Rural change:
In 2007 more than 105,000 people in the UK
moved from urban to rural areas: This is known
Counter-urbanisation: the movement of people
from major cities to smaller settlements
and rural areas.
•To know what counterurbanisation is
•To understand the causes, consequences and solutions to
Using the images above produce a push and pull table for rural (countryside)
and urban (towns or city) areas
Extension: Will these be the same for an LEDC?
Who is moving to rural areas?
• The most affluent and mobile people
• Families with children (keen to avoid the possible disadvantages
of city locations)
What are the push / pull factors?
Traffic congestion
Fear of Crime (muggings, burglary and car theft)
Rural dream (idea of the ‘rural idyll’ – pleasant surroundings,
quiet etc.)
• Estate Agents, housing developers etc.. All encourage outward
movement through new developments / building more
houses and marketing these areas.
What is the stereotyped view of
• People moving from the inner city or
suburbs to isolated rural cottages with
roses growing round the door.
In reality counterurbanisation is...
• People moving to commuter villages. These are
settlements that are a few miles away from a large
urban area. Many of the new inhabitants commute
back to the urban area to work.
• Railways and motorways can give affordable and quick
access to places that are 60 miles away from city
Key definition
Commuter range the distance
people will travel from their
homes to their place of work
What factors have helped counterurbanisation?
• Technological change – fax, blackberry, email, phones,
internet – led to growth of ‘teleworking’ or ‘electronic
commuting’ (people working from home – encouraging rural
• Freezers, telephone, TV etc.. allow rural lifestyle but not
• improvements in road / motorway networks make
commuting easier encouraging people to move out from the
cities (gradually congestion sets in and cycle begins again)
Key terms
• Commuter Range - The distance that people
will travel from their home to place of work.
• Rurbanisation - Processes of bringing features
of a city to rural areas.
Complete the activity to identify the
causes, effects and solutions to
Counter-urbanisation in the UK
Explain why people in MEDCs move from urban to
rural areas (4)
1-2 marks: Identify 1 cause and 1 effect of counter-urbanisation:
e.g. House prices in the city are too expensive so people move to the
countryside, this can lead to a loss of rural characteristics because of
new developments
2-3 marks: explain one cause of counter-urbanisation
e.g. People are now moving to the countryside because house prices are a
lot cheaper and because of improved technology like computers and the
internet this means more people are working from home.
3-4 marks: well-developed explanation of 2 causes
e.g. People are now moving to the countryside because house prices are a
lot cheaper and because of improved technology like computers and the
internet this means more people are working from home, there are also
better transport links and villages are being developed within the
‘commuter range’ .
How might a traditional village compare
to a commuter village?
• Commuter villages are a relatively recent concept (since
1980s) for people to travel easily to work in cities but live
in the countryside
– Modern; large family homes; estates; conversions
Population structure
– Middle class, middle aged, families
Employment structure
– Professional; skilled; work in urban area
– Good access to main urban area
– Larger schools, restaurants & more shops…
Community spirit
– Minimal; divisions between local residents & newcomer commuters
– Degradation due to house building, transport pollution
Cutnall Green, Worcestershire, UK – case
study 1 for counterurbanisation
• Small village one hour drive from Birmingham
• Grown from 300 to 400 people in last 5 years
1. Read your case study sheet.
2. Has Cutnall Green benefitted from
counterurbanisation? Write a
paragraph to explain your answer.
Cutnall Green has benefitted from
counterurbanisation because....
... However, there are negative effects of
counterurbanisation on Cutnall Green that
... Therefore I conclude that it is a better/worse
place to live because of counterurbanisation
Cutnall Green
Case study 2: Skye bucks the Scottish Rural
depopulation trend
Case study 2: Skye bucks the Scottish Rural
depopulation trend
Answer questions using
p192 of textbook.
1. Why are people moving
to Skye?
2. What are the positives
of counterurbanisation
in Skye?
3. What are the negatives
of counterurbanisation
in Skye?
Mark scheme
^ mark exam question from 2014
Better answer (6/6)
Cutnall Green is a village in Worcestershire, UK that has been experiencing the trend
of counter-urbanisation. The village has grown from 300-400 people in the last 5
Cutnall Green has benefitted from counter-urbanisation because the influx of people,
from cities such as Birmingham, helps to create demand for services. School closures
have occurred in some rural areas as a result of falling rolls, however, Cutnall
Green First School has seen rising numbers as a result of counter-urbanisation.
Land value and average house prices have also risen due to increased demand. This
benefits homeowners and landowners as they will now get a better return on their
investment if they were to sell their property/land.
However, rising house prices are also an issue of concern for some of the existing
residents of Cutnall Green. Higher prices mean first time buyers may not be able
to buy a home in the village and may be required to relocate elsewhere.
The rising population is also altering the character of the village as there is pressure
to build houses on vacant green land surrounding the village. Some existing residents
dislike this as it is changing the character of the village and ruining the natural
beauty of the area.
In conclusion, counter-urbanisation brings both positive and negative impacts.
Environmentally the impacts are mainly negative e.g. Building homes ....
Plenary – discussion question
Because more people want to live in rural areas due to
counterurbanisation, houses in the countryside are becoming more
expensive. Some local people are struggling to afford to buy in the
villages they grew up in.
Do you think that people who are born in a
rural area should be given special help to be
able to stay there?

When people decide to leave the city... Counterurbanisation