Karl Schneider is editor of Farmers Weekly and editorial director of Proagrica, the global agriculture media, software, data and connectivity business.
Karl has been a business journalist for 30 years, working closely with the Farmers Weekly team for more than a decade and before that holding senior roles on some of the UK’s biggest titles including New Scientist and Computer Weekly.
Before he became a journalist Karl was a research physicist, working on nuclear fusion at the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s Culham Laboratory in Oxfordshire.
Editor, Farmers Weekly
Dr Alastair Leake
Dr Alastair Leake attained a BSc in Horticultural Science specialising in biological crop protection from Reading University. In 1993, he became project manager for ‘Focus on Farming Practice’ at Stoughton, Leicestershire where he manages a series of farm-scale rotations comparing organic farming with ‘conventional’ farm practice.
In 2001, Alastair joined the GWCT as head of the Allerton Project, a 20-year research project which looks at the effects of farming on wildlife and the environment. Later he became director of policy where he provides the technical contribution necessary to convert the Trust’s science into practice.
Alastair gained a PhD at Leicester University which focused on the economic performance, technical feasibility and environmental impact of organic, integrated and conventional farming systems.
Dr Alastair Leake
Director of policy & Allerton Project
Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust
For the past six years Stuart Holm has worked with the Woodland Trust to encourage farmers and landowners to plant and create woodland landscapes.
Before that, he was the Leicestershire and Rutland FWAG adviser for 12 years, giving conservation and business advice to farmers.
Stuart runs a small arable farm in Leicestershire and has recently installed silt capture ponds and leaky dams to help reduce peak flow and run off from the farm. He also has over 50 acres of mature woodland on the farm which he manages himself.
Woodland creation adviser
John Tucker is a chartered forester with 30 years forestry and arboricultural experience.
He is currently director of Woodland Creation with Woodland Trust, where his main focus is to seek innovative mechanisms to increase UK woodland cover, with a strong focus on native tree cover.
Director of Woodland Creation
Dr Jo Smith
Jo studied for aPhD on assessing the value of agri-environment schemes for soil biota with the Centre for Agri-Environment Research at the University of Reading, joint with the Soil Biodiversity group at the Natural History Museum. She has been working at The Organic Research Centre since June 2009. As Principal Agroecology researcher, Jo is responsible for the agroforestry programme, and is working on a range of European projects investigating the value of agroforestry as a way of reconciling production with protection of the environement. Jo is a member of the executive committee of the Farm Woodland Forum (UK agroforestry network) and a country delegate for the European Agroforestry Federation.
Dr. Jo Smith
Principal Agroecology researcher
Organic Research Centre
Matthew has a degree in forestry from Aberdeen University and started his career leading East Sussex County Council’s Dutch Elm Disease control programme.
He joined the Forestry Commission in 1985 where he spent most of his time working south east England, the country’s most wooded region.
The lack of markets for wood products from these largely broadleaved woods means that the majority are under managed. Matthew has worked on championing the opportunity to use low quality wood as a sustainable source of fuel for many years.
Matthew has worked on various other projects in his capacity at the Forestry Commission, including leading the Woodheat Solutions Project to transfer knowledge and experience of using wood as fuel from Finland and Austria to Croatia, Slovenia and the UK.
He has also worked with a range of partners across the south east from individual home owners to supermarket chains to protect existing woods from threats including disease, pests, herbivores and development, improved the condition of our existing woods by encouraging markets for sustainability produced wood products and expanding tree and woodland cover to deliver a range of benefits to society, the environment and the economy.
Partnerships & expertise manager
Dr Chris Stoate
Dr Chris Stoate is Allerton Project Head of Research at Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust. His activities are based on the premise that integrating environmental objectives with agricultural ones is not just a cultural ideal; it is central to meeting current and future challenges of climate change, resource depletion, and increasing population growth and consumption. Dr Stoate’s work relates mainly to links between productive land use, wildlife management, and water quality and ecology at a range of scales. He has worked in West Africa and southern Europe, as well as in the UK where he has coordinated a wide range of research and demonstration projects and manage his own farm. His specialties include agri-environment, catchment management, ecosystem services, farming, participatory research and wildlife management.
Dr Chris Stoate
Head of Research
Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust
Jonathan Francis is a Welsh beef and sheep farmer on his 113ha Tyn-Yr-Wtra farm in central Powys, where his family has farmed for generations. He rears 60 Hereford cross-suckler cows, 100 purebred Welsh sheep and 300 Welsh mules. Faced with tough environmental conditions and unable to turn stock on to some fields due to high rainfall and a lack of shelter, Jonathan has turned to tree planting to mitigate some of these issues. With the help of Coed Cymru and The Woodland Trust, in 2013/14 he planted almost 15,000 trees in a bid to improve shelter, land drainage and grass management. Jonathan Francis will discuss the benefits and challenges of managing a pastoral agroforestry scheme.
Beef & Sheep Farmer
Stephen Briggs farms with his wife on 254ac at Whitehall Farm in Cambridgeshire. They produce cereals: spring wheat, winter wheat, spring barley, winter oats & spring oats. As well as the arable crops, Stephen and his wife grow 15 apple varieties (6 heritage, the rest modern). Stephen first became aware of agroforestry on a trip to Africa and has designed and implemented his own silvo-arable scheme. Primarily designed to reduced soil erosion, his scheme now encompasses various techniques and, at 125ac, is now the largest agroforestry system in the UK. Stephen will talk about how the scheme has helped to reduce wind velocity, soil erosion and improving growing conditions, as well as the challenges implicit in quantifying these improvements.
Connect with Farmers Weekly