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Environmental Impact

What we do

Management of land, whether it is for agriculture, horticulture, forestry or other enterprises has an impact on the environment. For our occupation of this planet to become more sustainable, we need to understand, identify, quantify and respond to these impacts. Our research on environmental impacts is divided into three areas:

  • Low carbon and input farming. Agriculture has to reduce its emissions of greenhouses gases. We undertake research on all aspects of crop production (breeding, plant establishment, agronomy, fertilizer and pesticide use, harvesting and post harvest storage) for the benefit of UK agriculture.
  • Carbon and water footprinting. The expression 'if you can't measure it, then you can't manage it' is at the heart of environmental accounting. To able to understand, and subsequently benchmark or reduce the use of inputs into agriculture, you must first establish a baseline value. We undertake carbon footprinting, water footprinting, energy and mass balances, all of which can be used as a baseline value for further investigations.
  • Ecosystem services. Agricultural land produces more than just food. Farmers, whether they realise it or not, are land managers. How land is managed affects the delivery of many hidden services, for example, biodiversity, the quantity and quality of water and air, landscape asthetics, etc. The concept of ecosystem services is an attempt to consider all the services and benefits that land provides.


Rob Lillywhite