IN a bid to help British farmers measure and reduce their environmental impact, a new research farm has opened near Berwick, in Northumberland.

With a remit to trial and validate developing government policy in a real farm context, the Aidensfield Research Farm will help increase understanding of environmental enhancement and productivity effects on beef and crop farms.

Owner Conor Colgan said: “Our new farming research centre is the only one of its kind in the UK. We have state of the art technology in place, so researchers can now measure and monitor a number of factors, to help farmers understand their impact on the environment and develop techniques that are more efficient.

“Universities and colleges across the country are able to commission the new facility, with our first project already running throughout the summer. We aim to put this part of Northumberland on the map for farming and agricultural research, so that the next generation of farmers will be able to leave our planet in a better position.”

The research farm is based on 800 acres of prime Northumberland farmland, which grows 630 acres of combinable crops and manages 120 pedigree high-genetic-merit cows.

Mr Colgan added: “Our systems enable the facility to conduct precise analysis of cattle genetics, diet and performance, to add value to the supply chain through better functioning cattle for customers and carbon foot-printing of new farming systems.

“Precision equipment and 'Lean' principles are embedded at the heart of the operation, to ensure accurate data acquisition and interpretation of financial and environmental impacts on the farm. We’d encourage those who are interested to come along to the open day to find out more.”