Centre for rural research staff

The Director of CRR

Professor Nick Evans
01905 855187 or email: n.evans@worc.ac.uk

Nick is Professor of Rural Geography and Director of the CRR. His PhD examined farm-based tourism in three English counties. Nick is the CRR’s main researcher in agricultural and related environmental issues. He has completed projects for English Nature on Sites of Special Scientific Interest as well as the CAP beef regime and the impact of BSE. Work for the Countryside Council for Wales has assessed the biodiversity resources of Welsh domestic livestock. He has been an evaluator of The Countryside Stewardship Scheme and Entry-level Environmental Stewardship Scheme for DEFRA. Nick has directed two very successful county studies of agriculture in Herefordshire and Shropshire.  He has further research interests in protected areas of the countryside, the changing landscape (including Landscape Character Assessment), the functioning of farm family businesses, the farming media and conservation grazing management.


Academic Staff

Dr Heather Barrett
01905 855191 or email: h.barrett@worc.ac.uk

Heather is a Senior Lecturer in Geography and also teaches on the Archaeology and Heritage Studies degree program. Her PhD examined the conservation of the built environment. Particular interests include market towns, settlement morphology and landscape symbolism, urban and building conservation planning and the gendering of space. She has applied her research skills in a rural context through studies of the impacts of out-of-town shopping centres on the economy of small towns, the economic impact of Foot and Mouth Disease in Worcestershire, the use of ‘greenspaces’ and the link between rural deprivation and child-care provision in Bromyard.

Dr David Storey
01905 855189 or email: d.storey@worc.ac.uk

David is a Senior Lecturer in Geography with research expertise on migration, socio-economic change, rural development policies, and issues of place and identity.  He has investigated the utilisation of community-based partnership responses to developmental problems in rural areas in both Ireland and Britain, as well as the use of local heritage in rural place promotion. Work has been undertaken for a range of local authorities and voluntary bodies in Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.  Recent work includes a survey of environmental issues in Cleobury Mortimer, the evaluation of drugs outreach services in Leominster, social exclusion in Worcestershire and urban-rural interdependence in the West Midlands.

Dr Alan Dixon
01905 54 2157 or email: a.dixon@worc.ac.uk

Honorary Senior Fellow

Dr Peter Carruthers
email: p.carruthers@worc.ac.uk

Peter is an Honorary Senior Fellow in the CRR. He joined the University in 2008, originally on secondment from the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC), to whom he continued to act as Expert Advisor on land, farming and climate change matters. He played a major role in the CRC’s ‘uplands inquiry’ (published June 2010). Immediately prior to his secondment, he was Programme Manager for ‘land and rural communities’ at the CRC, managing research on community impacts of field-scale polytunnels, the connections between rural people and the land, rural impacts of the 2007 summer floods, postmodernity and rural policy, and the ‘new land debate’. Peter’s current research interests include social, cultural and ethical aspects of land and countryside, and the nature and resolution of land-use conflicts. He has experience of using ‘futures’ thinking and methods, and environmental life-cycle assessment, and has carried out extensive, pioneering research on biofuels, industrial crops and agroforestry.

Administrative and Support Staff

Other staff within the Institute of Science and the Environment help CRR to function, contributing knowledge and experience which is vital in applied rural research. These include specialist geography technicians who can supply technical support, cartographical skills and assistance in the application of specialist software. Three key members of this team are:

Mrs Clare Smith - Academic Support Unit Manager
01905 855222 or email: c.smith@worc.ac.uk

Dr Anne Sinnott - Technical support/GIS
01905 855219 or email: a.sinnott@worc.ac.uk

James Atkins - Technical support
01905 852163 or email: j.atkins@worc.ac.uk

The CRR has the added advantage of being able to call upon expertise in other University Faculties as required.

Research Associates

Dr Ian Maddock
01905 855180 or email: i.maddock@worc.ac.uk

Ian is a Principal Lecturer in Geography and the CRR's principal researcher in hydrology and river management. His PhD examined aspects of conservation and river management, which has applied value for many of the agencies who have commissioned work with the CRR.

Dr Cheryl Jones
01905 855425 or email: c.jones@worc.ac.uk 
Cheryl is a GIS specialist and Director of the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark.

Research Staff and Former Research Students

Research Staff

In addition to academic lecturing staff, CRR employs its own full-time research officers. These well-qualified staff are dedicated to specific projects and are recruited for their knowledge of that topic and their experience of research techniques. It is not our usual policy to employ undergraduate students in this role unless specifically requested to do so. Our research officers ensure that clients have access to an efficient, reliable and friendly research service.

Former Research Students

David Maund
Moving On: Migration From a Rural Area - Process and Decision After 1871. PhD awarded 2008.

David undertook a PhD degree examining migration patterns and processes in rural England in the late 19th century. His study is centred on a small group of parishes on the Herefordshire - Shropshire border. It draws on a wide range of source material which is analysed using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Nicholas Bennett
The Role and Effectiveness of Parish Councils in Gloucestershire: Adapting to New Modes of Rural Community Governance. MPhil awarded 2006.

Nicholas undertook an MPhil degree exploring the role and effectiveness of parish councils based on fieldwork in Gloucestershire. His study utilises information derived from an extensive questionnaire survey and from interviews with parish council representatives.

Dr Linda Price 
02890 973394 or email: l.price@qub.ac.uk

Linda is a full-time Lecturer in Planning at Queen’s University, Belfast. Linda’s PhD, entitled “Stress in Agriculture: the Patriarchal Way of Life of Farm Families in Powys” allowed her to examine in-depth agrarian familial relationships.

Christine Corcoran (2003) Effectiveness of Partnerships in the Implementation of Youth Strategies: A Case Study of Wychavon and Bromyard

Stephen Chaplin (2000) Farm-based Recreation in England and Wales.

Penelope Mell (1999) The Theory and Practice of Community-based Strategies in Rural Areas

Jennifer Deaville (1997) Farm Businesses and Public Access to Agricultural Land in England and Wales