Skip to main contentCambridge University Reporter

No 6227

Thursday 2 June 2011

Vol cxli No 31

pp. 877–896


Report of the Council on the relocation of the University Farm from North West Cambridge to Madingley

The Council begs leave to report to the University as follows:

1. Cambridge University Farm was established in 1900 to support the newly established Department of Agriculture. In 2008, for administrative purposes, it was taken into the Unified Administrative Service under the Estate Management and Building Service. The Farm occupies 925 ha of land around the western edge of Cambridge and neighbouring villages. The land is mainly owned by the University, but includes land tenanted from several Colleges. The Farm has three functions:

(a)to manage the University’s land bank on a commercial basis until such time as it is needed for operational or other purposes;

(b)to provide livestock for teaching by the Department of Veterinary Medicine;

(c)to carry out research in agronomy.

2. The main activities of the Farm are located at Madingley (dairy unit at Park Farm) and North West Cambridge (office, livestock storage, and ancillary buildings at Howe Farm and Gravel Hill Farm). The buildings at North West Cambridge occupy sites which will be redeveloped when the North West Cambridge scheme is implemented, and continuing agricultural use will not be compatible with the site development activities. In any case the livestock and storage buildings have reached the end of their useful lives and no longer provide facilities acceptable to the regulatory bodies, including the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Replacement facilities are required by the end of 2011 if farm animal veterinary teaching is to continue in the next academic year.

3. It is therefore proposed to replace the facilities being lost at North West Cambridge with new facilities at the Dairy Unit at Park Farm. A detailed review of existing activities, including the type and numbers of farm animals needed for veterinary teaching, has been carried out. As a result the Farm has disposed of its herd of 30 suckler cows. Adult cow numbers will be maintained by expanding the dairy herd within the existing facility. Around 60 to 70 dairy heifer calves a year will be raised as herd replacements, with 170 to 180 calves sold as store cattle at six to twelve months of age; these will not therefore need to be housed over the winter. A substantial reduction in the space requirement has therefore been achieved. The proposed scheme involves modifications to the existing dairy building to create a calving area and to a straw barn to create secure storage, together with the construction of a young stock building, a calf house, lambing shed, and a grain store, together with hard standing and additional sileage storage. The total area of new build is 3,147m2, which compares to the current area of 7,581m2 at Howe Farm and Gravel Hill Farm. The modifications to existing space at Park Farm will affect 1,618m2.

4. The scheme has been approved by the Farm Management Committee, and the West and North West Cambridge Project Board has supported the early relocation of the Farm from North West Cambridge.

5. The estimated cost of the work is £2.591m, and will be funded from the North West Cambridge project (£1m) with the balance from the Land Fund. The co-location of staff and facilities is expected to reduce operating costs and improve the profitability of the Farm.

6. Drawings of the proposed scheme are displayed for the information of the University in the School’s Arcade.

Farm site location plan

7. The Council recommends:

I. That approval be given for the construction of new Farm buildings at Park Farm Madingley as proposed in this Report.

II. That the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Resources), on advice of the Director of Estate Management, be authorized to accept a tender for the building contract and all associated works in due course, subject to full funding being available.

30 May 2011

L. K. Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor

M. J. Daunton

F. P. Kelly

David Abulafia

I. M. Le M. Du Quesnay

Vanessa V. Lawrence

N. Bampos

Nicholas Gay

R. Lethbridge

Richard Barnes

David Good

Mavis McDonald

D. J. A. Casserley

Andy Hopper

Rachael Padman

Stephen J. Cowley

Christopher Hum

John Shakeshaft