- Establishing a field-based evidence base for the impact of agri-environment options on soil carbon and climate change mitigation: AERU were contracted by Natural England to update the findings of previous work which examined the climate change mitigation effects (through emission reduction and carbon sequestration) of the former Environmental Stewardship scheme (2005-2014), in the context of the Countryside Stewardship scheme launched in 2015.
- OSCAR: This project aimed to support the development of more holistic Rural Development Policy (RDP) measures that not only tackled rural issues, but also addressed climate change objectives (mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the effects of climate change).
- Climate change
mitigation potential of farms in the EU: This is a major new
EU project in which AERU is leading a team of researchers from seven
countries, focusing on the GHG emission and carbon sequestration
potential of major farm types around Europe. It is hoped to develop a
tentative model for integrated whole farm assessment, with the aim of
encouraging farm practices that minimise emissions and maximise
- Impact of proposed NVZ
Action Programme measures on GHG emissions: The purpose of
the project was to assess the impact of proposed NVZ Action Programme
measures on greenhouse gas emissions. It was carried out as part of the
Full Impact Assessment for the proposed legislation, and looked at the
impact of each of the proposed measures on greenhouse gas emissions, as
well as the overall impact of the legislation.
- Climate change
mitigation effects of Environmental Stewardship: This project
adopted a Life Cycle Analysis approach to quantify net GHG emission for
each management option and calculate a Global Warming Potential balance
to enable the current contribution each makes towards global warming to
This project examined the energy consumption characteristics of
European glasshouse production systems, and produced a tool for
auditing energy efficiency in greenhouses, a set of technical
improvement measures and a guideline for the optimisation of energy
- Review of published exposure to pesticides data for residents and bystanders: The aim of this project was to undertake a number of systematic reviews to collate data and evaluate it in terms of its quality and suitability for upgrading EFSA's data on resident and bystander exposure.
- Pesticide load indicator: In order to inform and improve its policy on encouraging the use of safer and more sustainable crop protection chemicals, Waitrose collaborated with AERU to develop an indicator approach for identifying risks to human health, biodiversity and the environment.
- PPDB: The PPDB
(Pesticide Properties DataBase) is a comprehensive relational database
of pesticide physicochemical and ecotoxicological data, developed by
AERU with additional input from the EU-funded FOOTPRINT project. It is
freely available online, and can be purchased in MS Access format for
inclusion in research projects and regulatory assessments.
This research project is part of the 6th Framework Programme, and has
developed a suite of three pesticide risk prediction and management
tools, for use at different scales. AERU have developed the farm-scale
tool FOOT-FS, which aims to assist in the development of
environmentally sound pesticide strategies by identifying the
activities and pathways that most contribute to the contamination of
water resources, and providing advice on mitigation.
- p-EMA: This
project developed a risk based tool for the assessment and evaluation
of farm pesticide use. The methodology developed was based on
regulatory risk assessment methods and these were adapted to make them
responsive to the local site and farming practices as far as current
scientific understanding allows.
- Nutrient budgeting in the
Ythan NVZ: The Ythan Project aims to involve local people in
protecting and enhancing the river Ythan. As part of this, AERU
developed a whole farm and field level Nutrient Budgeting package for
- Development of an
organic conversion planning tool: AERU and the Institute of
Rural Studies at the University of Wales Aberystwyth developed this
software, known as OrgPlan, in collaboration with Rothamsted, SAC (The
Scottish Agricultural College) and Elm Farm Research Centre.
- Assured Food Standards
(AFS) evaluation projects: These two projects compared the
standards for six AFS schemes to the Cross Compliance measures (so as
to identify the gaps and commonalties), and compared the six standards
to each other, to identify areas where harmonisation was possible.
- Environmental Management
for Agriculture (EMA): This is an award winning computer
software package that provides a comprehensive suite of tools,
information and assessment routines designed to help the farming
industry improve its environmental performance. The software is for the
'public good' and aims to help develop a more sustainable agriculture.
- LEAF audit
computerisation: This project developed a digital version of
LEAF’s paper based audit with the addition of integrated support
information. In addition, AERU developed a management and analysis
package which processes the returned audits and permits users to
benchmark their performance against that of others.
details of these and other relevant projects can be found in our Projects section.