Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) – Ayrshire

A sheltered flat north-south site, with sandy loam and current vegetation of barley stubble. Planting of a winter wheat cover crop took place in 2022, followed by Miscanthus, willow, poplar and Eucalyptus in spring 2023. The plans below show the layout of the trial plots at the hub site and the updates will keep you informed of their progress and performance throughout the trials.


Auchincruive Estate, Ayr.

Latitude, longitude

55°28’30.7″N 4°33’28.8″W (55.475184, -4.557993)

Grid ref

NS 38427 23117

What 3 words ref for entrance


Site Plans

Ayr Site PlanAyr Soil Sample Locations


Mean Annual Precipitation (mm)

820 mm

Mean Annual Temperature (°C)

12.9 °C


48 m







Soil type

Sandy loam.

Current vegetation coverage

Barley stubble.

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  
Agronomic dates (planting, harvesting schedule)

Planting: Spring 2023. 

Harvest: Jan/Feb 2024.

Management methodology (spray off, nutrient additions, ploughing, site prep, others)

– Ploughing/site prep Oct 2022 (Winter wheat cover – except on Miscanthus plots) + Glyphosate (early spring 2023).

– Pendimethalin pre-ems (spring 2023).

– Graminicide 3-6 weeks post planting.

– Dow Shield 3-6 weeks post planting (if required).

– Interrow weeding/spot spraying when required (spring/summer).

Machinery to be used TBC.

General Info

Field management history  
Other site detail of note  


Demonstrator Hub Update – SRUC Auchincruive – March 2024
Spring continues at the Auchincruive Demonstrator Hub.
Demonstrator Hub Update – SRUC Auchincruive – February 2024
Scotland experienced some well-documented extreme weather at the beginning of the year with both of our SRUC demonstrator hubs suffering from Storm Henk and Isha. Despite the damage there are now signs of hope in most plots and work has commenced with spraying and planning for 2024.
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.
Tree Planting Technique
Added: 4th Dec. 2023 Tree planting techniques by Bryan Elliot, filmed at the Biomass Connect SRUC demo event.
Hub Site Update – SRUC Ayrshire – October 2023
October 2023 – Hub Site Update The SRUC Auchincruive Estate hub site in Ayrshire experienced a very wet, windy, and cold October Operational processes undertaken All plots have been strimmed […]
Auchincruive Estate, Ayrshire – Demo Event
Added: 8th Nov. 2023 A short video of the successful Biomass Connect demo event at our Ayrshire Hub Site. Be sure to join us on our next event.
Biomass Connect Demo Event – SRUC, Scotland
Biomass Connect together with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) successfully hosted two demonstration events at SRUC hub sites in Ayrshire and Edinburgh, Scotland. The events were attended by a diverse group of land managers, consultants, biomass processors, policy makers, and researchers.
Hub Site Update – SRUC Ayrshire – September 2023
September 2023 – Hub Site Update Scotland experienced something of a heatwave at the beginning of September and then turned cold (and wet) later. Operational processes undertaken The Electric fencing […]
Hub Site Update – SRUC Ayrshire – August 2023
August 2023 – Hub Site Update The weather was a mixed bag for August. Generally warm and wet – very windy on several days. Observations from the different plant plots […]
Hub Site Update – SRUC Ayrshire – June 2023
June 2023 – Hub Site Update The Willow variety trial was planted on 13th & 14th June by the Rothamsted Research team and team members from SRUC. Conditions were hot […]
Hub Site Update – SRUC Ayrshire – May 2023
April and May 2023 – Hub Site Update Glyphosate spraying of the plots for planting was undertaken and weed die-off is evident. This was followed by spot spraying some of […]
Hub Site Update – SRUC Ayrshire – March 2023
March 2023 – Overview of progress to date Remedial ground-work The arable site was in good condition. Baseline sampling took place after the spring barley harvest and no specific remedial […]
Hub Site Update – SRUC Ayrshire – February 2023
February 2023 It has been extremely wet. So wet, the ground is almost like quick mud. Nearly lost a welly! It will be several weeks before it has a chance […]
Hub Site Update – SRUC Ayrshire – January 2023
January 2023 Risk Assessments for grazing, browsing and crop damage threats were undertaken. Auchincruive has had unusually high volumes of rain in the last couple of weeks, followed by a […]
Hub Site Update – SRUC Ayrshire
December 2022 Summer weed control, cultivation and drilling complete. A winter wheat cover crop has been drilled on all wood crops plots but not on those due to have miscanthus […]

Base line soil samples have been taken, ploughing is in progress, Hopefully planting wheat cover crop week beginning 24 Oct 2022.  


55.4578372 -4.6146849 Scotland's Rural College, University Avenue, Ayr, UK