Newcastle University

Open exposure, sheltered by a hedged treeline on western boundary and hedges to south and east. North facing aspect, gently sloping south to north and east to west. Soil is Luvic Stagnosols with Miscanthus and SRC willow planted in spring 2023. The plans below show the layout of the trial plots at the Cockle Park Farm hub site and the updates will keep you informed of their progress and performance throughout the trials.

Address Cockle Park Farm, Newcastle University, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 3EA.
Latitude, longitude Latitude: 55.2144/55°12’51″N Longitude:  -1.6854/1°41’7″W
Grid ref OS Grid: NZ201911
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Site Plans

Cockle Park Farm Site planCockle Park Farm Soil Sample Locations

Characteristics

Mean Annual Precipitation (mm)

720 mm

Mean Annual Temperature (°C)

9-10oC

Altitude 

90 m

Exposure

Open, sheltered by a hedged treeline on Western Boundary and hedged boundaries to South and East.

Topography 

Gently sloping South to North and East to West.

Aspect

North facing.

Soil type

Luvic Stagnosols of the Dunkeswick and Hallsworth Series.

Current vegetation coverage

Winter wheat.

Other relevant site info

 

Project plans/actions

Which biomass crops

Planted (as of August 2023)

  • SRC willow (6-way mixture) (~0.5 ha)
  • Miscanthus giganteus (~0.5 ha)
  • Miscanthus ‘Athena’ (~0.5 ha)
  • SRC poplar (0.137 ha)​
  • SRF poplar (0.125 ha)​
  • SRF Eucalyptus (0.114 ha)
  • SRF alder (0.028 ha)
  • Black locust Turbo (0.034 ha)
  • Black locust Turbo Obelisk (0.031 ha)

To be planted:

  • Reed canary grass​ 10 m x 25m 0.025ha
  • Switchgrass (upland ecotype)​ 10 m x 25m 0.025ha
  • Switchgrass (lowland ecotype) 10 m x 25m 0.025ha.
Planting goals/aim Evaluate the performance of the biomass crops, including feedstock performance, agronomy, plant establishment and growth, disease and pest incidence, and economic costs.
Agronomic dates (planting, harvesting schedule) Planting in spring 2023, harvesting of Miscanthus in winter 2023 and winter 2024.
Management methodology (spray off, nutrient additions, ploughing, site prep, others)

Wheat cover crop established (direct drilled) autumn 2022.  Will be sprayed off and nutrients applied as per any soil test results.  Prep pre biomass planting – plough, cultivate, plant

Post biomass planting – grass margins between plots.

Machinery to be used Relevant kit for above operations!

Project plans/actions

Which biomass crops Miscanthus; willow; Eucalyptus; poplar; grasses.
Planting goals/aim Various species for trial and demonstration.
Agronomic dates (planting, harvesting schedule) Starting spring 2023.
Management methodology (spray off, nutrient additions, ploughing, site prep, others)

Primary cultivation = plough.

Secondary cultivation = power harrow.

Autumn/winter 22/23 = winter wheat cover crop on selected plots.

Machinery to be used TBD

General Info

Field management history

Arable field growing combinable crops,

Historic WW, SO, SB, WOSR, WB.

Other site detail of note

To the south of the site is 18ha of Willow/Poplar Agroforestry currently in an arable rotation.

Updates

Demonstrator Hub Update – Newcastle University Cockle Park Farm – February 2024
15/03/2024
The winter at Cockle Park Farm has been a very wet one with the occasional cold snap and frosts. Most things seem to be coping well with these frosts. General maintenance has been the order of the day during the dormant period with regular checks of the fencing and updates to the electric fence batteries. No spraying has been carried out and the ground has been too wet throughout for any machinery. The headlands have been sown with a grass/clover mix.
Biomass Connect Hub Site Updates – November 2023
07/12/2023
With Winter on its way, growth has all but stopped at the hub sites. So, rather than have an individual update for each Hub Site we have a quick round-up below along with some photos. Starting in the North and working our way south.
Hub Site Update – Newcastle University Cockle Park Farm – October 2023
10/11/2023
October 2023 – Hub Site Update Crop observation made by hub site staff during October. Demo plot SRF Alder Is growing ok. Black locust ‘Turbo’ is doing fine but there […]
Hub Site Update – Newcastle University Cockle Park Farm – September 2023
20/10/2023
September 2023 – Hub Site Update The following crop observations were made on a site visit on 27th September 2023 Demo plot SRF Alder growth is OK – the plants […]
Hub Site Update – Newcastle University Cockle Park Farm – August 2023
06/10/2023
August 2023 – Hub Site Update In general, no post-sprays were applied to the Miscanthus area or other areas. The aisles between crops have not been sown with grass yet. […]
Hub Site Update – Newcastle University Cockle Park Farm – July 2023
26/08/2023
July 2023 – Hub Site Update A front foot approach on the weed management control has been taken across the site. A Micron Herbidome sprayer and Wheeled strimmer are to […]
Hub Site Update – Newcastle University Cockle Park Farm – June 2023
16/08/2023
June 2023 -Hub Site Update Like many of the Hub sites hosting the Biomass Connect sites, June has been very dry. Overall, the site was relatively weed free. This was […]
Cockle Park Farm, Newcastle Demo Event
15/08/2023
Biomass Connect with Newcastle University, supported by the National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE) successfully hosted an informative demonstration event at the Cockle Park Farm, Newcastle University. The event provided a platform for attendees from the biomass industry to gain insights and engage in discussions focused on biomass production, agroforestry, land use and diversification.
Biomass Connect Demo event – Cockle Park Farm, Newcastle University
15/08/2023
Biomass Connect with Newcastle University, supported by the National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE) successfully hosted an informative demonstration event at the Cockle Park Farm, Newcastle University. The event provided a platform for attendees from the biomass industry to gain insights and engage in discussions focused on biomass production, agroforestry, land use and diversification. The event included a highly informative talk on multifunctional landscapes by Prof. Yit Arn Teh from Newcastle University, and detailed information on the ongoing agroforestry trials at Newcastle University by James Standen, the Director of Newcastle University Farms.
Hub Site Update – Newcastle University Cockle Park Farm – April 2023
14/07/2023
April 2023 -Hub Site Update Planting has not been undertaken due to heavy rainfall in the area. This has prevented the completion of ground preparation needed prior to planting. When […]
Hub Site Update – Newcastle University Cockle Park Farm – March 2023
05/05/2023
March 2023 – Overview of progress to date Remedial ground-work The arable site was in good condition. Baseline sampling took place after the winter wheat harvest and no specific remedial […]
Hub Site Update – Newcastle University Cockle Park Farm – January 2023
01/03/2023
January 2023 Risk Assessments for grazing, browsing and crop damage threats were undertaken. The weather has been cold and the ground is frozen, recent snow can still be seen in […]
Hub Site Update – Newcastle University Cockle Park Farm
09/01/2023
December 2022 A wheat cover crop has been established by direct drilling in autumn 2022. Soil samples were collected for nutrient analysis and characterisation of soil properties to establish pre-planting […]

Gallery

54.9791871 -1.6146608 Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK