponsored by the Cadland Estate and Southern Policy Centre, in partnership with Drawnalism, aims to explore what the future holds for our rural communities: how they might evolve, the opportunities rural life can offer and the steps we need to take to make sure our rural settlements can look forward to a thriving future.

We’ll do that by looking at a model village we’ve created, based on a typical Hampshire rural community, and discussing what might change over the next 30 years and how we can help sustain the place and its community.

We will also look at what the future may hold for some of the imaginary residents of our village: older residents, young families, single people. We’ve suggested what the life stories of these residents might be and what their hopes and aspirations for the future are. Those stories provide a springboard for us discussing how we can help rural dwellers have a positive future.

Next: Read about the challenges facing rural communities