Newcastle University Farms

We are delighted to be taking part in Agroforestry Open Weekend 2024
Our farm

NU Farms cover 800 ha of university owned mixed arable and livestock grazing operations, spread across three sites in Northumberland (Nafferton, Cockle Park & Ouston) with a commercial dairy at Nafferton.

Cockle Park Farm is a 307-hectare mixed farm situated 18 miles north of Newcastle. It is one of the few facilities in the UK that encompasses the farming of dairy and beef, as well as a variety of arable cropping and grassland trials.

In terms of our ‘on farm platforms’ we’re lucky enough to have more than a dozen long-running experiments across NU-Farms that we can leverage for teaching and research benefit. The list is constantly growing, and we’ve recently added platforms on rockdust and biomass crops to the list, as well as a Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot that we’re running at Ouston to help inform changing policy around agricultural support. Many of these platforms represent field-scale, fully replicated experiments, exploring a diverse range of topical production practices. Some of our platforms are of international importance. Palace Leas, for example, was established in 1896 on nutrient rich ancient meadows, and is the world’s longest running grazing and hay cutting experiment!

Our agroforestry

The agroforestry was planted in May 2022 at Cockle Park and comprises Willow, Poplar and a grass control.

The field is laid out in five replicated plots over 18ha. In addition in 2023 two different understoreys were established of grass/clover and grass/wildflowers.

Historically the field has been in a arable rotation which continues while the trees are establishing. Wheat was drilled in October 2021 across the field with the tree strips left bare. The strips are 4.6m every 24m alleyway. The ground was deep and cultivated in 2022 and then double rows of willow or poplar at 1.6m spacing was planted. Some gapping was completed in 2022 and again in 2023 due to pest pressure.

First harvest is expected 2026/27

Here are some photos of what we do:

(Photos to follow)

how to find us

You will find us at

Cockle Park Farm, Ulgham

Our postcode is NE61 3EB if you’re using a sat-nav or route planner.

What three words: rinsed.swordfish.bleaker

agroforestry open weekend 2024

Over Agroforestry Open Weekend 2024 we will be open Monday 20th May from 10am to 3pm offering a morning or afternoon tour of our agroforestry site.

First Session (10:00 – 12:00)

Talk – 10:00-11:00

Tour – 11:00 -12:00

Second Session (13:00-15:00)

Talk – 13:00-14:00

Tour – 14:00-15:00

please don’t just turn up

Please register via the link below:

Registration Form


Tea/Coffee on arrival

Finger Buffet will be available between 12:00-13:00 for both our morning and afternoon visitors.


There is ample free parking at Cockle Park Farm.


As we have livestock strictly NO DOGS please

disability access

Whilst the farm is accessible, the tour will involve a walk around the agroforestry plot which covers rocky terrain. To discuss accessibility queries please contact

more information?

For further information please contact the farm team at:

Twitter Handle – @Nufarms

Facebook – nufarmsnewcastle

Instagram – @nufarms