The ADAS Redesdale research farm in Otterburn, Northumberland, is to close in March 2007, with a lack of funding cited as the reason for the decision.

ADAS commercial director, Colin Speller, told Farmers Weekly that funding for the agricultural and environmental research carried out at Redesdale had declined in recent years.

Despite admitting that the site would not return a profit this year, Mr Speller stressed that other ADAS farms were not under immediate threat.

“We have been given the opportunity of a lease-break at Redesdale.

This route has been taken with considerable regret, but as a private organisation we cannot afford to lose money.

“However it will be business as usual at our other six farm sites.”

ADAS would continue to maintain a presence in north-east England after the closure and ongoing work would be completed before the lease ran out, he added.

“There will still be projects on privately-run north-east farms, and we have a number of agricultural and environmental consultants in the area,” Mr Speller said.