Policy Press

Countryside Connections

Older People, Community and Place in Rural Britain

Edited by Catherine Hagan Hennessy, Robin Means and Vanessa Burholt


Apr 29, 2014

Page count

256 pages

Browse the series

The New Dynamics of Ageing




234 x 156 mm


Policy Press
Countryside Connections

Older people in the countryside are vastly under-researched compared to those in urban areas. This innovative volume, the first project-based book in the New Dynamics of Ageing series, offers a unique interdisciplinary perspective on this issue, focusing on older people’s role as assets in rural civic society. It demonstrates how the use of diverse methods from across disciplines aims to increase public engagement with this research. The authors examine the ways in which rural elders are connected to community and place, the contributions they make to family and neighbours, and the organisations and groups to which they belong. Highly topical issues around later life explored through these perspectives include older people’s financial security, leisure, access to services, transport and mobility, civic engagement and digital inclusion – all considered within the rural context in an era of fiscal austerity. In doing so, this book challenges problem-based views of ageing rural populations through considering barriers and facilitators to older people’s inclusion and opportunities for community participation in rural settings. Countryside Connections is a valuable text for students, researchers and practitioners with interests in rural ageing, civic engagement and interdisciplinary methods, theory and practice.

"The conceptual model, innovative methods, and empirics presented in this book provide a rich foundation for studies in other rural places." Canadian Journal on Aging

"a monumental volume...it reaches beyond interdisciplinary and begins to touch on transdisciplinary" Journal of Transport Geography

Catherine Hagan Hennessy is Professor of Public Health and Ageing at Plymouth University where she researches the well-being of older adults, including in rural settings.

Robin Means is Professor of Health and Social Care at the University of the West of England, and President of the British Society of Gerontology.

Vanessa Burholt is Professor of Gerontology at Swansea University. Her research concentrates on older people’s attachment to people and places, with a focus on rurality.

Countryside connections in later life: Setting the scene ~ Catherine Hagan Hennessy, Robin Means and Vanessa Burholt;

Conceptualising rural connectivities in later life ~ Nigel Curry, Vanessa Burholt, Catherine Hagan Hennessy;

Rural connectivity and older people’s leisure participation ~ Catherine Hagan Hennessy, Yvette Staelens, Gloria Lankshear, Andy Phippen, Avril Silk, Daniel Zahra;

Connecting with community: The nature of belonging among rural elders ~ Vanessa Burholt, Nigel Curry, Norah Keating, Jacquie Eales;

Beyond transport: Understanding the role of mobilities in rural elders’ connectivity in civic society ~ Graham Parkhurst, Kathleen Galvin, Charles Musselwhite, Judith Phillips, Ian Shergold, Les Todres;

Deep mapping and rural connectivities ~ Jane Bailey, Iain Biggs and Dan Buzzo;

Older people, low income and place: Making connections in rural Britain ~ Paul Milbourne, Shane Doheny;

Connecting with older people as project stakeholders: Lessons for public participation and engagement in rural research ~ Simon Evans, Ray Jones, Janet Smithson;

Towards connectivity in a Grey and Pleasant Land? ~ Robin Means, Vanessa Burholt, Catherine Hagan Hennessy.