Controlling creeping thistles in crops and grass

Event Date : September 25, 2014

Field lab at the Estate Visitor Centre Sandringham, Norfolk. 10am to 3pm

Photo: Garden Organic

This field lab will build on the cultural methods already used by organic farmers and look for new and novel control mechanisms such as biological controls and the use of allelopathy. The objective of this research is to identify more reliable methods of creeping thistle control which will enable farmers to consistently grow quality arable crops without the use of herbicides. Thank you to Keith Banham at Sandringham Estate for participating in this field lab.

Provisional trials suggested include:

  • Cultivations
  • Cutting tools
  • Allelopathy
  • Biological and biodynamic controls


10.00am Arrival and refreshments
10.30am Introduction to the field lab and the day – Liz Bowles (Soil Association)
Physiology of creeping thistles – Lynn Tatnell (ADAS Cambridge)
Summary of current understanding of creeping thistle control – Nick Fradgley (ORC)
Practical aspects of creeping thistle control- Stephen Briggs (Abacus Associates)

11.45pm Farm walk to view the potential trial sites: Drones have been used to document the extent of thistles across the trial site.
1.15pm Lunch

2pm Consideration of priorities for research and trial design and agreement on next steps
3pm Close

To book your FREE place; go to

Download flyer here


Sign up to our e-Bulletin

Sign up to ORC’s e-bulletin and be the first to receive updates from our in-the-field research and the latest organic and agroecological news and events. Delivered to your inbox monthly.

Newsletter signup

By submitting this form, you are agreeing for us to contact you by email about our research, knowledge exchange, policy support and fundraising. Your details will only be used by the Organic Research Centre (ORC) in adherence with our Privacy Policy.

If you would like to change how you receive communications from the ORC or update your contact details, please click the appropriate link at the footer of any email you receive from us, or contact: