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The School of Agriculture, Policy and Development provides a number of specialist facilities that allow us to conduct a wide range of research. These facilities are also widely used to enhance our teaching and learning.

Our farms

The University has considerable land-based resources in the Reading area, with approximately 800 hectares of mixed farming lands and woodlands spread throughout the surrounding areas of Arborfield, Shinfield and Sonning.

The Centre for Dairy Research

Located at the University's Arborfield Farm and established in 1992, the Centre for Dairy Research (CEDAR) is a unique facility for applied and strategic large animal research.

Research at CEDAR addresses key issues for the sustainability of animal production systems, such as environmental impacts, milk and meat composition and consumer health, antimicrobial resistance, and animal behaviour and welfare.


The Crop Research Unit

Our 180-hectare Sonning Farm is home to a 15-hectare Crop Research Unit, where we undertake field trials and field-based research into arable, forage and soft fruit crops.


Crop and Environment Laboratory

The Crop and Environment Laboratory is a state-of-the-art controlled environment facility dedicated to crop physiology and crop breeding research. It comprises plant growth chambers, environment-controlled glasshouses, and pollinator exclusion and pollinator flight cages for work on pollinator-dependent crops.


National Fruit Collection

Based at Brogdale Farm in Kent, the National Fruit Collection is curated and maintained by the University in collaboration with the Farm Advisory Services Team, working on behalf of the UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

One of the largest fruit collections in the world, the National Fruit Collection includes more than 3,500 named apple, pear, plum, cherry, vine and cob nut cultivars.


Specialist Analytical and Research Laboratories

Our specialist laboratories support an array of research and education projects in the School. These facilities include the mycorrhiza laboratory, environmental laboratories, plant pathology laboratory, molecular genetics laboratory, and animal sciences laboratories.

International Cocoa Quarantine Centre

The International Cocoa Quarantine Centre, hosted at the University of Reading, supports the breeding of sustainable cocoa production in the face of increasing pressures from pests and diseases, current low yields, and the uncertainties posed by global climate change.

Watch our facilities video