Rothamsted Research

Generally undulating, gently sloping site to the northwest, with hallsworth clay or clay loam and historic grassland vegetation used for silage and hay cuts. Planting of SRC willow and poplar, SRF trees, Miscanthus, and other perennial grasses took place during spring 2023. The plans below show the layout of the trial plots at the North Wyke hub site and the updates will keep you informed of their progress and performance throughout the trials.


North Wyke, Okehampton, Devon.

(Whiddon Down Land).

Latitude, longitude50.73405, -3.85502
Grid refSX69199435
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Site Plans

North Wyke Site PlanNorth Wyke Soil Sample Locations


Mean Annual Precipitation (mm)1,043 mm
Mean Annual Temperature (°C)10.3°C

200 – 215 m


Trees to NW & SW boundaries. Smaller trees / hedge to SE. Sloping into small valley.


Generally undulating, not steep.


Gentle sloping to NW.

Soil type

Hallsworth clay or clay loam with smaller area of Denbigh clay loam, both slightly stony.

Current vegetation coverageGrassland.

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)
  • Sida hermaphrodita (10.5 m x 7.7 m, 0.008 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

Variety trials​ planted (as of August 2023):

  • SRC willow (2023)
  • Miscanthus (2023)​

Variety trials​ to be planted:

  • Grasses (2024)
Planting goals/aim 
Agronomic dates (planting, harvesting schedule) 
Management methodology (spray off, nutrient additions, ploughing, site prep, others)Site sprayed off, ploughed and cover crop established where trees will be planted, just ploughed where grasses will go.
Machinery to be used 

General Info

Field management history

Grassland. Silage and hay cuts. Some grazing. 

Other site detail of note

Some small patches of rushes. 


Demonstrator Hub Update – Rothamsted Research – North Wyke – April 2024
Things are finally drying out at North Wyke and the ground is almost ready to be driven on by tractors. As the crops begin to put on some summer growth we've been busy gapping up and sowing seeds plus taking visitors on tours of the plots.
Demonstrator Hub Update – Rothamsted Research – North Wyke – March 2024
Generally across the North Wyke site things have been looking healthy despite the very wet weather. Access to the plots with machinery still isn't possible due to the wet ground but we have been busy with other tasks as outlined in the Crop Diaries below.
Demonstrator Hub Update – Rothamsted Research – North Wyke – February 2024
Generally across the North Wyke site things have been looking healthy whilst dormant over the winter. Conditions have been very wet except during cold snaps when it has been below freezing. Given the cold conditions, it could be likely that some of the less hardy varieties may not have survived.
Biomass Connect Hub Site Updates – November 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 – Rothamsted Research – North Wyke – October 2023
October 2023 – Hub Site Updates The ground has become too wet for machinery other than the push-along strimmer. Mowing is therefore now stopped until spring. There is some standing […]
Hub Site Update – Rothamsted Research – North Wyke – September 2023
September 2023 – Hub Site Updates The weather this month was typical September weather. It was warm, but the soil has softened and is moist. All fences have been checked […]
Hub Site Update – Rothamsted Research – North Wyke – August 2023
August 2023 – Hub Site Updates Access to the site has been fine since the ground dried out in May. A self-propelled trimmer has been used. Good at avoiding the […]
North Wyke Demo Event Report
The event attracted a diverse audience of approximately 50 individuals from various sectors of the industry, including farmers, foresters, consultants, and researchers. Throughout the day, lively and constructive discussions laid the groundwork for the biomass industry’s development. Attendees left feeling enthusiastic and well-informed, eager to participate in future events dedicated to advancing the industry.
Hub Site Update – Rothamsted Research – North Wyke – July 2023
July 2023 – Hub Site Updates Sida Rhizomes were sent from RRes Harpenden for planting on 30/06/2023 They were stored in cold storage and planted out at the beginning of […]
Hub Site Update – Rothamsted Research – North Wyke – June 2023
June 2023 – Hub Site Updates The Willow variety trial was planted 7th/8th and 9th of June. When the weather changed mid-Month the conditions changed as well, very quickly, and […]
Hub Site Update – Rothamsted Research – North Wyke – May 2023
April and May 2023 – Hub Site Updates The areas for bare-root tree planting and SRC and SRF Poplar rods and stems were successfully sprayed off with Glysophate prior to […]
Planting at North Wyke by Miscanthus Nursery Ltd.
Here in West Devon the first half of May was cool and damp. Spring arrived mid-Month, and the ground at North Wyke Farm quickly began to crack, as the partially waterlogged clay dried and baked hard in places, hard enough at last to get the tractor into the field without wrecking the soil structure.
Hub Site Update – Rothamsted Research – North Wyke – March 2023
March 2023 – Overview of progress to date Remedial ground-work The grassland site was in good condition ahead of taking management control. Silaging and grazing of the grassland continued to […]
Planting at the North Wyke Hub Site
The flurry of planting at the various Biomass Connect hub sites continues. We've already reported on the planting at the BGI Hub site in Chesham and the IBERS hub site in Aberystwyth. We're pleased to report that the hand-planting of trees at the Rothamsted Research hub site in North Wyke has been completed this week too.
Planting at the North Wyke Site, Devon
That’s the hand planting at the Rothamsted Research North Wyke hub site completed as well. It’s been a busy few weeks for the planting teams but great to be getting […]
Hub Site Update – Rothamsted Research – North Wyke – February 2023
February 2023 Extending the plough area for miscanthus varieties experiment guards. Not done yet. Ground conditions are improving by the day so possibly next week. Spraying. Still too cold. Will […]
Hub Site Update – Rothamsted Research – North Wyke – January 2023
January 2023 Risk Assessments for grazing, browsing and crop damage threats were undertaken. The cover crop of Perennial Rye Grass has established well. Plough is weathering nicely, and should work […]
Hub Site Update – Rothamsted Research – North Wyke
December 2022 Silage cut on permanent pasture site: 26/8/22. Plot areas sprayed (glyphosate): 16/9/22. Plough and power harrow : 26/9/22 – 27/9/22. Grass sown in SRF and SRC plots (30 […]


50.7693748 -3.9019086 Rothamsted Research, Okehampton, Devon, UK