NEWS IN DETAIL...
College welcomes leading researcher
Duchy College Rosewarne played host to Anna Becvar, a leading researcher on composting and anaerobic digestion, this week as she gave a seminar about her recent project to students and guests.
Anna is Director of Earthcare Technical Ltd and Specialist Organics Advisor to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP). She spoke about the latest news from an innovative WRAP project looking to quantify the benefits drawn out of composting and anaerobic digestion for agriculture.
Anna explained: “Commercial composting plants take organic waste and over the course of six weeks, in an accelerated composting process, produce fibre rich compost which can be applied to fields as a soil conditioner with nutrient value. Anaerobic digestion takes organic waste, such as cattle slurry, and produces digestate with as high a nitrogen content as many conventional nitrogen fertilisers, as well as biogas which can be used to produce electricity or power vehicles.
“Policy developers in Defra are at the stage where they need much more robust data on the measurable benefits and impacts of the use of compost and digestate within agriculture. That’s why our projects have such strong relevance to driving policy and eventually behavioural change in UK agriculture.”
Anna is associated with the College through the SWARM Hub initiative, a project which aims to promote access to knowledge on sustainable agriculture. The SWARM Hub hosts further information about renewable energy and nutrient management for farmers, including details of the Defra funded project that Anna has been advising on.
The College is playing host to a number of high profile speakers giving seminars on the hottest topics affecting British agriculture over the next few months. The seminar series has been organised by the Rural Business School at Duchy College and has been put together primarily for students and staff, but is also open to guests where availability allows.
Andrew Counsell, Head of Duchy College, said: “These seminars are proving very popular, we are lucky to have such an array of interesting speakers and we are very pleased that our students are taking up the opportunity to find out more about the current hot topics being discussed.”
Future events in this year’s seminar series will see experts talking on themes such as water management, renewable energy and invasive species. If you would like to receive a full programme list for the Duchy College Rosewarne 2011-12 Seminar Series please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.