Rural Economy

The Rural Development Forum aims to support the rural economy in the rural/urban fringe as pressures on land, agriculture and forestry in the Colne Valley Park and surrounding areas intensify.

The Vision of the Rural Development Forum is:
 “To achieve a vibrant and sustainable rural economy, including farming and forestry, underpinning the value of the countryside”.

Five issues have been identified by the Rural Development Forum, these are:

  • Viability of farming in the rural urban fringe
  • Local food to local markets (a co-operative approach)
  • Woodland management
  • Links between local people and the countryside on their doorstep
  • Tourism & day visits (opportunities for farmers, foresters and growers)


The Rural Development Forum intends to exploit the opportunities for farmers, woodland owners and rural businesses in the rural/urban fringe. An example of this is the establishment of Colne Valley Food.

The area covered by the Rural Development Forum includes the whole of the Colne Valley Park. It also includes the wider rural/urban Fringe from London’s western edge to the Chiltern AONB as well as South Bucks parishes north of Slough. The boundaries are not set in stone, the Forum is more interested in supporting the viability of the rural economy to the west of London rather than defining whether a particular farm or woodland is inside or outside the boundary.
For more information please contact the Farming and Forestry Officer, Debbie Valman, on 01895 839859 or email

The Colne Valley Rural Development Forum is supported by the Rural Development Programme for England.

The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) is funded by Defra and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD): Europe investing in rural areas.