Scotland’s rural economy is varied and vibrant, but in many places it is also fragile. SEFARI research plays a key role in better understanding our rural communities, and the economy which underpins them. Our research examines the main drivers for change facing Scotland’s rural economy, and identifies ways in which land-based and other rural industries and government policy, can adapt to these challenges. While the focus is primarily on agriculture, research also covers other prominent sectors in the rural economy, such as forestry and tourism.
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12 Dec 2022
The Tarland Catchment: Monitoring landscape interventions to improve water quality, benefit riparian habitat and mitigate flooding
The Tarland Burn Catchment (~70 km2) has been studied since the year 2000 making it one of the longest running comprehensive catchment management case studies in the UK.
27 Oct 2022
Working together to improve our understanding of inclusive growth in the Highlands and Islands
In 2020, researchers and practitioners collaborated to better understand how inclusive growth can be conceptualised and measured across a large, diverse and predominantly rural region in the north and west of Scotland.
18 Aug 2022
Sustainable Roundworm Control - Getting the Message Across
In an ever-changing world, it is essential that individuals are able to access, and act upon, the most relevant information and advice, and no more so than in agriculture.
14 Dec 2021
Exploring the potential of spatially referenced data to support the evolution of land-based policy in Scotland
The way we manage land and plan land-use change plays an integral role in the efforts for meeting climatic targets and for mitigating and adapting to climate change impacts.
26 Mar 2021
What is the cost of soil erosion in Scotland?
Sustainable soil management is a key component of several Scottish Government policies, including the Land Use Strategy, the Climat
23 Feb 2021
Making Green Infrastructure Socially Inclusive: Principles and Challenges
Green Infrastructure consists of interconnected multifunctional green spaces and green features. Components of Green Infrastructure include parks, nature reserves, street trees, streams, sustainable urban drainage systems and green roofs.
16 Dec 2020
Integrated Pest Management: How widely have these management practices been adopted?
Arable crops like wheat and barley, are frequently under attack from diseases, weeds, insects and slugs. These lead to reductions in yield and affect the profitability of farms and the price of produce. To protect crops there is a heavy reliance on pesticides.
2 Dec 2020
CALEDON: Gamers creating resilient forests
The public are being asked to report sightings of 22 tree pests and diseases and newly emerging threats.
1 Dec 2020
Using Natural Capital Approaches to support sustainable land management in Scotland: Insights from five pilot studies
Natural capital approaches involve identifying, understanding, and measuring the relative contribution of nature to economic performance and human well-being. By adopting the language of business, natural capital approaches allow the natural environment to be included in discussions about business decisions.
16 Nov 2020
Assessing natural capital impacts and dependencies within upland farming systems
Natural capital underpins sustainability and refers to the stocks of natural resources, which include geology, soil, air, water, and all living things.
4 Nov 2020
Phase 2 Grouse Research - Socioeconomic and biodiversity impacts of driven grouse moors and the employment rights of gamekeepers
This ‘Phase 2’ Grouse Research addresses some of the knowledge gaps regarding Scottish driven grouse moor management that were identified during our ‘Phase 1’ Grouse Research as well as gaps identifie
18 May 2020
The Islands (Scotland) Act 2018: Evidence needs for improving outcomes for Scotland’s island communities
The Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 introduced several measures to ensure that there is a sustained focus across the Scottish Government and the public sector to meet the needs of island communities, now and in future.
25 Feb 2020
Reflecting on Islands Revival and Introducing Research on the Edge
2019 was an important year for Scotland's islands, with the development of The National Islands Plan, an increased focus on repopulation, and concern abou
30 Jul 2019
Exploring the Gender Pay Gap in Rural Scotland
This scoping study explored the extent of the gender pay gap in rural Scotland, how it has changed over recent years, and potential reasons that might explain its extent and fluctuations over time.
19 Jul 2019
The Impact of Change on Rural Businesses
Through a series of Rural Business Surveys, our research is developing a better understanding of the characteristics, contributions and aspirations of rural businesses across the South and North-East of Scotland.
12 Jun 2019
Is the demographic tide turning for some Island Communities?
In recent months population trends in remote and Sparsely Populated Areas (SPA) of Scotland have become a political issue, not least due to fears about the likely impact of post-Brexit migration policy.
14 Jan 2019
Common Interest Groups: Helping smaller businesses to succeed through partnership
The food and drink supply chain is dominated by small and micro businesses. In Scotland more than 95% of businesses in the sector employ less than 12 people. Many of these smaller companies have a common desire to grow and succeed but this can be is hampered by their size.
13 Dec 2018
The Demographic Challenges Facing Scotland's Sparsely Populated Areas
This case study summarises ongoing work exploring how changes in the population of remote and rural areas in Scotland affect the social, economic and ecological resilience of these areas.
5 Nov 2018
The economic cost of animal disease: Winners and losers from Johne’s disease
SEFARI scientists, in collaboration with other research partners, provide evidence which informs the Scottish Government about the economic consequences of animal diseases.
25 May 2023 - 12:48
FEC Check: Understanding sheep roundworm egg count results at a glance
Roundworms are an ongoing challenge for sheep farmers in Scotland, threatening the health and welfare of animals. Whilst acute infection can be fatal, most roundworm infections result in poor growth rates and reduced production efficiency.
31 Jan 2023 - 16:45
Healthy environment, healthy milk: Explore our virtual farm tour
Fineview, a dairy farm managed by the Clark family in Dumfries and Galloway, is part of the innovative First Milk dairy cooperative which aims to deliver healthy fresh milk on sound environmental principles.
15 Nov 2022 - 15:48
Vertical farming - is the sky the limit?
During COP26 the contribution of agriculture and food production to greenhouse gas emissions was discussed and, goals were set to tackle the global challenges of climate change.