Policy Persistence and Cultural Resistance: The (Re-) Development of Horticulture In the Vale of Evesham


  • Nick J Evans University of Worcester


Rural geographers have frequently discussed the development of rural areas in terms of paradigms. Focusing on the Vale of Evesham in the south Midlands of England, UK, this paper instead uses the three cross-cutting themes of historicity, conflict and neo-industrialisation to illuminate the development trajectory of this locality based upon its strong horticultural tradition. The emergence, growth and decline of a culturally, socially and economically unique horticultural sector in the Vale is described against a backdrop of policy persistence favouring other farming enterprises. The way in which historicities of small-scale market gardening are being created, appropriated and reified for local and tourist consumption, is discussed through analysis of four recent horticultural-related inventions. These serve to deny the 'real' change occurring in the Vale's horticultural sector driven by neo-industrialisation, although a lack of conflict is found to be associated with such change. The paper concludes by outlining the prospects for future tensions over the (re)development of horticulture in the Vale. Keywords: Horticulture; asparagus; historicity; conflict; neo-industrialisation