• English

The Organic Research Centre

ORC experimental farm, Wakelyns Agroforestry

The Organic Research Centre (ORC) is the UK’s leading independent research, development and advisory institution for organic agriculture. While focusing on organic production systems, ORC also partners with non-organic farmers and research organisations. A main theme in ORC’s crops research is the use of plant diversity, such as variety mixtures, intercropping, cereal population breeding, and legume species mixtures for fertility building. The ethos of ORC is to engage with the end user of agricultural research and undertake participatory research where appropriate. Therefore, the research within the institute is frequently carried out with and on producers’ holdings. This is complemented by field trial work on ORC's research farm.

Role in OSCAR: ORC will participate in the MEE (WP2), and will coordinate the dissemination and knowledge transfer of the project and the development of the Cover Crop and Living Mulch Toolbox (WP8).


Key staff involved in OSCAR

Dr Robbie Girling is leader of the crops and agroforestry research team of eight scientists at the ORC. He is responsible for ORC's current legume and cereal research projects, as well as on-farm trials on reduced tillage in organic farming and co-ordinates the CORE II COBRA project. He has a wide range of research experience in agricultural systems, plant science, integrated pest management and chemical ecology. He is also currently involved with agricultural knowledge transfer, dissemination and participatory research activities within ORC's crops programme. After postdoctoral positions in at the University of California Riverside, National University of Ireland Maynooth, the University of Sussex and the University of Southampton he joined ORC in 2013.

Dr Bruce Pearce is responsible for managing ORC's research programme. He has previously managed research for the UK's Ministry of Agriculture in a range of plant sciences. He currently manages several projects conducted on farms, including research in the topics of wheat breeding, poultry, legumes in arable systems and policy.

Prof. Dr. Martin Wolfe is emeritus professor of plant pathology at ETH Zurich and is ORC's principle scientific advisor.


Dr. Robbie Girling

The Organic Research Centre

Hamstead Marshall


RG20 0HR

Tel.: +44 1488 658298 Ext 553