21 December 2020

GWCT Allerton Project farm manager to bring ‘superb understanding’ as new Voluntary Initiative Chair

Phil 2 (1)

The Voluntary Initiative, the national farming-led programme to promote best practice in pesticide use through Integrated Pest Management, has appointed Allerton Project head of farming, training & partnerships Phil Jarvis as its new Chair.

Phil, who also chairs the NFU Environment Forum, has been involved in all farm-based research and demonstration at the Allerton Project since 1992. Ruth Bailey, Head of the Agricultural Engineers Association and Chair of the Voluntary Initiative CIC Board representing the eight VI sponsor organisations announced the appointment: “Following an intense recruitment exercise involving a high-class field of candidates, Phil Jarvis has been appointed to be the new VI Chair”.

Ruth also notes that Phil brings “a superb understanding of innovative practical farming and his leadership in the wider rural sector makes him well suited for this role”.

Phil Jarvis thanked the sponsor organisations for the opportunity to take the organisation forward. “I am looking forward to working with the Voluntary Initiative sponsors, Defra, VI Champions and a wider group of stakeholders. I’m hoping to start that engagement in the new year. Our landscape management is entering an exciting and challenging period, where food production and environmental protection take on an increasingly important role in society.”

“I’m looking for solutions to challenges, removing barriers that will encourage more collaboration and promote practises that ensure both our farming and environment prosper.”

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Notes to editors

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust is an independent wildlife conservation charity which carries out scientific research into Britain’s game and wildlife. We advise farmers and landowners on improving wildlife habitats. We employ 22 post-doctoral scientists and 40 other research staff with expertise in areas such as birds, insects, mammals, farming and statistics.  We undertake our own research as well as projects funded by contract and grant-aid from Government and private bodies.   The Trust is also responsible for a number of Government Biodiversity Action Plan species and is lead partner for grey partridge and joint lead partner for brown hare and black grouse.

The GWCT’s Allerton Project: The GWCT’s Allerton Project is an 800 acre commercial farm business attached to a Research and Educational charitable trust. The Project was established in 1992 with the objective of demonstrating how modern efficient farming and environmental conservation can co-exist. The development of the education objectives of the Trust has expanded substantially to several thousand visitors a year including school groups, politicians and farmers, thus necessitating the construction of a larger visitor centre. The challenge of converting a disused brick cowshed into a sustainable building was given to architect Sylvester Cheung from Melton Mowbray. 60 per cent of construction costs were obtained as a grant from the Rural Development Programme for England.

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