Ward N, Lowe P, Seymour S, Clark J, 1995, "Rural restructuring and the regulation of farm pollution" Environment and Planning A 27(8) 1193 – 1211
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Rural restructuring and the regulation of farm pollution
N Ward, P Lowe, S Seymour, J Clark
Received 17 December 1993; in revised form 16 February 1994
Abstract. In this paper the emergence during the 1980s of a water pollution problem associated with intensive livestock production is examined. Farm pollution is socially constructed and is shaped by rural social change. Rural areas are experiencing social and economic restructuring with a resultant shift in emphasis from production to consumption concerns. 'New' people are living in the countryside, with ideas about how its resources should be managed that often differ from those with traditional production interests. At the same time, the debates surrounding the privatisation of the water industry opened up the issue of water pollution in the countryside to greater critical scrutiny. It is in this context that pollution from farm 'wastes' (termed here 'farm pollution') has gone from being a 'nonproblem' in the 1970s to an issue of greater public and political concern and regulatory activity since the late 1980s. Based on evidence from a study of dairy farming in Devon, it is argued in this paper that the farm pollution problem and its regulation are as much a function of social change in the countryside as of environmental change in rivers.
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