The seminar on the future of our rural communities was held in Brockenhurst at the Scout Hut at Brockenhurst Village Hall.
With the support of Cadland Estate and Drawnalism the Southern Policy Centre brought together twelve people with an understanding of rural life to discuss what might change in the years to 2050 for our rural communities.
The following organisations were represented at the workshop:
- Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council
- Cadland Estate
- Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE)
- Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
- Environment Agency
- Hampshire Chamber of Commerce
- Hampshire County Council
- New Forest Business Partnership
- New Forest District Council (NFDC)
- New Forest National Park Authority (NFNPA)
- Simeon Morgan Farming
- Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
- Southern Policy Centre
- Sway Parish Council
- Winchester City Council
We started with a model village which you can see a picture of below. It’s based on a typical Hampshire rural community. We also imagined some of the people who might live in that village, their aspirations for the future and how their lives might change.
The morning was spent discussing the challenges that village and its inhabitants will face over the coming years and what needs to change if the village is to continue to thrive. Our discussion helped paint a picture of what the village might look like by 2050, and you can see how the village changed.
Our discussion explored four key themes:
- What are the biggest challenges the community face?
- What needs to change if our village is to continue to thrive?
- How can we ensure the changes people want to see are delivered?
- How will all this change the character of our village?
Over two hours or so we got lots of really interesting ideas from all our participants and recorded them in the pictures you can see across the pages of this website, as well as asking people to scribble ideas on post-it notes.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the morning was when we started to update the village map to reflect the ideas emerging. Houses were added, as were more ways of generating electricity to meet local needs, existing facilities were closed down and new ones added. We built up an exciting picture of a new and thriving place: what our village could become if its inhabitants and those whose decisions affected it built a positive vision for the future.
The full story of the villages future which emerged from our discussions can be found at https://rural-future.net/story/.
Next: Take a look at what’s where in our village in 2020.