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Rural resilience may be defined as the capacity of a rural region to adapt to changing external circumstances in such a way that a satisfactory standard of living is maintained. (Source: Rural resilience as a new development concept)

 

Thanks for checking out our site RuralResilience.com. The site has been down for the past year so if you have visited you might have found yourself being redirected to the rural resilience page of New Paradigms.

I have lived for practically all of my life and continue to live in rural west of Ireland. I have witnessed the ebbs and flows of community life, the changing of the seasons and watched the impacts of progress and oft times the lack of it.

I grew up on a small farm, picked potatoes, footed turf and participated in the threshing meitheal.

In those few short decades I remember the transition from what we termed “mixed farming”, tillage, poultry, pigs sheep and cattle through to the introduction of out first tractor a Ferguson 20 fuelled by a product called TVO, an “international” portable milking machine and ultimately to the wonder product “Silage” in it’s neatly wrapped plastic bales.

Over these years the landscape became more and more shaped by what happened from outside the community. A Common Agricultural Policy for Europe had us bulldozing hedgerows and stone walls and breeding cattle with French and Dutch-sounding names. Within a few short years the reformed CAP had us rebuilding the walls, regrowing the hedges and again breeding native animals.

While much in rural Ireland has changed, much also has stayed the same. There is a saying in Ireland that “you can take the man from the bog but you can’t take the bog from the man” and somehow that pretty much defines what rural resilience is about.

People and Landscapes are Resilient. There is some connectedness of the bog and man in all of us manifest sometimes in our instinct to survive and in others to thrive. People possess a certain level of bouncebackability that often only comes into play after a crisis and as the saying goes “What doesn’t kill me will make me stronger!”

So resilience could be about just that “Surviving Stronger”

Our task through this website is not necessarily to pinpoint exactly what “Rural Resilience” is but rather to discover how that resilience can serve us in “surviving stronger”