Land-based Industries students from Brooksby Melton College have been conducting soil science fieldwork on the college’s 850 acre Brooksby estate, with the aim of contributing to their new regenerative agriculture project.
The students have been assisting with a comprehensive soil analysis, looking at the health, characteristics and physical properties of the soil, including compaction and organic matter content.
BMC’s regenerative agriculture project, which began this year, aims to demonstrate, and continually innovate, good agricultural practice in a world faced by increasing challenges.
The 10-hectare field has been populated with a mixed-species herbal ley, which will be intersected by three parallel tree rows to form an ‘agroforestry’ system known as sylvopasture, which combines tree production with grazing animals in a way which is supportive of wildlife, whilst also supporting livestock welfare and reducing the need for chemical inputs.
BMC’s Land-based Industries Lecturing team said ‘The aim of the project is to utilise regenerative practices, such as sensitively managed grazing and careful soil management, to demonstrate their benefits to production, biodiversity and soil health.
The project will provide an ongoing ‘land laboratory’ for students to gain first-hand experience in trialling innovative approaches to sustainable agriculture, in a way which is engaging and applicable to our entire land-based department.’
Additionally, the project aims to further understand the carbon footprint and carbon sequestration of land-use businesses, including how carbon emissions are managed and the potential effects on global warming. The agricultural industry is a significant source of annual carbon emissions within the UK so, with the government’s Climate Change Act of 2008 and commitment to a carbon-neutral UK by 2050, the industry is committed to becoming more efficient and reducing its emissions.
Brooksby Melton College (Part of the SMB Group) is a Further Education college located in the heart of Leicestershire. The college’s Brooksby Campus is set on an 850-acre estate and offers a variety of courses in the land-based sector, including Agriculture, Horticulture, Countryside & Environmental Management and Land-based Service Engineering.