Reading University purchases new £16m farm

The University of Reading has agreed a £16m purchase of new farmland as part of its investment into researching food and farming.

The 635-acre site at Tanners Farm, Farley, is close to the university’s existing farming facilities at Hall Farm, near Arborfield.

The farmland is a mixture of pasture, arable and woodland, and is currently growing milling wheat, feed wheat and barley.

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The purchase forms part of the university’s commitment to securing the future of its research facilities.

Some of the existing land at Hall Farm could be lost to housebuilding, as nearby Wokingham is set to expand.


Prof Robert Van de Noort, vice-chancellor at the University of Reading, said that studying food and farming has been “at the heart” of the institution’s work over the past century.

The university has recently adopted an Agrifood Futures Strategy, which will see it prioritising the transformation to a resilient and fair food system, environmentally friendly farming systems, and developing healthy and sustainable foods.

“Our mission is to develop new methods and partnerships that will transform the way healthy, sustainable food is produced in Britain,” he said.

“In time, this strategy and additional farmland will give our researchers the ability to find answers to critical questions of food security and sustainability.

“It will provide our students with hands-on experience as they train to become our future food growers and the stewards of the countryside.”

The £16m purchase is funded by the university’s long-term capital investment fund.