Researchers focus on rural well-being

Researchers are keen to hear from people about their experiences of well-being and the countryside.

Due to open in October, the issue of rural well-being will be the focus of an exhibition at the Museum of English Rural Life, Reading University.

The exhibition will be displayed at the museum in Reading as well as online – making it accessible to people all over the world.

Researchers are interested to hear from people who would like to tell them about how their life in a rural setting has impacted on their well-being mentally or physically.

This can be in positive and negative ways.

“We would like to hear about the challenges you face and whether these have changed over the years,” said museum engagement officer Robyn Hopcroft.

“The 'story' can be any length, one sentence is fine if it sums up how things are. Any relevant photographs are welcomed.

“Any contributions can be anonymised if desired – just let us know.”

The MERL was established in Reading in 1951 to capture and record the rapidly changing countryside following World War II.

In 2005, it moved to its current premises in St Andrew’s Hall.

The building was originally designed by Sir Alfred Waterhouse in 1880 for local businessman Alfred Palmer of the Huntley & Palmer biscuit company.

The museum reopened in October 2016 following a £3m redevelopment project.

Today the Museum uses its diverse and surprising collection to explore how the skills and experiences of farmers and craftspeople shape our lives now and into the future.

The museum also works alongside rural people, local communities and specialist researchers to create displays and activities that engage with important debates about rural life.

The closing date for contributions to the well-being exhibition is Monday, 14 August.

For further details, please call Robyn Hopcroft on 0118 378 5629 or email her at


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