This paper explores certain dimensions of the transformation since 1989 in attitudes towards the environment in one largely rural locality of southwest Bulgaria. There is something of a paradox apparent in rural attitudes and behaviours to the environment: nakedly expropriative on the one hand whilst simultaneously deeply concerned and celebratory on the other. Exploration of this apparent paradox is the primary objective of this paper. The authors present fi ndings from a decennial survey initiative focusing on environmental attitudes and behaviours in a mountainous Bulgarian locality. Results from 1999 and 2011 are presented side by side with a view to identifying temporal and (local) geographical trends in environmental views, attitudes, opinions and behaviours. An analytical perspective, drawing on political ecology and post-structural social theory, is developed and applied.