About us

What we do

We support the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), which works to make England’s agriculture and forestry sectors more competitive, to improve the quality of life in rural areas and to diversify rural economies.

We support the programme by giving participants the tools and opportunities to share their ideas, practice and experience and by helping them exchange information more easily and effectively.

Who we are

The network includes people involved with the RDPE and the projects it funds. Its day-to-day operations are managed by a Network Support Unit, which has 3 members of staff and is based in Bristol.

We are part of the UK National Rural Network (UK NRN), which also includes the Rural Network for Northern Ireland, the Scotland National Rural Network and the Wales Rural Network. UK NRN is part of the European Network for Rural Development, which links the rural development programmes of EU member states.

Our responsibilities

We’re responsible for:

  • getting participants in rural development programmes more directly involved with carrying them out
  • improving the way rural development programmes are carried out
  • informing the public and potential beneficiaries about rural development policy and funding opportunities
  • supporting innovative practices and ideas in agriculture, food production, forestry and the rural environment

Our priorities

From 2014 to 2015 we’ll be preparing for the next rural development programme. Our priorities for the upcoming programme will be to:

  • make communications across the programme better co-ordinated and more integrated
  • provide training and support to RDPE LEADERs [Local Action Groups] (LAGs)](http://enrd.ec.europa.eu/leader/leader/en/lags-database_en.cfm)

LEADER’ is an acronym for a French phrase that means ‘links between the rural economy and development actions’. It’s an approach to decision-making that LAGs use to form effective local partnerships for a range of initiatives.

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