Defra’s rural programme focuses on the outcomes of the Government’s social and economic policies in relation to rural people and places.
Our aim is to ensure that the evidenced needs of rural people and communities are addressed effectively through mainstream public policy and delivery. This is about working constructively within a national policy framework which recognises that all communities are different; and which is increasingly designed to give local areas the flexibility to respond to local circumstances and needs.
Strong Rural Communities
Departmental Strategic Objective measurements published online.
Secretary of State, The Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, reiterates Government's commitment to it strategic objective to promote Strong Rural Communities in his letters to Stuart Burgess, Chairman of Commission for Rural Communities, and David Stewart who is the Lead chair of the Regional Rural Affairs Forums.
In this section:
The Government is committed to listening to the views, needs and concerns of rural people, businesses and communities. [Further information]
Defra places high value on clear and compelling analysis in order to develop effective policies. As part of this, we have a substantial rural research programme which helps to build the necessary evidence base. [Further information]
- Rural Communities
Delivering on our Departmental Strategic Objective of “Strong Rural Communities” [Further information]
- Affordable Rural Housing
See how the Government is addressing the need for affordable housing in rural areas [Further information]
Grants and Funding
- EU Structural Funds
These funds exist to help areas of Europe suffering difficulties. Their purpose is to help sponsor projects which directly address local needs [Further information]
- Leader +
Twenty five areas in England benefit from Leader+ funding. It is a EC initiative to assist rural communities in improving quality of life and economic prosperity. [Further information]
- Rural Development Programme for England 2007-2013
A programme to allocate funding to help farmers manage the land more sustainably and deliver outcomes on biodiversity, landscape and access, water quality and climate change. [Further information]
- Environmental Stewardship
Environmental Stewardship is an agri-environment scheme which provides funding to farmers and land managers in England who deliver effective environmental management on their land [Further information]
Other Rural Issues
- Uplands Support
Uplands are nationally important for biodiversity and natural resource value. Agricultural activity has played a large part in shaping these upland landscapes [Further information]
- Hunting with Dogs
The hunting act 2004 makes hunting with dogs of all wild mammals an offence. [Further information]
Defra works for the good of horses for people who ride, own, or work with horses; and for the sustainable benefits which horses bring to economies and communities. [Further information]
- Public Access to Countryside
The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 extends public's ability to enjoy the countryside whilst providing safeguards for landowners and occupiers [Further information]
24 July 2008