|SIP study site leaders outside the visitor centre at Loddington|
|NIAB and Allerton Project staff collecting soil samples|
The platform also enables us to develop our existing relationship with other research organisations and to establish new links with others. Our resident soils researcher, Nicola Hinton, was joined in the second half of the winter by Sarah-Jane Osborne, a PhD Intern registered with Nottingham University and working with Rothamsted Research. Together with NIAB TAG staff, they have gathered data on a range of soil physical and biological properties in relation to the various management practices we have adopted. The data are currently being analysed and will form a valuable baseline against which to monitor future change. We are also developing our plans for this coming autumn's trials.
The SIP also provides us with an opportunity to initiate work on sheep and grassland, a new venture for us that is only made possible through collaboration with Nottingham University. Nigel Kendall's research explores the relationship between sward minerals and sheep performance with a view to more efficient management of both grassland and the livestock grazing it. This brings new expertise and information to the Allerton Project, but also strengthens the SIP by extending the scope for us to collaborate with SIP study sites that focus on livestock systems.
|Grass, clover and lucerne ley at Loddington|
|Sheep in the instrumented 'School Farm' demonstration catchment at Loddington|