27 March 2018
CFE Hedge event at Elm Farm

Make hedge management work for your business & the environment

27 March 2018
GREATsoils field day

Using green manures to optimise nitrogen availability

21 March 2018
The UK Agroforestry Network workshops

Reports from the group meetings

15 March 2018
Wonderful woodchip!

Workshop report on practical uses of woodchip in organic horticultural systems

15 March 2018
Organic farming for a Green Brexit

Government urged to commit to expanding organic food and farming to ensure a Green Brexit


Full project title:

Designing innovative plant teams for ecosystem resilience and agricultural sustainability



Contract period:

1 April 2017 to 31 March 2021

Project webpage:

Main funder:

EU Horizon 2020

Contact staff at ORC:

Dr. Bruce Pearce

Other staff involved:

Dominic Amos, Dr Charlotte Bickler, Dr Ambrogio Costanzo, Dr Kevin Waldie, Katie Bliss and Phil Sumption

Project aims

  • To optimise the performance of crop species mixtures (‘plant teams’) as a means to improve yield stability, reduce pest and disease damage, and enhance stress resilience in agricultural systems.
  • The multi-actor consortium of European and international scientists, stakeholders and industry partners will work together to gain an understanding of the benefits associated with cropping plant teams, and to identify the crop traits and agronomic practices promoting these benefits. Innovative tools, knowledge and scientific evidence will be developed to support the adoption of plant teams in agriculture across Europe and globally.

ORC's role

  • ORC will work with stakeholders to identify tacit knowledge, bottom up innovations and best practice strategies, and develop knowledge exchange to promote the adoption of successful plant teams.
  • Coordinate national stakeholder meetings
  • Coordinate and deliver website and social media: Facebook, Twitter (@PlantTeams), Instagram (diversifyplantteams)and
  • Coordinate and deliver farm days
  • Coordinate and deliver practice abstracts and policy briefings
  • Identify useful traits and data summary/decision support aid
  • Participatory research/field labs

Current progress highlights

DIVERSify Kick Off Meeting from Taskscape Associates Ltd on Vimeo.

Download the project leaflet

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Project leader and partners

The project is coordinated by the James Hutton Institute (Alison Karley and Adrian Newton). The consortium comprises 23 EU and international beneficiary partners, including research institutes, Universities, commercial and not-for-profit organisations who contribute expertise in science, stakeholder liaison and applied research and technology transfer. The beneficiaries are located across European pedo-climatic zones and growing conditions, extended by a team of international research institute partners.

All sources of funding

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under agreement No. 727284.