Research projects



Contract Period : 01/04/2015 -

Project Webpage :

Main Funder : ORC

ORC Staff Contact : Lucy MacLennan

Sharing practical information about sustainable farming based on agroecological principles.

Project Aims:

Agricology was founded with the aim to provide farmers with the best practical information on ecological techniques, via a website uk, on social media, and through on-farm events. Agricology  translates scientific research in to practical advice to help farmers become more profitable and more sustainable, while protecting the environment.

Agricology has been, and continues to be, guided by a steering group of leading figures from the worlds of agriculture and horticulture. Together, they represent a diverse range of farming principles including organic, integrated conventional, biodynamic, agroforestry and permaculture.

Agricology is an independent knowledge platform supporting all farmers and growers to transition to more sustainable and resilient farming systems. It is a free platform, open to everyone, and was set up in response to increasing challenges of declining soil fertility, climate change, declining biodiversity and the need to rethink the way we tend the land. We bring together research from the field and farmer experiences on using practices that restore the farm ecosystem. These include reducing tillage to improve soil quality, planting ‘cover crops’, adding pollinator strips or using ‘trap crops’ (which divert pests from crops instead of using chemicals), and using agroforestry systems.


ORC's Role:

ORC leads and has responsibility for the platform


Key Achievements:

Agricology launched on 27th November 2015 to an audience of farmers, scientists and agricultural experts at Daylesford Organic Farm in Gloucestershire.

The web platform hosts a library of over 400 resources on different practices and principles from across the sector. Farmers share their experiences of the real-world application across
their whole farming system in farmer profiles, videos and podcasts. Over 200 blogs and research project pages provide a space for researchers and others involved in the industry
to share their expertise on key topics ranging from managing problem pests and weeds, to soil health, to agroforestry… The Agricology team have also hosted field days on-farm and
online in collaboration with partners, providing a space for demonstration and discussion.

In a survey of platform users in 2020, 50% reported that they have been inspired to change their farming practice because of Agricology – it helped to “fill the knowledge gaps”, influencing
them to “think differently” or feel “encouraged to continue on a path”

Project leader and partners:

Agricology was created in 2015 by 3 partners, ORC, The Daylesford Foundation (funders) and The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust’s Allerton Project with collaborative contributions from over 40 organisations.

Since 2021, Agricology has become a platform led and solely funded by ORC.


Lishman L, Bliss K (2021) ORC Research Digest no. 19 – Aug 2021: Agricology – Practical Sustainable Farming Knowledge Hub. 19. Agricology

Previous Relevant Work:

Agricology builds on ORC’s Defra-funded work (pre-2015) to establish an ecofarming information hub, and a long history of facilitating peer-to-peer knowledge exchange and making research accessible to practitioners and advisors.

All sources of funding:


ORC Team involved with this project

Matt Smee
Farm Engagement Officer
Phil Sumption
Research Communications (freelance)
Janie Caldbeck
Researcher and Content Editor
Chief Executive