A body of research on agricultural geography, with a strong regional
focus on the Welsh Marches (the English counties bordering Wales), has led
to changes in conservation policy and practice relating to rare breeds,
primarily at the national level but also internationally; it has shaped
farming policy at the regional level, particularly in Herefordshire,
specifically leading to increased diversification in the farming sector
across the county; and it has stimulated policy debate around the place of
farming in society.
This case study concerns the long term (energy) sustainability of emerging winemaking regions.
Underpinning research in energy efficiency and renewable technologies informs the case study in
determining energy usage and benchmarks, development of energy guidelines/policy,
implementation by national professional bodies and adoption of energy best practice by the local
industry. Impact is through the adoption and application of benchmarks by winemaking
associations, directly influencing (through policy, regulations and standards) the energy expended
in making wine. The study is underpinned by international publishing accolades (Solar Energy
`Best Full Length Paper in Photovoltaics', Mondol et al, 2005) and a highly prestigious personal
Royal Academy of Engineering Global Research Award to Smyth.
Exceptional rainfall in June 2007 lead to widespread flood damage in the
UK; Hull was particularly
badly affected with 8600 houses and 1300 businesses flooded, the closure
of schools and
cancellation of many events. At the instigation of the City Council, Hull
produced two influential reports that explained how and why the flooding
happened and what might
be done to improve flood readiness for the future.
The reports had impact at a national scale. They fed into the findings of
the House of Commons
Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (published 7 May
2008) and the Pitt
Report (a Government Independent Review, published 25 June 2008), which
were both tasked
with addressing the summer 2007 floods. Significant elements of `The Flood
Management Act' (2010), which was enacted subsequently, were informed by
The reports also impacted at the regional scale. Their findings were
adopted by Hull City Council,
the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water. Therefore, our research also
practical strategies to improve flood prevention policies and minimise
danger, damage, distress
and expense in future floods.
Since its discovery in the 1980s, avian metapneumovirus (AMPV) has spread
in poultry populations worldwide with major adverse health and food
security implications for commercial chickens and turkeys. Research at the
University of Liverpool (UoL) led to the registration of a live vaccine in
1994 which has played a global role in AMPV control, thereby safeguarding
the supply of poultry meat and eggs. Recent research and development at
the UoL has identified key control measures, relating to vaccine
application, vaccine selection, efficacy and safety, which have had a
significant impact on poultry health and consequently, poultry producers
and consumers. In particular, demonstration that live AMPV vaccines can
revert to virulence, that vaccine type applied influences field protection
and that continuous use of a single vaccine can influence circulating
field strains, has resulted in UoL leading policy making with regard to
current AMPV vaccine protocols.
Mathematical models recently developed in York have improved our
understanding of the
dynamics of marine ecosystems. They underpin paradigm-changing proposals
to orient fisheries
policy towards a "balanced harvest" and away from the traditional
selective harvesting of species
and sizes. These proposals have:
Research and knowledge dissemination led by Greenwich on biological
pesticides has made a major contribution to the introduction of novel safe
commercial pesticides based on insect viruses to help farmers overcome the
problems of chemical resistance in major crop pests in Asia and Africa.
Research at Greenwich identified effective virus strains, methods of
production and formulation which were then developed and evaluated with in
country research collaborators before being transferred to local SMEs to
start up production in India, Thailand, Kenya and Tanzania. Greenwich
advised governments on adopting suitable regulation to support the
registration and sale of these novel pesticides.
The research led to the development of a suite of tests to ensure
appropriate assessment of biomechanical, mechanical and physical
properties of equestrian arena surfaces. Test arenas were assessed in
preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games, generating data which
contributed to changes in the design, construction and management of the
Olympic equestrian arenas at Greenwich Park. Subsequently, functional
properties suggested as most relevant to the performance, safety and
welfare of horses in disciplines such as dressage and show jumping have
been described in a White Paper, now endorsed and approved for publication
by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI).
NOTE: The FEI, established in 1921, is the international governing
body responsible for all international equestrian events in disciplines
such as dressage, show jumping and eventing. The FEI sets out the
regulations for international equestrian competitions, including the
Olympics and Paralympics.
Impact: Economic, public policy and animal health and welfare:
Selective breeding based upon identification of PRNP genotypes can
eliminate animals that are susceptible to scrapie from the flock.
Significance: UK sheep meat exports are worth >£380million.
Breeding for scrapie resistance protected the sheep industry from similar
damage to that inflicted by BSE on cattle and the UK economy.
Beneficiaries: Farmers, animals, consumers
Attribution: Professor Hunter and Dr. Goldmann (Roslin Institute,
now part of UoE) identified polymorphisms of the PrP (PRNP) gene
linked to scrapie susceptibility and resistance in sheep.
Reach: International, programmes breeding for resistance to
scrapie in sheep are now used in the UK, Europe and USA.
Since 2005 the Agriculture and Environment Research Unit has undertaken
an extensive programme of research related to mitigating the climate
change impacts arising from agricultural land management policies and
practices. The research findings that identified the impact on climate
change of various policies, schemes and farming initiatives have been
instrumental since 2008 in providing UK policy makers, farmers and their
advisors with data and tools that helped to formulate improved climate
change mitigation policies. They also contributed to the development of
key guidance materials that supported the implementation of these policies
on the farm.
Impact: Economic / animal health and welfare: Established health
schemes to control Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) on Scottish farms and
subsequently underpinned the rationale for cost-effective control
strategies that have been adopted in health schemes around the UK. The
farm-level savings to the industry from future eradication are estimated
by Scottish Government to be £50- £80m.
Significance: BVD is a major endemic disease of cattle in Scotland
costing the dairy industry about £38M per year and an additional £11M to
Beneficiaries: Farmers, cattle, animal health authorities.
Attribution: Professors Gunn and Stott (SRUC).
Reach: The associated health schemes began in Scotland (HI Health)
and now operate throughout Britain (UK CHeCS (Cattle Health Certification
Standards) Health Scheme). The research underpins BVD control schemes in
Ireland and other EU Member States resulting in an avoided output loss of
between €500 to €4,000 per dairy farm per year.