Alastair Leake Honored With National Award for Pioneering Work on Allerton Project

Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 05:46 pm

The Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) have awarded Dr Alastair Leake the 2023 National Agricultural Award at a ceremony held at the Royal Windsor Estate.

Dr Leake, director of policy at the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), was recognised for his outstanding contribution to British agriculture through his work leading The Allerton Project, a research and demonstration farm in Leicestershire.

Head of Food & Farming at Savills, Andrew Wraith, presented Dr Leake with the award which is given annually to an individual who has made a significant impact on the advancement of agriculture in the UK.

David Grint, CEO of the Royal Agricultural Society, said “We were delighted to present Alastair with the RASE National Agricultural Award. He has made an extraordinary contribution to British agriculture through his work leading The Allerton Project, which has done so much to pioneer and popularise ways of farming with nature.”

For 22 years, Dr Leake has overseen and led ground-breaking research on the effects of different farming methods on biodiversity. The Allerton project has also attracted thousands of visitors, including farmers, policymakers, researchers, and students, who have learned from its innovative practices.

Speaking of his award, Dr Leake said he was “humbled, honoured and thrilled”. “I have been fortunate to have worked alongside some outstanding colleagues through my 30 years of involvement with agricultural and environmental trials,” he commented, “the incredibly generous gift of the Loddington Estate by the Late Lord and Lady Allerton and their vision for the Allerton Project has inspired all of us. Never before has it been so important for us to find ways to grow our food and protect nature and the environment simultaneously.”

The award recognises Dr Leake for his tireless efforts to discover and communicate how agricultural production systems can allow for high levels of food production and biodiversity to co-exist.

At a time when intensive agriculture has too often been associated with environmental degradation, Dr Leake has shown how farming with nature can benefit both farmers and wildlife.

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