Move further strengthens strategic partnership

  • 01
  • SEP
  • 2022

Rothamsted's 400-hectare site in Harpenden, Hertfordshire today became the latest site to join a network of innovation centres and demonstration farms which include some of the UK’s leading research establishments and most progressive farmers.

The move further strengthens Rothamsted's strategic partnership with LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) which aims to accelerate the scientific knowledge exchange around more sustainable, regenerative farming systems.

Working with farmers, the food industry, scientists, environmentalists, teachers, young people, and consumers, LEAF are looking at new ways to deliver productivity and prosperity among our farmers, enrich the environment and engage young people and society in a valuable and meaningful way

Speaking at the launch earlier today, Philip Wynn, Chairman of LEAF said: “Rothamsted is a vibrant hub for global science, underpinned by history, innovation, and fresh thinking, working across different scales and disciplines to improve crop and livestock performance, resilience, and value. 

“We are honoured to be forging even closer links with them at this crucial time for agriculture and hugely excited about the opportunities this partnership will offer our members and the wider farming community to access the latest research, ideas, and innovations to advance more resilient global farming and food systems.

"The role of the LEAF Network could not be more important at this time.  We look forward to building on our partnership with Rothamsted to help inform, inspire and equip farmers with the tools, know-how and confidence to realise their sustainable farming ambitions.”

LEAF Innovation Centres are research organisations whose work supports the research, evidence, development, and promotion of Integrated Farm Management and Rothamsted’s North Wyke farm, specialising in sustainable grazing livestock systems, has been a LEAF Innovation Centre since 2015.

Professor Angela Karp, Director and CEO of Rothamsted Research said that extending the collaboration with LEAF signals a major step in driving forward the uptake of more integrated, holistic approaches to crop and livestock farming.

“Partnerships, innovation, public engagement, and knowledge exchange are woven into our new science strategy.  By working with both public and private sector partners our aim is to turn excellent research into impactful, sustainable outcomes. Being a LEAF Innovation Centre will better enable our wide-ranging research to reach farmers on the ground.

“It is partnerships such as this that will help accelerate the capabilities of farmers to raise the productivity of their crop and livestock systems, tackle weed, disease and insect resistance, improve soil health, enhance natural capital, and reduce their carbon and nutrient footprint.

“Developing closer ties between researchers and practitioners will refine and improve performances for both. We are extremely honoured to become a LEAF Innovation Centre and, alongside our North Wyke site, look forward to the opportunities it will bring to advance fresh, dynamic, and responsive approaches to knowledge development and exchange that are aligned with the needs of farmers.”

Rothamsted Research joins 14 other LEAF Innovation Centres – Agrii Throws Farm Technology Centre, Bangor University, Bayer Crop Science, the University of Reading’s Centre for Dairy Research, The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, Harper Adams University, The James Hutton Institute, Newcastle University Farms, NIAB EMR, Rothamsted Research North Wyke, The Royal Agricultural University, SRUC’s The Dairy Cattle Research and Innovation Centre, SRUC’s Hill & Mountain Research Centre, and Stockbridge Technology Centre.

More information about Rothamsted Research and the LEAF Network can be found here.

About Rothamsted Research
Rothamsted Research is the longest-running agricultural research institute in the world. We work from gene to field with a proud history of ground-breaking discoveries, from crop treatment to crop protection, from statistical interpretation to soils management. Our founders, in 1843, were the pioneers of modern agriculture, and we are known for our imaginative science and our collaborative influence on fresh thinking and farming practices.
Through independent science and innovation, we make significant contributions to improving agri-food systems in the UK and internationally. In terms of the institute’s economic contribution, the cumulative impact of our work in the UK was calculated to exceed £3000 million a year in 20151. Our strength lies in our systems approach, which combines science and strategic research, interdisciplinary teams and partnerships.
Rothamsted is also home to three unique resources. These National Capabilities are open to researchers from all over the world: The Long-Term Experiments, Rothamsted Insect Survey and the North Wyke Farm Platform.
We are strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), with additional support from other national and international funding streams, and from industry. We are also supported by the Lawes Agricultural Trust (LAT).
For more information, visit; Twitter @Rothamsted
1Rothamsted Research and the Value of Excellence: A synthesis of the available evidence, by Séan Rickard (Oct 2015)

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.
BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.
Funded by government, BBSRC invested £469 million in world-class bioscience in 2016-17. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.
More information about BBSRC, our science and our impact.
More information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes

About LAT
The Lawes Agricultural Trust, established in 1889 by Sir John Bennet Lawes, supports Rothamsted Research’s national and international agricultural science through the provision of land, facilities and funding. LAT, a charitable trust, owns the estates at Harpenden and Broom's Barn, including many of the buildings used by Rothamsted Research. LAT provides an annual research grant to the Director, accommodation for nearly 200 people, and support for fellowships for young scientists from developing countries. LAT also makes capital grants to help modernise facilities at Rothamsted, or invests in new buildings.