Demonstrator Hub Update – SRUC Auchincruive – March 2024

05 April 2024

March 2024 – SRUC Auchincruive Demonstrator Hub Update

Ayr Site Plan

Ayr Site Plan

Scotland has been somewhat drier than the rest of the UK this month, but the weather could still be described as wet and windy! The ground is still too soft for access by machinery.

No grazing or pest damage has been seen at the site. Pathways have been disced ready for sowing.


Crop Diaries

Click on the titles below to find out how each of the crops are progressing.


  • The new SRF alder plants that were planted to fill gaps on February 1st are looking good. They are still small but have little leaves.
  • The older SRF alder trees are budding and looking healthy.

Black Locust

The buds on the SRF black locust ‘Turbo’  are still brown, there is no sign of action quite yet. Some of the black locust ‘Turbo’ have been snapped by the wind, but the main stems are fine.

The SRF black locust ‘Turbo Obelisk’ have been dug up and glyposhate was applied to the plot on 20th March 2024. Some of the roots were crazy! Much deeper than at the Edinburgh Demonstrator Hub.


The SRF eucalyptus at the Auchincruive Demonstrator Hub looks good apart from being a bit wind beaten.  Several were uprighted on 20/03/2024 and extra bamboo canes were put in for support.


The SRF poplar have buds and look like they might spring into action soon.
Some have snapped from the wind but nothing major.

A couple of the rows of the guard trees in the SRC poplar plot may have accidentally been damaged by the tractor, so might need gapping up.



The 0.5ha Miscanthus giganteus and 0.5ha Miscanthus Athena were topped and sprayed on March 4th. The plots will be ploughed closer to the planting date to avoid the mud.


The 0.5 ha SRC willow plot is looking lovely and green with lots of buds and catkins.


Reed Canary Grass

The reed canary grass plot has been measured out. It needs to be cultivated before planting. Hoping to plant April 2024


The switchgrass plot has been measured out. It needs to be cultivated before planting. Hoping to plant April 2024

Plans and Actions

  • We are confirming a date for delivery of the Black Locust and will schedule planting for after 12th April.
  • Electric fence lines continue to be monitored and sprayed off where weeds are growing into them.
  • Grass sowing in the aisles will be carried out soon.

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