University of Cambridge's Park Farm

Park Farm is home to a commercial dairy unit, a flock of 250 North Country Mule sheep and 265ha of arable land, in addition to rotational and permanent grassland. The farm forms part of the University of Cambridge’s Veterinary Medicine department.

Home / University of Cambridge's Park Farm

Main contacts: Paul Kelly (Dairy Manager) and Peter Wilderspin (Rural Surveyor)

Address: Cambridge University Farm, Park Farm, Madingley, Cambridge, CB23 8YW

LEAF Demonstration Farm since 2023, LEAF member since 2020

Park Farm has a dairy unit of 230 milking cows, producing 2 million litres of milk annually, supplied into Arla. A robotic milking system is in use, with cattle housed indoors most of the year. The farm also has a flock of 250 North Country Mule sheep and 265ha is farmed as part of the arable enterprise, in addition to a mix of permanent and rotational grassland.

The farm also encompasses a historically important area of Capability Brown designated parkland, over 90ha of woodland and is part of the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme. The university and the farm have their own biodiversity action plans, with works including pond restoration and new woodland creation. In fact, Peter was part of LEAF’s Knowledge to Action Ash Dieback project - developing a farmers guide to support farmers with managing and assessing Ash Dieback on-farm.

In 2020, the farm implemented a 3-year plan to move towards science-based targets for carbon reduction. As part of this, an AD plant was installed to take slurry from the dairy unit and use biomethane to produce electricity. The plant now provides two thirds of the farms electricity, in addition to an area of solar panels. Peter and Paul were part of LEAF’s Nature Based Solutions project, conducting carbon footprinting analysis and identifying nature-based solutions for reducing carbon emissions.

With access to pioneering research and innovative technology such as robotic milkers, carbon calculators and telematics, the Farm is implementing Integrated Farm Management across the entire business, using the best of both traditional and modern farming methods.

Research interests:

  • Improving on-farm biodiversity
  • Engaging and connecting the public with agriculture
  • Herd health
  • Carbon reduction