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Rural Communities

Traditionally, rural people have more contact with their `neighbours’ - who might be living several miles away - than urban dwellers have with people living at the other end of their street, or even across the road

Towns & Villages
village streetIn most rural counties rural towns are situated about 20 to 25 miles apart. In between the towns are rural villages - often only a few miles apart. Apart from towns, villages and single farm houses, other communities exist in small clusters of houses deep in rural areas. Very often they are the remnants of previously larger communities which once had their own schools and small shops.

Farmers do make up the greater part of rural communities. They generally live in single houses on family farms. Nowadays, due to the amalgamation of small farms and the numbers of farmers leaving the industry, many rural areas are very thinly populated.

Farming has become very intensive and mechanised. There are fewer farmers and more machinery. Some of the machinery is very large and noisy. Different farm equipment and machinery is used at different times of the year such as planting, harvesting, milk delivery, slurry spreading, etc.

community workersThe parish is the traditional territorial and social structure of community life. This in turn is subdivided into townlands – the name given to the dispersed village, ie. people living in houses dispersed throughout the landscape.

Apart from farmers, many other people live in rural areas. Teachers, tradesmen, factory workers, professional people, artists, craftworkers and a growing number of people from all walks of life are choosing to live in the country. Taken together, they form a homogenous culturally rich and diverse community.

Some people want to be in amongst other houses and within walking distance of shops and schools; those people should only look at houses that comply with their requirements. Other people don’t mind (or sometimes prefer) being a mile or two from villages. The further out you go into the countryside the fewer houses will be close by.

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