Past Major Programme Events


November 2011

Who should run the countryside? Celebrating the Relu Programme and looking ahead at  the future of rural areas.
Wednesday 16 November 2011, at The Sage, Gateshead.

A film about the Relu programme

Films about the Relu Awards Finalists:

Sustainable Uplands: learning to manage future change

Comparative merits of consuming vegetables produced locally or overseas

Understanding environmental knowledge controversies

Catchment management for protection of water resources

Briefing Papers:

Changing landscapes: some achievements of the Relu Programme

Innovations in Interdisciplinary Methods - The Relu Experience



Big Debate 1: Food security versus environmental responsibility:
which should take precedence?

Big Debate 2: Is 21st century land ownership a responsibility or a privilege?

Big Debate 3: Can protecting your countryside save the Earth?

Workshop discussion 1: Who owns animal health: the farmer or the state?  

Workshop Discussion 2: Environmental modelling: master or servant?


May 2011

New Horizons for Animal and Plant Disease from the Relu Programme, Central London Interactive seminar for stakeholders, 10 May 2011.

Seminar by Relu Interdisciplinary Fellow Dr Angela Cassidy, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Lancaster: Science, media, policy and wildlife: the badger/bovine TB controversy, 12 noon Wednesday 25th May 2011, University of East Anglia, Bowland Nth SR 17 Further details


February 2011

Catchment Management and Public Engagement.  Relu and the Northern Rural Network hosted a joint event on Catchment Management and Public Engagement at Newcastle University on Tuesday 1 February 2011.   Agenda For further information contact


October 2010

Strategic Land Use: Crossing the Urban Rural Divide: A Relu/SUE Workshop
Workshop report

July 2010

New Relu projects launched

A very successful launch of new projects on the theme "Adapting Rural Living and Land Use to Environmental Change" - a joint call with the Living With Environmental Change programme - was held in Manchester on 1 July.  Read our Communications Manager's blog about the event at 

The projects are:
- Building Adaptive Strategies for Environmental Change in River Catchments
- Linking Evidence and Policy for Managing Biodiversity in the Agricultural Landscape
- Sustainable Uplands: Transforming knowledge for upland change
- Managing Environmental Change at the Rural-Urban Fringe
- Market-Based Mechanisms for Protection of Water Resources
- Collaborative Conservation in Agri-Environment Schemes
- Flood Management in Borderlands
- Sustainable Cultivation of Upland Environments
- Rural Communities Adapting and Living with Climate Change

Project descriptions Report

November 2009

Chief Scientific Adviser to launches ground-breaking new book

Chief Scientific Adviser Professor John Beddington spoke at the launch of "'What is land for? The food, fuel and climate change debate" on 19 November in London. The book, published by Earthscan, has been edited by Relu researchers Michael Winter and Matt Lobley and includes contributions from across the Relu programme.

Professor Beddington said: "We are going to face a number of major global problems in the next two decades, including increasing population, urbanisation, demand for food, water and energy, and climate change. We can’t address any of these issues without addressing all of them. Increased pressures of climate change, demographic shifts and changing patterns of work and habitation will all intensify demands on land. We need a coherent national policy for energy, land, food, water and climate change. CP09 indicates potential for water shortages and water surpluses in the UK: there is likely to be more precipitation in the winter, with drier summers (although there will be little change in the overall amount of precipitation that falls annually). Land is a potential solution: it can be used to store floodwaters as flood risk increases, regulating and slowing the flow of storm waters. The Land Use Futures Foresight project has been looking at these and other issues: carbon storage for climate change mitigation; improved governance frameworks; maintenance of best landscape and heritage sights to support biodiversity and human health and well-being. The changes we need to make are not just technical or scientific, they are to do with behavioural change, social change and economic change. I welcome the publication of this book, as the latest essay in the ongoing and crucial debate about the future of UK land."


June 2009

Relu Conference "The Future of Rural Land Use"
4 June

March 2009

"Rural Land Use in the North: Future Challenges"
Relu held a one day seminar in partnership with the Northern Rural Network on the Future of Rural Land and Water in the North of England.  The seminar was of particular interest to local development agencies, rural businesses, local authorities and other public bodies and the voluntary sector, as well as academic researchers. Event summary

May 2008

RELU Workshop on Animal and Plant Disease Management,

Regent's College, London Final Report
22 May

March 2008

Festival of Social Science, National Science and Engineering Week events

March 2008

Relu's Great Land Use Debate
The debate went on line during the Festival of Social Science/National Science and Engineering Week 7-16 March 2008. You can read a report of the debate here.
Or you can read the full debates here:
Have we got the balance right between protecting the environment and food production?
Is rural land management the problem or the solution to flooding in our towns and cities?
What is rural land for?
An evaluation of the process

Some related events and information on land use from other organisations:
Campaign for the Protection of Rural England debates:
National Trust:

November 2007

RELU Conference “Unlocking Change in  the Food Chain”, London /Fifth meeting of RELU Food Chain Forum was held on 7 Novemeber Video

May 2007

RELU/LARCI/Northern Rural Network Conference
"Research on Rural Resource Management and the Rural Economy: Addressing the Local Dimension". Edinburgh, 12 September


March 2007

The UK Rural Economy and Land Use Debates
National Science and Engineering Week/Festival of Social Science 2007. RELU Debates on Power and Responsibility: Who Decides : You Decide

9 March: The environment would be fine, if only scientists were in charge
12 March: Consumers cannot be left to themselves to decide what to eat
14 March: Farmers should be responsible for controlling livestock diseases

The debates have been published in "Power and Responsibility - Who Decides, You Decide!" (RELU Briefing Paper No. 5)

May 2006

RELU Workshop in collaboration with Advantage West Midlands

Priestley Wharf, Aston Science Park, Birmingham 10 May

March 2006

The UK Rural Economy and Land Use Debates,

National Science / Social Science Week
Royal Academy of Engineering, 29 Great Peter Street, London, SW1P 3LW
13 March: Energy crops running out of steam?
15 March: Were any lessons learned from Foot and Mouth?
16 March: Farming's no place for wildlife?
17 March: Food Miles: should we be buying food from abroad?

January 2006

Rural Economy And Land Use Programme Conference: Enabling Knowledge Exchange

Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester University.
18-20 January
and Review

May 2005

People and the Environment: Scoping the Research Agenda

RELU and LUPG (Land Use Policy Group) joint meeting
King's Manor, University of York. Agenda (pdf) 18 May

January 2005

Rural Economy And Land Use: The Challenge For Research

Millenium Point, Birmingham (19 Jan), Holiday Inn, City Centre, Birmingham (20-21 Jan). Agenda (pdf) 19-21 January

October 2004

RELU Rural Futures Workshop,

Royal Institution, London. Agenda (pdf) 13 October