Professor of Rural Geography, Director of the Centre for Rural Research (CRR) and Chair University Research Degrees Board (RDB)
Institute of Science & the Environment
tel: 01905 85 5187
Prof Nick Evans joined the Geography Department at Worcester in the 1990s and has been dedicated to the development of excellence in both research and teaching during this time. His academic interests lie firmly within the arena of agricultural geography, contributing to reinvigorating its relevance in human geography as ‘agri-cultural’ geography. Nick’s work focuses particularly upon the social and cultural reasons lying behind the way agriculture in the Western World is practiced, offering alternative explanations to those usually based on economics. Using this approach, he is striving to uncover how agricultural policies and farm families really work!
Nick was also at the forefront of the development of a critical new animal geography which emerged for the 21st century through his work on farm livestock and landscape, Such specialisms in geographical research ensures that his teaching covers exciting and relevant areas of human geography that many degree programmes and ‘A’ level syllabuses simply do not reach!
Another key area of activity is Nick’s Directorship of the Centre for Rural Research (CRR). This research centre offers the expertise of Nick and other Geography staff at Worcester to external clients who are seeking high quality research reports into important issues facing today’s countryside. Project management has been a key element of the role. This has provided research opportunities for both students and recent graduates to become involved in research and gain experience. There are too many projects to list, but clients have included Government departments, local authorities, charities, protected area partnerships and private businesses. For more details, see the CRR pages.
Nick also undertakes a senior management role for the University as Chair of its institution-wide Research Degrees Board (RDB). Working closely with the Research School, he endeavours to ensure that all doctoral students interact positively with the University’s regulations to enhance positively their experience of research training. He uses consistency and fairness as his guiding principles.
PhD Agricultural Geography (Coventry)
BSc (Hons) Geography (Coventry)
- Teaching & Research
Teaching & Research
Nick has a wealth of teaching experience and uses all sorts of ideas to engage students with the exciting world of geography. His main mission is to explain to students how farming works from the position that fewer and fewer people know anything about it! This includes exposing the labyrinthine nature of agricultural policy, raising awareness of sources of food and exploring the relationship between farming and the appearance of the countryside. Amongst the areas of geography that Nick has taught recently are:
• Agricultural Geography
• Countryside Conservation and Agricultural Change
• Critical Animal Geography
• Maps and Mapping
• Mediterranean Europe (field course)
• The human geography of the Scottish Highlands (field course)
Nick has published numerous research papers in top-rated Geography journals engaging with the general topic areas below:
1. The culture of agriculture
2. Farming families
3. Agricultural industrialisation and the food chain
4. Farm livestock
5. The farmed landscape and its protection
He very regularly provides expert review of papers submitted to the main geographical publications by geographers world-wide. Nick also adjudicates the quality of submissions for multi-million pound research grant proposals made by other academics from research-intensive universities across the globe.
Nick is an experienced PhD supervisor and examiner. He has supervised a double digit number of students and 100% of his studentships have been completed successfully. His approach is to offer support and advice to research students through regular meetings and whenever else they need it. He has examined PhDs within the area of his research interests and is more than happy to continue to do so!
- University roles
These have been many and varied! They currently comprise:
- Director, Centre for Rural Research Geography
- Chair of Research Degrees Board
- Chair of Research Degrees Programmes Committee
- Member of University of Worcester Research Committee
- Member of Institute of Science and the Environment Research Sub-committee
- Member of Academic Governance Committee
- Member of Library Strategy Group
- University Research Seminar Series Co-ordinator
- Geography Research Excellence Framework submission author
- Research Excellence Framework Champion for Geography
- Member of University Professors Group
i) Journal Articles
Griffiths, R., and Evans, N. (2015). The Welsh Marches: resilient farmers? Exploring farmers' resilience to extreme weather events in the recent past. AGER: Revista de estudios sobre despoblación y desarrollo rural: Journal of Depopulation and Rural Development Studies 18, 161-189.
Leck, C., Upton, D. and Evans, N. (2015) Growing well-beings: The positive experience of care farms. British Journal of Health Psychology 20, 745-762.
Leck, C., Evans, N. and Upton, D. (2014). Agriculture–Who cares? An investigation of ‘care farming’in the UK. Journal of Rural Studies 34, 313-325.
Leck, C., Upton, D. and Evans, N. (2014). Social Return on Investment: Valuing health outcomes or promoting economic values?. Journal of Health Psychology, Published online before print November 28th, 2014, doi: 10.1177/1359105314557502.
Evans, N. (2013) Cultural resistance and policy persistence: the re-development of horticulture in the Vale of Evesham. Journal of Rural and Community Development 8, 29-48.
Evans, N. (2013) Strawberry fields forever? Conflict over neo-productivist Spanish polytunnel technology in British agriculture. Land Use Policy 35, 61-72.
Price, L. and Evans, N. (2009) From farming stress to distress. Journal of Rural Studies 25, 1-11.
Evans, N. (2009) Adjustment strategies revisited: agricultural change in the Welsh Marches. Journal of Rural Studies 25, 217-230.
Yarwood, R. and Evans, N. (2006) A Lleyn sweep for local sheep. Environment and Planning A 38, 1307-1326.
Price, L. and Evans, N. (2006) From ‘good as gold’ to ‘gold diggers’: farming women and the survival of British Family Farming. Sociologia Ruralis 46, 280-298.
Morris, C. and Evans, N. (2004) Agricultural turns, geographical turns: retrospect and prospect. Journal of Rural Studies 20, 95-111.
Evans, N. , Gaskell, P. and Winter, M. (2003) Re-assessing the role of agrarian policy and practice in local environmental management: the case of beef cattle. Land Use Policy 20, 231-242.
Yarwood, R. and Evans, N. (2003) Livestock, locality and landscape: EU regulations and the new geography of Welsh farm animals. Applied Geography 23, 137-157.
Evans, N. , Morris, C. and Winter, M. (2002) Conceptualising agriculture: a critique of post-productivism as the new orthodoxy. Progress in Human Geography 26, 313-332.
Morris, C. and Evans, N. (2001) Cheesemakers are always women: gendered representations of farm life in the agricultural press. Gender, Place and Culture 8, 375-390.
Evans, N. and Yarwood, R. (2000) The politicization of livestock: rare breeds and countryside conservation. Sociologia Ruralis 40, 228-248.
Yarwood, R. and Evans, N. (1999) The changing geography of rare livestock breeds in Britain. Geography 84, 80-91.
Morris, C. and Evans, N. (1999) Research on the geography of agricultural change: redundant or revitalized? Area 31, 349-358.
Yarwood, R. and Evans, N. (1998) New places for “Old Spots”: the changing geographies of domestic livestock animals. Society and Animals 6, 137-166.
Evans, N. (1997) Resources for project work on agri-environmental issues in the north west of England. The North West Geographer Third Series 1, 60-68.
Evans, N. and Morris, C. (1997) Towards a geography of agri-environmental policies in England and Wales. Geoforum 28, 189-204.
Yarwood, R., Evans, N. and Higginbottom, J. (1997) The contemporary geography of indigenous Irish livestock. Irish Geography 30, 17-30.
Evans, N. and Ilbery, B. (1996) Exploring the influence of farm-based pluriactivity on gender relations in capitalist agriculture. Sociologia Ruralis 36, 74-92.
Evans, N. (1996) Evaluating recent changes to the publication of UK agricultural census data. Geography 81, 225-234.
Evans, N. and Yarwood, R. (1995) Livestock and Landscape. Landscape Research 20, 141-146.
Evans, N. and Ilbery, B. (1993) The pluriactivity, part-time farming and farm diversification debate. Environment and Planning A 25, 945-959.
Evans N. and Ilbery, B. (1992) Geographical aspects of farm-based accommodation. Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England 159, 67-80.
Evans, N. and Ilbery, B. (1992) Farm-based accommodation and the restructuring of agriculture: evidence from three English counties. Journal of Rural Studies 8, 85-96.
Evans, N. and Ilbery, B. (1992) Advertising and farm-based accommodation: a British case study. Tourism Management 13, 415-422.
Ilbery, B. and Evans, N. (1989) Estimating land loss on the urban fringe: a comparison of the Agricultural Census and aerial photograph / map evidence. Geography 74, 214-221.
Evans, N. and Ilbery, B. (1989) A conceptual framework for investigating farm-based accommodation and tourism in Britain. Journal of Rural Studies 5, 257-266.
Ramsey, D., Abrams, J., Clark J. and Evans, N. (2013). Rural geography – rural development: An examination of agriculture, policy and planning, and community in rural areas. Journal of Rural and Community Development 8, i-v.
Yarwood, R. and Evans, N. (2000) The geography of UK agriculture: mapping rare breeds. Geography Review 14, 8-22.
Evans, N. and Yarwood, B. (1999) Power, Politics and Conservation: the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. Geography Department Occasional Papers, Number 1. University College Worcester.
Evans, N. and Yarwood, R. (1998) Results of the membership survey. The Ark 26, pp.10-16.
Ilbery, B. and Evans, N. (1996) Post-productive agriculture in the South Midlands. In Bowler, I. (ed.) Progress in Research on Rural Geography, pp.83-84. Department of Geography Occasional Paper 35, Leicester University.
Evans, N. and Yarwood, R. (1996) Rare breeds, livestock and the post-productivist countryside. In Bowler, I. (ed.) Progress in Research on Rural Geography, pp.27-28. Department of Geography Occasional Paper 35, Leicester University.
Evans, N. (1995) Rural Europe, Area 27, 171-172.
Evans, N. (1994) Young Rural Researchers’ Forum, Area 26, 203-204.
Evans, N. (1988) Look before you leap. Farmers Weekly, September 23rd.
ii) Contributions to Books
Evans, N. (2014) Land Use Change in Post-war Worcestershire. In Maskew, R. (ed.) The Flora of Worcestershire, Chapter 3, pp.19-37. Roger Maskew, Tenbury Wells, UK.
Leck, C., Upton, D. and Evans, N. (2013) Social Aspects of Green Care. In Gallis, C. (ed.) Green Care: For Human Therapy, Social Innovation, Rural Economy and Education. Nova Publishers, New York, USA. Chapter 9, pp.155-188.
Evans, N. (2010) Contextualising Agricultural Change: Agricultural change in the Welsh Marches. In Winchell, D., Ramsey, D., Koster, R. and Robinson, G. (eds.) Geographical Perspectives on Sustainable Rural Change. Rural Development Institute, Brandon University, Manitoba, Canada. Chapter 6, pp.106-121.
Evans, N. and Yarwood, R. (2008) Farm Animals and Rural Sustainability. In Robinson, G. (ed.) Sustainable Rural Systems: Sustainable agriculture and rural communities. Ashgate, Aldershot. Chapter 4, pp. 83-98.
Morris, C. and Evans, N. (2008) Agricultural turns, geographical turns: retrospect and prospect.In Munton, R. (ed.) The Rural: Critical Essays in Human Geography. Ashgate, Aldershot, Chapter 19, pp.321-339.
Price, L. and Evans, N. (2005) Work and worry: revealing farm women’s way of life. In Little, J. and Morris, C. (eds.) Critical Studies in Rural Gender Issues, Ashgate, Chapter 4, pp.45-59.
Walford, N. and Evans, N. (2003) (eds.) Innovations in Rural Areas, Clermont Ferrand: Presses Universitaire Blaise Pascal.
Evans, N. (2002) Reflexiones en torno al modelo agropecuario productivista. In Garcia Pascual, F. (ed.) El Mundo Rural en la Era de la Globalización: Incertidumbres y potencialidades. Universitat de Lleida and Ministero de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación, Serie Estudios No. 146, Spain, pp.45-64.
Evans, N. (2000) The impact of BSE in cattle on high nature value conservation sites in England. In Millward, H., Beesley, K., Ilbery, B. and Harrington, L. (eds.) Agriculture and Environmental Sustainability in the New Countryside. Rural Research Centre, Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Truro, Canada, pp.92-110.
Yarwood, R. and Evans, N. (2000) Taking stock of farm animals and rurality. In Philo, C. and Wilbert, C. (eds.) Animal Spaces, Beastly Places. Routledge, London. Chapter 5, pp.98-114.
Evans, N. and Yarwood, R. (1998) Charity begins at Linga Holm: the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. In Ferjoux, A. (ed.) Environement et Nature dams les Campagnes, pp.21-32. Université de Nantes, France.
Evans, N. and Yarwood, R. (1997) Rare breeds, livestock and the post-productivist countryside. In Ontiveros, A. and Hernando, F. (eds.) From Traditional Countryside to Postproductivism: recent trends in rural geography research in Britain and Spain, pp. 133-148. Asociación de Geógrafos Españoles, Murcia, Spain.
Evans, N. (1997) Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue: the marriage of agriculture and conservation in the UK. In Ilbery, B., Rickard, T. and Chiotti, Q. (eds.) Agricultural Restructuring and Sustainability: a geographical perspective, pp. 233-251. CAB International, Wallingford, UK.
Evans, N. (1992) Towards an Understanding of Farm-based Tourism in Britain. In Gilg, A. (ed.) Progress in Rural Policy and Planning, pp.140-144. Belhaven Press, London.
Evans, N. (1991) The British Isles: an agricultural patchwork. In Tarrant, J. (ed.) Farming and Food. Equinox Publications, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Evans, N. (1991) Farm-based accommodation and tourism in England and Wales. In France et Grande-Bretagne Rurales: Rural France and Great Britain, pp.175-187. Proceedings of the first Franco-British Symposium on Rural Geography, Centre de Recherches sur L’évolution de la vie Rurale, Université de Caen, France.
iii) Published Research Reports (public domain only)
Evans, N. (2014) The State of the Malvern Hills AONB: A Third Look. Report for the Malvern Hills AONB Partnership. Public version available at: http://www.malvernhillsaonb.org.uk/publications/
Carruthers, P., Winter, M. and Evans, N. (2013) Farming’s Value to Society. Oxford Farming Conference Keynote Publication, OFC Research, January. Available at: http://www.ofc.org.uk/files/ofc/papers/ofcreportfulllow.pdf
Evans, N. (2009) The State of the Malvern Hills AONB: A Second Look. Report for the Malvern Hills AONB Partnership. Public version available at: http://www.malvernhillsaonb.org.uk/publications/
Evans, N. (2006) The State of the Malvern Hills AONB. Report for the Malvern Hills AONB Partnership. Public version available at: http://www.malvernhillsaonb.org.uk/publications/
Evans, N. and Connolly, E. (2006) A Methodology for Assessing the State of the Malvern Hills AONB Landscape. Report to the Malvern Hills AONB Partnership. Available at: http://www.malvernhillsaonb.org.uk/publications/
Evans, N. , White, K., Lovelace, D. and Storey, D. (2002) A Farm Study for Shropshire. Report to Shropshire County Council and partners, Centre for Rural Research, University College Worcester.
Yarwood, R. and Evans, N. (2002) Agricultural Biodiversity Resources of Welsh Domestic Livestock. Report to the Countryside Council for Wales, University of Plymouth and the Centre for Rural Research, University College Worcester.
Evans, N., Handley, T. and Lovelace, D. (2001) The Herefordshire Farming Study. Report to the Herefordshire Partnership. Centre for Rural Research, University College Worcester.
Winter, M., Evans, N. and Gaskell, P. (1998) The CAP Beef Regime in England and its Impact on Nature Conservation Research Report No. 265, English Nature, Peterborough.
iv) Selected Conference and Research Papers Presented
‘Farming Stories’. 8th Quadrennial Conference of British, Canadian and American Rural Geographers, University of Swansea and University of Aberystwyth, July 2015.
The Re-Development of Horticulture in the Vale of Evesham. Professorial Hive Lecture Number 5. Available on as video on iTunesU https://itunes.apple.com/gb/itunes-u/professorial-lectures/id843739158?mt=10, 16th May 2014.
Strawberry Fools: Planners, Protestors and Polytunnels. Queen’s University Belfast, 18th May 2011.
Pigs, Plastic, Pluriactivity and Polytunnels: Minding the Ps whilst Researching Farming Qs. Inaugural Professorial Lecture at the University of Worcester, 3rd March 2011.
The Future of Horticulture in the Vale of Evesham. Keynote address to the Badsey Society, May 2011.
The Re-Development of Horticulture in the Vale of Evesham, UK. 7th Quadrennial Conference of Anglo-American-Canadian Rural Geographers, University of Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, July 2011.
Recent farming change in Ethiopian wetlands: sustainable ‘khatastrophe’? Paper presented to the Anglo-French Symposium on Rural Geography, Rural Geography Research Group, Royal Geographical Society. University of Essex, Colchester, July 2010. With A. Dixon.
Ethiopian Diaries. Geography Research Seminar Series presentation. With A. Dixon and D. McDougall. University of Worcester, 28th April 2010.
Monitoring Landscape Change: AONBs and Landscape Character Assessment in the Malvern Hills. Paper presented to the Landscape and Heritage Research Focus Conference, University of Worcester, 3rd November 2008.
Adjustment strategies revisited: agricultural change in the Welsh Marches. Paper presented to the 6th Anglo-Canadian-American Rural Geography Symposium ‘The Global Rural: Rural Change, Connections and Scale’, Rural Geography Research Group, Royal Geographical Society. Eastern Washington University and the University of Idaho, USA, July 2007.
British Farmers and Spanish Polytunnels: Strawberry Fields Forever? Paper presented to the 3rd Anglo-Spanish Rural Geography Symposium ‘Changing Agricultural and Rural Landscapes in Europe, Rural Geography Research Group, Royal Geographical Society. Canterbury Christ Church University, UK, July 2009.
Post-productivism: unsubstantiated, untheorised and relatively unimportant. Paper presented to the Planning and Environment Research Group and Rural Geography Research Group, RGS/IBG Annual Conference, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK. January 2001. With C. Morris. Co-author, M. Winter.
Reflections on the productivist model of farming. Paper presented to Tenth Colloquium of Spanish Rural Geography ‘Los espacios rurales en el cambio de siglo: incertidumbres ante los procesos de globalizacion y desarrollo’. Universitat de Lleida, Spain, September 2000.
The impact of BSE in cattle on high-nature value conservation sites in England. Paper presented to the Anglo-Canadian-American Rural Geography Symposium ‘The new countryside: critical questions for the future of rural regions and communities’. Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Canada. July 1999.
From market place to marketing place: rare livestock breeds and countryside change. Paper presented to the Rural Geography Study Group, RGS/IBG Annual Conference, Kingston University, London, UK. January 1998. With R. Yarwood.
New places for ‘Old Spots’; livestock, ‘rare breeds’ and countryside change. Paper presented to the Social and Cultural Geography Research Group, RGS/IBG Annual Conference. Exeter University, UK. January 1997. With R. Yarwood.
New politics, old livestock: the politics of conservation and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. Paper presented to the RESSG Annual Conference. University College Worcester, UK. September 1997. With R. Yarwood.
Charity begins at Linga Holm: the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. Paper presented to the Third Franco-British Symposium on Rural Geography ‘Environment, nature and the countryside: new forms of activities’. University of Nantes, France. September 1997. With R. Yarwood.
Rare breeds, livestock and the post-productivist countryside. Paper presented to the First Anglo-Spanish Symposium on Rural Geography ‘From traditional countryside to post-productivism: recent trends in rural geography research in Britain and Spain’. University of Leicester, UK. 1996.
- External Responsibilities
These are as follows, amongst other things!
- Expert reviewer for submissions made to geography journals
- Expert reviewer for submissions made to interdisciplinary journals
- Assessor for international Research Council funding applications
- Assessor for UK Research Council funding applications
- End of project rapporteur for international and domestic
- Research Councils Advisor to Heritage Lottery Fund bids
- Advisor to UK Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra)
- Chair, Chaplaincy for Agricultural and Rural Life, Worcester Diocese
- External examiner for PhD projects Guest speaker
- Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS)
- Member (and past Secretary) of Rural Geography Research Group of RGS
- Member, Planning and Environment Research Group of RGS
- Member, British Association for Nature Conservation
- Member, Rare Breeds Survival Trust