ASSIST

As part of our ongoing conservation plans, we are proud to work with ASSIST (Achieving Sustainable Agricultural Systems). This is a long-term National Capability programme, jointly funded by Natural Environment Research Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

The aim of ASSIST is to provide a long term, large scale strategic underpinning for a community-led transformation to long term sustainable agriculture.

The small part Bruern Farms is playing in this programme is to provide three arable fields to allow a field scale study of ways to promote pest predators and crop pollinators.

Flower rich margins have been planted around and within the fields with targeted plant species chosen to benefit specific groups of bees, parasitic wasps, predatory ground beetles and spiders.

Hi tec monitoring and data collection is used to provide evidence of the effectiveness of these techniques with the trial running for at least 5 years.

Wild Oxfordshire

Wild Oxfordshire is a local conservation charity with a vision for Oxfordshire’s environment to be rich in nature, healthy and sustainable for the benefit and enjoyment of all. Water quality is a key focus of the Estate as we are aware that a lot of the agricultural operations we undertake can have a detrimental effect on water quality.

Water samples are taken from Littlestock Brook on a monthly basis and analysed for Nitrogen and Phosphate levels, along with a visual assessment of water quality. These results are recorded on the Fresh water watch app - a global citizen science project from Earthwatch Europe.

This work is carried out by the Wychwood Water Watchers, run in partnership with The Wychwood Project. This monitoring and recording helps to build a picture of the health of the water over a period of time, backed up by other citizen scientists who monitor further downstream.