Soil & Water Management Centre

Developing & improving your soils

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What is it? 

  • The "OpenFields library" has now been replaced by "Food and Farming Futures" which is an independent, collaborative news and information source for farming and food. It draws on the science, technology and research base for farming, food, environment and energy together with information relating to other rural business activity (e.g. tourism and recreation) and on generic subjects as applied to land-based or rural businesses (e.g. information technology).

  • It brings together knowledge from colleges, universities, professional bodies and industry-led initiatives. Items are contributed by and via organisations whose mission is to promote best practice in the rural sector.

  • Food & Farming Futures has incorporated OpenFields which was developed from the work of the National Rural Knowledge Exchange (a HEFCE funded collaboration between 14 universities) and is currently partnered by Harper Adams University. 

Who is it for? 
  • Anyone and everyone interested in learning about or keeping up-to-date with the rural sector. It is a first point of reference for students and supports and stimulates the development of knowledge transfer with land-based industries.
Who looks after it? 
  • A small team located at Harper Adams University and comprising web developers and content managers are responsible for building and maintaining the online library. 

How to use it: 

  • Use the advanced search to filter down a search for: Technical and business information, Research and Abstracts, Open Learning Materials. The scope of the OpenFields library encompasses the following topics as being of relevance to the land-based sector:

  • Arable & industrial crops
  • Business and management
  • Environmental impacts (including wildlife & biodiversity and landscape)
  • Equine
  • Equipment (agricultural and related)
  • Food & drink (including aspects of manufacture, processing and the supply chain)
  • Horticulture
  • Information technologies
  • Land-based crafts (ranging from heritage and conservation crafts to bee-keeping)
  • Livestock & dairy production (including animal health & welfare, veterinary practice and fish farming)
  • Renewable energy
  • Rural policy & economic development
  • Social & community enterprise
  • Soil & Water
  • Tourism & recreation (including outdoor recreation and field sports, hunting & fishing)
  • Training & skills
  • Trees & timber



Site Admin: Tim Chamen
t: 01525 405121/Mob 07714 206048

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