RAU students gain access to 15,000 acres of farmland

RAU students will benefit from access to the 15,000-acres of farmland
RAU students will benefit from access to the 15,000-acres of farmland

The Royal Agricultural University has partnered with Gloucestershire’s Bathurst Estate to provide students with access to 15,000 acres of farmland.

The move will also provide students and staff with access to forestry, environmentally managed land, real estate and heritage properties.

It includes a range of rural enterprises for teaching, research and knowledge exchange.

The historic Estate is near the Cirencester-based university and is owned by Lord Allen Bathurst.

The Bathurst family has supported the university - then called the Royal Agricultural College - since its foundation 175 years ago.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Joanna Price said the land would provide a 'new and innovative approach' to the delivery of practical teaching for agricultural students.

“The traditional approach taken by land-based institutions like ours has been to rely heavily on facilities provided by their own farms.

"However, this can limit the students’ learning experience at a time of unprecedented change in the way we produce food, manage land, our natural resources and sustain rural economies into the future.

"To this end, we must ensure that our students’ horizons are as broad as possible," Ms Price said.

Lord Bathurst welcomed the new partnership: "The Estate in return will gain from the students’ freer blue sky thinking and a ‘can do’ approach and attitude to tackling some of the traditional problems found in the landed sector.”