The issue

Population growth, changing diets and urbanisation are driving an ever-increasing intensification of agriculture and land-use change. In the UK alone 70 per cent of the land is farmed. Meeting the need for increased food production and nutrition, without degrading our environment, is one of the greatest challenges facing society today.

Our role

Our research makes a major contribution to the development of sustainable, productive farming systems that are resilient to climate change and protect biodiversity. Our work in this area focuses on maintaining and enhancing healthy soils, clean water, pollination and natural pest control.

Our commitments

  • To work with the farming industry to test innovative, regenerative agricultural systems that are productive and resilient to future environmental shocks.
  • To provide tools and data for planning future land use that optimise benefits to food production while minimising conflicts with provision of other ecosystem services.
  • To provide the evidence-base for the design of resilient environmental and management policies and practices, nationally and internationally.

Our research

Towards BioSmart livestock farming in Colombia: Cultural landscapes, silvopastoral systems and biodiversity.
A sample of CEH Land Cover® plus: Crops data
National maps estimate average fertiliser and pesticide applications
Still from CEH Minecraft showing a farmed landscape
Sustainable farming and immersive land use scenarios on display
Field Work © John Evans
'Evaluating Wales’ largest environmental resources and services scheme
Alpha sampler for measuring concentration of ammonia in air
Equipment for long-term monitoring of ammonia and ammonium, acid gases and aerosols