Production of comprehensive labour market information for the agricultural and horticultural sectors
DEFRA (via Ipsos MORI)
Devon County Council
Farming resilience: civil society's role in supporting vulnerable rural communities through and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic
ESRC UKRI Covid Rapid Response
The Worshipful Company of Farmers and the John Oldacre Foundation
Loneliness, social isolation and mental health in farming communities: An analysis of social and cultural factors
Loneliness and Social Isolation in Mental Health Network (funded by UKRI)
ARC (Arthur Rank Centre)
Collaboration and Incentives Commission – Exploring the effectiveness of collaborative mechanisms, incentives and alternative approaches for delivering environmental outcomes at large spatial scales through ELM
The Prince's Countryside Fund and the John Oldacre Foundation Endowment
Natural England via NERC CEH
South West Forum, Big Lottery Fund
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)/SWRDA
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
National Farmers Union
Processes of Technical Change in British Agriculture: Innovation in the Farming of South West England, 1935 - 1985
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Regional Environment Network
South West Chamber of Rural Enterprise (SWCORE)
Improving the Success of Agri-Environment Initiatives: the Role of Farmer Learning and Landscape Context
Professor Matt Lobley
Professor of Rural Resource Management, Director of the CRPR
Lazenby House G.02
I am a rural social scientist, with over 30 years of research experience, drawing primarily on the disciplines of Rural Sociology and Geography. I have a long-standing track record in the generation of external research income from a range of sources including Research Councils, Government Departments, NGOs, Charities and the private sector. My research largely focuses on understanding influences on and impacts of farm household behaviour. In particular, my main interests relate to the role of farm households in the management of the countryside, for example, through exploring the impact of policy reform; attitudes towards agri-environmental policy; and the environmental and social impacts of agricultural restructuring. One of my main areas of expertise is in the mental health and well-being of farm households and family life-cycle and succession issues on family farms. I co-direct a collaborative international project (FARMTRANSFERS) exploring farm succession and retirement in a range of different social, economic and political contexts. Beyond agriculture and the environment, other research interests include the design and impact of rural development initiatives and, more broadly, the social sustainability of rural communities.
I am currently supervising the following PhD researchers:
Catherine Broomfield: Understanding beef and sheep farming's social boundary: Re-thinking the concept of social licence to operate to unlock its value and usefulness to farming and wider society
Skylar Collins: Understanding risk, safety and mental health challenges in UK small-scale fisheries
Megan Larmer: Towards an edible ethic: land-use, gastronomy, and the politics of rurality in the Hudson Valley
Jill Lidgey: The place of the traditional market in Dorset: a contemporary study of Bridport and Dorchester
Aoife Maher: Overcoming barriers to increased horticultural production in existing agricultural enterprises: understanding the perspective of Devon’s growers – past, present and future
Hannah Mortimer: Do Not Feed the Animals? Ordering animal feeding from local to global
Successfully completed PhDs include:
- Jen Clements: Farming, Labour and Landscape
- Charlotte Chivers: Exploring farmers’ attitudes to on-farm control measures of water pollution
- Beth Dooley: Policies to Build Resilience in UK agriculture.
- Ginny Thomas: Thin end of the world / thin end of the wedge: Farmer attitudes to, and engagement with, rewilding projects in south western England
- Polly Lord: The atypical employment law rights of agricultural workers in small-medium farms: what is reasonably practicable?
- Caroline Nye: Agricultural Labour in the UK: Change and Challenge in the Transition to Sustainable Intensification. (Funded by the John Oldacre Foundation)
- Georgina Crossman: The Organisational Landscape of the English Horse Industry: a Contrast with Sweden and the Netherlands.
- Gordon Morris: People helping people - An assessment of the market towns and related initiatives and the extent to which they addressed rural poverty.
- Hannah Chiswell: Rising to the Food Security Challenge. An Investigation into the Impact of the Food Security Agenda on Farmers and their Successors in the South West of England. (Funded by the John Oldacre Foundation)
External impact and engagement
I regularly work with a range of businesses and non-academic partners in the funding and delivery of research and am committed to research that makes a difference in the world outside of academia. I am the co-author of two REF impact case studies and am Director of Business Engagement and Innovation in the Department of Social and Political Sciences, Philosophy, and Anthropology. I have been a member of Defra advisory panels, board member of rural and environmental charities and my work on small family farms (funded by the Prince’s Countryside Fund) influenced the development of the Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme and subsequently Defra’s Future Farming Resilience programme. I am a member of the Council of The Institute of Agricultural Management.
Matt Lobley BA Hons (CNAA), PG cert (Plym), MSc (Lond) PhD (Lond) is Professor of Rural Resource Management and Co-Director of the Centre for Rural Policy Research at the University of Exeter. He was appointed in 2002.
Between 1998 and 2002 he was Senior Lecturer in Countryside Management at the University of Plymouth (Seale-Hayne campus), and between 1989 and 1998 Research Assistant/Research Fellow at Wye College, University of London.