The Sustainable Intensification Platform

The Sustainable Intensification Platform is a DEFRA-funded research platform designed to explore “the opportunities and risks of Sustainable Intensification from a range of perspectives and landscape scales across England and Wales.“

Sustainable Intensification (SI) has become a buzzword in agricultural research in the context of global food security and a shifting ecological landscape. While definitions can vary with context and individual perspectives, the SIP describes SI as “managing farmland to increase farm output and competitiveness, whilst protecting the countryside and enhancing environment and social benefits.“ Additionally, the platform acknowledges that collaboration between interest groups at all levels is necessary for SI to be effective across economic, environmental and social dimensions. Toward this end, the research programme includes 36 partners, comprised of universities, research institutes, farming industry and environmental organisations.

The platform includes three linked and transdisciplinary research projects:

  • SIP 1: Integrated Farm Management for improved economic, environmental and social performance
  • SIP 2: Opportunities and risks for farming and the environment at landscape scales
  • SIP 3: The influence of external drivers and actors on the sustainability and productivity of English and Welsh farming

SIP 1 includes 5 study farms and SIP 2 includes 7 landscape areas—Nafferton Farm is both a study farm and a landscape area hub. The full study farms and areas are as follows:

Study Farms:

  • North Wyke (Devon) and Duchy Future Farm (Cornwall)
  • Henfaes (North Wales)
  • The Allerton Project (Leicestershire)
  • Nafferton Farm (Northumberland)
  • Morley Farm (Norfolk)

Landscape Areas:

  • Taw (Devon)
  • Conwy (Wales)
  • Upper Welland (East Midlands)
  • Nafferton area (Northumberland)
  • Wensum and Yare (Norfolk)
  • Avon (Hampshire)
  • Eden (Cumbria)


Project Leader: Gillian Butler

Project Liaison: Amelia Magistrali