The CCRI Postgraduate Winter School provides a friendly and supportive environment for postgraduate students working in rural research to present their work and receive constructive feedback from CCRI staff. It is also an opportunity for postgraduate students from all over UK to meet up and exchange ideas.

2017/18 Winter School

The 2017/18 Winter School will take place on the 10th – 11th January, 2018, in Cheltenham.

The CCRI Winter School has a strong tradition of creating a supportive and developmental meeting for all postgraduate students, both internal and external, who are studying aspects of rural issues. As well as an opportunity to present a paper outlining progress on an element, or the totality of, a research project there will also be:

Skills-focused sessions and presentations
A three-minute thesis competition
Input from the CCRI staff
A panel debate on new directions for ‘rural’ studies.

With a backdrop of rapid technological evolution and social transformations in rural areas, as well as policy uncertainties and environmental transitions, this constellation of change is altering many facets of the rural. The winter school is a chance to engage with new and established scholars about these changes and benefit from the expertise of CCRI’s most recent research.

The number of places at this popular event is limited; we would encourage any students interested to register their participation in this school quickly.

For more information or reserve a place, please contact Matt Reed ( The CCRI hosts and sponsors this event, but participants will need to provide their own transport and accommodation.

2016/17 Winter School

The CCRI Postgraduate Winter School took place at the University of Gloucestershire Oxstalls Campus on Thursday 12th January.

Following the established tradition of previous CCRI Winter Schools, it was in association with the Royal Geographical Society (the Institute of British Geographers) Rural Geography Research Group and the Rural Services Network.

This year’s school included presentations from George Cusworth, Dilshaad Bundhoo, Jonathon Wilshaw and Rob Jarman, all from the University of Gloucestershire, as well as students from Plymouth University, Royal Agricultural University and Oxford Brookes.

Staff and students at the 2017 CCRI Postgraduate Winter School

The full 2017 Winter School programme is outlined below:


10:00 – Welcomes and Introductions

10:20 – Presentation 1: Felipe da Silva Machado, Plymouth University, presenting research on Rural Change, Globalization and WOOFing

10:40 – Presentation 2: Tom Wilkins, University of Gloucestershire, presenting work investigating whether the housing views and ideologies of those working in the planning industry are reflective of those in the young population.

11:00 – Presentation 3: Adeola Alo, Royal Agricultural University, presenting work on ‘Smallholder Farmers’ Understanding of Climate Change – A Case Study of SW Nigeria

11:20 – Break

11:40 – Presentation 4: Jonathon Wilshaw, University of Gloucestershire, presenting on the question ‘Are Urban Residents Disconnected from Nature?’

12:00 – Presentation 5: David Gimbe Tache Oxford Brookes University, presenting work on Corporate Social Responsibility and Transnational tourism corporations in the case of Kenya

12:20 Presentation 6: Nugun Patrick Jellason, Royal Agricultural University, talking on the topic of ‘Enhancing Resilience of Sub-Saharan African Drylands’ Smallholders to Climate Change

12:40 – Lunch.


CCRI research student, George Cusworth, presenting at the 2017 Winter School

1:30 – Presentation 7: George Cusworth, University of Gloucestershire, presenting on the question: ‘How Has Participation in England’s ELS Scheme Impacted the Farmer’s Sense of Environmental Responsibility?

1:50 – Presentation 8: Felipe De Silva Machado, Plymouth University, talking on: ‘Understanding Rural Resilience: Discussion on Methodologies and Analyses’

2:10 – Presentation 10: Rob Jarman, University of Gloucestershire, talking on the history (i.e. native or alien) of the ancient sweet chestnut population of Britain

2:45 – Panel Discussion on Research and PhD Trouble Shooting

3:30 – Thanks and Farewells

2015/16 Winter School
In association with the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) Rural Geography Research Group and the Rural Services Network, the CCRI hosted another successful postgraduate Winter School at the University of Gloucestershire Park Campus on 13-14 January, 2016.

The event was well attended with both CCRI and external PhD students presenting their research. All presentations were of a very high standard and this year we had an international flavour with rural researcher from Nigeria, China and Brazil participating (see presentation list below). Opportunities to interact with CCRI staff and the panel session were particularly valued by participants and the after-event feedback has been very positive. For example, the following comment was received from one of our postgraduate students:

Just to say thank you to you all at CCRI for a really useful and enjoyable Winter School.  It really is a very valuable and supportive resource to PhD students within rural research, so I just wanted to let you know how much it is appreciated and to thank you all for your time and input”.

Here is the list of topic and presenters (all presentations can be found on CCRI’s slideshare site)

  • Examining disease risk communication for disease control management: implementing biosecurity measures on English cattle farms, Sally Curzon, Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester
  • Rural Therapeutic Landscapes & the Animality of Care Farming, Richard Gorman, University of Cardiff
  • Using rural research in a policy environment: the experience of the Rural Services Network and Rural England, Brian Wilson, Rural England, Rural Services Network
  • Global multifunctional countryside: debates concerning rural change in transition economies (Brazil), Felipe da Silva Machado, Plymouth University
  • Sustainable development and Neo-endogenous development: The role of knowledge and local communities in local planning and practice, Susan Marango, University of Lincoln
  • A transdisciplinary examination of UK arable farmers’ knowledge-practices in relation to soil quality, Stephen Jones, University of Nottingham
  • Assessing the impacts of farming practices on soil functions: achieving benefits for soil, water quality and flow and the farm business. Ed Jones, Countryside and Community Research Institute
  • The Incidence, Understanding and Environmental Impact of Pesticide Use amongst Urban Agriculture Farmers in Ibadan, Nigeria, Ade Bodede, University of Gloucestershire
  • Farmers’ experiences of flooding and engagement with climate change as a risk issue in Gloucestershire – initial qualitative findings, Alice Hamilton-Webb, Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester
  • Practice and level of Awareness of Good Agricultural Practices among Smallholder Farmers in the adopted villages in Northern Nigeria, Samson Olayemi Sennuga, School of Agriculture, Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester
  • A comparative study proposal of the edible city landscape in London and Beijing, Yao Guo, University of Gloucestershire
Download programme


2014 Winter School
The 2014 CCRI Winter School took place on November 7th at the University of Gloucestershire, Park Campus, Cheltenham.

Watch our YouTube video summary of the 2014 Winter School.

CCRI staff and students at the 2014 Winter School
CCRI staff and students at the 2014 Winter School

The programme included three sessions of student presentations

Download abstracts of student presentations.

View student and many other presentations on CCRI Slideshare page.