The Allerton Project
Founded 20 years ago, the Allerton Project set out to reconcile modern commercial farming with wildlife conservation, and evaluate the contribution game management made to farmland biodiversity.
- LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) is a farming charity at the forefront of sustainable agriculture promoting Integrated Farm Management. LEAF supports farmers to produce good food, with care and to high environmental standards. These standards are identified in store by the LEAF Marque logo.
- LEAF promotes Integrated Farm Management (IFM), a whole farm approach combining traditional farming methods with modern technology. It involves minimal use of pesticides; efficient soil management; enhancement of wildlife habitats; maintenance of landscapes and rural communities; careful and sympathetic choice of seed varieties; the use of crop rotations and a commitment to good husbandry and animal welfare.
- For more information about LEAF visit: www.leafuk.org, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 02476 413911
Fields for the Future: The Allerton Project
– A winning blueprint for farming, wildlife and the environment.
- The report - Fields for the future, - launched today, covers 20 years of revolutionary research and detailed monitoring that has been carried out on the Allerton Project farm in Loddington in Leicestershire. Song bird numbers have doubled, pollution in the rivers and streams from agriculture controlled, successful climate change mitigation measures initiated and 68 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture offset through renewable energy production.
- Overview: Since the start of the project agricultural policy objectives have changed from countering food surpluses to combining the need for food security with environmental objectives. The results of the research are used to influence agri-environment policy at national level and many of the ideas are being replicated across the country by other farmers and land managers.
- Boosting wildlife: During the 20 year period the Allerton Project has run a commercial farming operation in conjunction with a comprehensive research programme in order to identify ways to reduce the impact of agriculture and boost nature, protect natural resources, while still making a profit. Developments that have emanated from this research include:
- Spreading the load: Using non-cropped land creatively to develop a range of habitats across the farm to suit the wide variety of requirements of wild species
- Research on mixed farming: Showing the importance of crop diversity for declining bird species such as blackbirds and song thrush.
- Wild bird seed crops: Pinpointing specific crops that provide a good food source for farmland birds. These recommendations have been adopted by agri-environment schemes and are now implemented on farms across the country.
- Songbird numbers doubled: A full game management system has seen songbird numbers, brown hare and wild pheasants increase substantially. Once game management was withdrawn the numbers of many species decreased substantially.
- Beetle Banks: Pioneering the development of beetle banks to encourage beneficial insects.
- Making soil work for the business: Balancing conservation of soil and water, with farming to ensure healthy soils that encourage moisture retention, reduce run-off into water courses, encourage earthworms and prevent flooding.
- Farming and woodland: Managing woodland on the estate to provide enhanced habitats for wildlife. Timber from woodland thinning is chipped and used as fuel to heat the offices and the new educational centre. This operation also helps to off-set greenhouse gas emissions from farming.
- A positive future for water, wildlife and food production: With the drive to feed a rapidly increasing population, there will be a need for knowledge on how land can be managed for a greater number of purposes. Everything has to work better and at a landscape scale. Research carried out at the Allerton Project will become even more significant and more applicable across the country.
- For a free copy of the 32 page Allerton Project’s 20-year report, Fields for the future, - A winning blueprint for farming, wildlife and the environment, please contact: Natalie Augusztinyi at the GWCT Allerton Project, telephone: 01572 717220 or email: email@example.com.
Please click the link below for a copy of the report: