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North Wyke Research completes merger with Rothamsted Research

5 August 2009

North Wyke Research, the home of UK grassland systems science, has completed its merger with Rothamsted Research, an institute of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the oldest agricultural research station in the UK.

The merger of North Wyke with Rothamsted Research will provide a secure foundation for the future of North Wyke science while building on the two organisations’ combined strengths for the benefit of the UK science base. The merged institute will be well placed to contribute to research to meet the challenge of providing food security for the world’s growing population.

North Wyke Research has now become a department within the Rothamsted organisation, but will retain its distinctive identity to support its role as an important national capability with connections to the South West research community. North Wyke Research will develop its role as a regional centre for research, training and knowledge exchange, especially through its relationships with University of Exeter and the Peninsular Partnership for the Rural Environment.

North Wyke Research was established on the North Wyke estate, near Okehampton in Devon, in 1981. The research station was part of the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER), another institute of BBSRC, until April 2008 when IGER-Wales became part of Aberystwyth University. Since April 2008, BBSRC has been working with North Wyke Research and Rothamsted Research to facilitate the merger of the two organisations into one institute.



The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £450M in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. BBSRC carries out its mission by funding internationally competitive research, providing training in the biosciences, fostering opportunities for knowledge transfer and innovation and promoting interaction with the public and other stakeholders on issues of scientific interest in universities, centres and institutes.

The Babraham Institute, Institute for Animal Health, Institute of Food Research, John Innes Centre and Rothamsted Research are Institutes of BBSRC. The Institutes conduct long-term, mission-oriented research using specialist facilities. They have strong interactions with industry, Government departments and other end-users of their research.

About North Wyke Research

The mission of North Wyke Research is to undertake internationally excellent science that elucidates the interactions between soil, microbes, plants, animals, water and the atmosphere within grassland-dominated landscapes.

This research will contribute to the evidence base for the sustainable, multifunctional land management systems that are adaptable to different production and/or environmental goals; help protect our natural resources; help mitigate against, and adapt to, climate change and take account of changing social, economic, policy and environmental conditions.

North Wyke Research works to ensure the economic and social impact of its research, regionally, nationally and internationally, through innovation, training and the engagement with users, policy makers, stakeholders and the general public.

For more information see:

About Rothamsted Research

Rothamsted Research, an Institute of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, is based in Hertfordshire and is one of the largest agricultural research institutes in the country. The mission of Rothamsted Research is to be recognised internationally as a primary source of first-class scientific research and new knowledge that addresses stakeholder requirements for innovative policies, products and practices to enhance the economic, environmental and societal value of agricultural land.

For more information see:


Matt Goode, Head of External Relations

tel: 01793 413299

Tracey Jewitt, Media Officer

tel: 01793 414694
fax: 01793 413382