Tolhurst Organic Partnership

Living Laboratory & Lighthouse

Land use(s)

  • Lowland
  • Field (veg, 8ha)
  • Ramial chipped wood
  • Composted wood
  • Green manures
  • Agroforestry
  • Intensive, protected cropping
  • Research and trials site

Successes / outcomes

  • Organic vegetable farm$Stockfree system for 40+ years
  • Increase in soil carbon
  • Higher yields
  • Reduced pests and diseases
  • Recent publication: "Ramial woodchip in agricultural production"- Organic Research Centre
  • Featured in publications and TV/radio
  • 40 years of involvement with research projects
  • Soil Farmer of Year 2016

Methods / issues being explored

  • Increased diversity of sward / crops
  • Crop rotation
  • Solutions to reduce erosion and land degradation
  • Soil tillage and management
  • Reduced use of / alternatives to inorganic fertilisers
  • Modification of organic matter inputs
  • Woodland and woody feature creation
  • Re-use of water / wastes
  • Whole system approach
  • Ramial wood chip production and application

Data being collected on

  • Soil health
  • Yield
  • Costs
  • Biodiversity
  • Customers

Methods of data collection

  • Visual assessments
  • Field surveys
  • Commercial laboratories
  • Social surveys

Types of organisation involved

  • Farmers
  • Academics
  • Advisory services
  • Consultants


  • Open days
  • Training courses
  • School visits
  • Events/festivals
  • Social media
  • One-to-one contact

Networks this organisation / initiative is involved in

  • Agricology
  • Innovative Farmers
  • Organic Growers Alliance
  • Soil Association

Contact Details

Iain Tolhurst
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Other organisations involved:

  • Organic Research Centre

Land use type:

  • Lowland
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