A modified version of a system dynamics model constructed for an EU-wide case-study project (TOPMARD) using STELLA software was used to simulate the effects of a number of development scenarios for a remote rural area in Northern Scotland, i.e. Caithness & Sutherland, which is characterised by multifunctional agriculture. In this paper, the context of the modelling work in policy and socioeconomic terms is first described. This is followed by the specification of the model and of the modelling scenarios, one of which relates to the “decommissioning” (run-down) of a major industrial site (Dounreay) within the area. The modelling results are discussed, in terms of regional population, land use, economic and other terms, from 2001 to 2015/2031. Finally, some conclusions are drawn, both about the implications of the results for such remote rural regions, and the usefulness of this type of modelling exercise for policy analysis of multifunctionality and rural development.


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