This section provides access to current and completed rural evidence projects commissioned by Defra and includes the output reports from these projects.
The primary objective of the provision of rural evidence is to inform and support Ministers’ rural objectives in relation to Rural Fairness. Rural Fairness is a way of expressing a long-standing function, and involves ensuring that policy makers at all levels of Government give reasonable and proportionate consideration to the needs and interests of rural people, places and businesses when policies are considered, developed, delivered and reviewed. For this objective to be realised, Defra and the lead policy departments must have a clear and extensive understanding of rural characteristics and of where rural needs differ from urban ones.
Eighty percent of England`s population live in non-rural areas and their issues and needs are in general better understood by policy-makers, more visible because they are more concentrated, and often more easily mapped because existing measuring tools, e.g. the Index of Multiple Deprivation are attuned to them. The twenty percent of population who in live in rural areas inhabit a number of different typographies (remote and sparsely populated areas, peripheral-urban, coastal etc): measuring and understanding where these make a difference enables social and economic policies to be delivered more effectively and fairly.