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Learning how to live in a rural area, is straight forward. You need to collect information and plan out the basics of what you need to do. Our article What You Should Think About When Moving To The Countryside, offered some helpful advice on some of the things to think about.
One of the items was your needs, These can be very different when you live in a rural setting. We are going to look at what some of those needs might be and ideas on how to meet them.
One of the first things, that may need investigating are your boundaries. If you have purchased land, a cottage, or smallholding of some type you need to know where it ends. There may also be right of way requirements in place.
All this information should have been provided by the seller or agency involved. However, there may be unwritten agreements with local residents or neighbors that you need to find out about.
How are your boundaries marked? Walls, fences, natural features, or nothing at all, can all be common when defining the edges of a property. Once you know what defines your boundary you also need to find out who is responsible for its upkeep. Walls and fences if they border between you and a neighbor may be the responsibility of one or even both of you to maintain.
Finding out this information early on can save problems and issues at a later date. Sometimes the easiest method to discover this information is to go and speak to your neighbor.
Many rural properties will have access roads, that are not part of the main road network. If these access roads lead to more than one property you may need to find out how they are maintained. This could be via a pay-in system where all property owners pay into a fund to cover work needed. Or you may be responsible for maintaining a specific length of the access road.
Again speaking to the owners involved will usually be the best course of action. If you are the sole user of the access road you may find that a local government agency is responsible for certain aspects. Or it may be your sole responsibility
Rights Of Way
Some properties will come with rights of way across them, or they may be accessed across someone else’s land via a right of way. These may be official, or unofficial. Living on the edge of a village you may discover that dog walkers, or hikers cut across your land regularly.
By speaking to other locals you may find that they have done this for years but there is no legal requirement to allow it. It is your decision, in that case, to decide if you will continue to allow it. It may also be worth investigating the legal implication of a member of the public injuring themselves on your land
Rural land can have restrictions placed upon it by the local government. When you first start learning how to live in a rural area, you may be unaware of this. Checking with the appropriate agencies will help you discover if there are any restrictions in place and also what is deemed appropriate use. This can sometimes be restrictions on activities or things such as noise.
In many areas there will be local laws, regulations, or restrictions that need to be followed. Some of these will apply even on private land
Many areas restrict or ban the use of certain chemicals in the growing of crops. If you are relocating to a rural area to become self-sufficient and live closer to nature, this may not be an issue. However, double-check as you may find that certain things thought to be ok, may not be.
This can also include the disposal of controlled or regulated substances and chemicals. An example is Lye, used in making soap amongst other things but highly toxic and caustic. Lye is heavily regulated in most countries.
Unregulated Or Regulated
In most rural areas the use of your land for crops and animals for your own consumption will be less regulated than selling them for the consumption by others. If you plan on having a homestead that creates an income, you need to discover which uses are regulated and which are unregulated.
You may discover that selling 50 eggs a week to locals is unregulated, yet shipping 300 eggs to a store in a local town is regulated. When you plan out how you are going to generate income it is a good idea to look into all the regulations, and be certain that you can achieve your plan.
What you think you want to use your land, for now, may not be what you end up using it for. Be certain to brainstorm a selection of potential uses, and check regulations surrounding them. Growing food and raising animals are uses that come to mind first. Other uses could include off-road vehicle use, a campsite, fishing, hunting, airsoft, archery, and other outdoor sports.
Each of these ideas may require different regulations to be met and different laws to be followed. brainstorming these from the beginning gives you options later on how you live in a rural area.
Duty Of Care
You may find that the region you have chosen to start a rural life in has ecological or environmental regulations attached. It is your responsibility to ensure you are meeting these.
Duty of care may range from pest control, protected species, water pollution, or fire management. You need to understand these responsibilities and how to carry them out in the best ways.
For some rural areas, fire management is a critical part of everyday life. Making sure firebreaks are cleared and maintained during the fire season may be only one of the jobs you are required to carry out on your property.
Proper training and if able the joining of a local fire crew may be very beneficial in learning how to prevent and deal with fire situations in your area. By being part of the community and actively managing what you are required to do, you help protect the community as a whole.
Understanding the water table in your area and on your property is important. First knowing where the water you are drinking and using comes from, helps protect you and your family. Knowing where your wastewater goes as well as any runoff from your land is also important to prevent pollution.
Overuse of a chemical on your property may harm crops or animal drinking water on someone else’s property. It is best to limit the use of anything that may cause damage to the environment or other people’s crops and animals.
You may live in an area where species of trees, plants, or animals are protected. An example of this is Red Squirrels in the UK, they are protected and should not be harmed, whereas grey squirrels are classed as vermin, and can be treated as such.
Different area regions and countries will have different protection orders on species deemed at risk. You may also find as with hunting that there are seasons and protections in place around these.
Rural neighbors can be your best ally or your worst enemy. The latter can often be easily avoided by communication. Getting to know your nearest neighbors is the first step in building a good relationship. Discussing with them plans and ideas you have for your new land is how you live in a rural area happily and at peace.
Asking your neighbor’s opinions on ideas you have shown, that you value their knowledge and are willing to negotiate and adapt ideas if need be.
Being helpful, and supporting is part of the core of rural residents. Rural people are often both open and caring. Being the same is the best way to develop bonds within the community. This can be anything from helping fix a wall for a neighbor, to donating extra produce to the local school or group.
When times get hard in a rural setting knowing you have a community around you that is supportive can make everything easier.
Just the same as living in the city you can have bad neighbors in a rural area. Noise and lack of land maintenance are the two biggest issues. Usually followed by disregard for boundaries, and lack of respect. Dealing with bad neighbors is the difficult part of how to live in a rural area.
Early steps may involve speaking directly with them, speaking to family members, or finding a mediator to bridge the issues. Just putting up with them is never a great option as continuation and escalation are usually the outcome.
Are You Good Or Bad
What are you like as a neighbour? Can you place yourself in your neighbours shoes? Quite often we don’t have the ability to see our actions from someone else’s viewpoint. From time to time it is important to try this. You could even ask your old and new neighbours what their opinions of you are. Ask them if there is anything you do or don’t do that they have difficulty with.
Opening a conversation like this with neighbours is a great way to start building a friendship and more open and beneficial relationship within your community.
5 Top Tips
How to live in a rural area is different for all of us. we all have different goals, dreams, ideas personalities, and neighbors. When combined all of these things make up the whole of our rural life. Somethings we can do regardless of if we are rural or urban.
These 5 top tips apply to any type of lifestyle and may go in some small way to making the world a better place
Get To Know Your Neighbours
Getting to know your neighbors is the first step in building a good relationship with them. Inviting them round for a meal, or organizing a group get together for a few different neighbors is a good way to start building this relationship.
Know Your Legal Requirements
This could be land access, fire breaks, or the use of your land. By making sure early on that you know and adhere to legal requirements you ensure that you won’t fall foul of any government agency.
Put Yourself In Others Shoes
This applies not just in terms of what you do on your land but also on how it impacts others. Noise, pollution run-off, and lack of access maintenance can all impact the people around you. Think about how you action or inaction can affect them
By getting to know you’re neighbours you open up the possibility of preventing issues before they develop. It is far easier to ask a neighbour that you are on good terms with to stop chainsawing at 11 pm at night, then it would be to ask a hostile neighbour. Building good relationships is the key to how to live in a rural area.
Quite often we forget that our own actions have an impact. Tip 3 has you putting yourself in others’ shoes. Beyond that mind yourself by ensuring that you are true to yourself. How you think about yourself can also impact how others think about you. make sure you are the type of person you wish to be, and that you wish others see you as.
How to live in a rural area is a collection of different things that make up a whole. At the core community, consideration and courtesy are some of the most important elements. knowing your neighbors and being friends with them removes a lot of the potential problems that could occur.
Being a good person is the best advice regardless of your lifestyle or where you live. If we all tried to be better, the world would be better. Start with your neighbor and go from there.
Please comment below any thoughts or ideas you have on this content.
5 Recommended books from Amazon
- The Way Home: Tales from a life without technology
- Going Off the Grid: The How-To-Book of Simple Living and Happiness
- The Mini Farming Bible: The Complete Guide to Self-Sufficiency on ¼ Acre
- Start Your Farm: The Authoritative Guide to Becoming a Sustainable 21st Century Farmer
- Farming the Woods: An Integrated Permaculture Approach to Growing Food and Medicinals in Temperate Forests
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