...and so begins the glass houses

Our facilities

The combination of facilities available is unique within the UK. There are over 70ha of good quality irrigated land capable of growing most horticultural and arable crops. The site has excellent roadway access.

The protected crops unit consists of over 40 modern glasshouses (ranging from 12 to 1000m2) suitable for both small-scale studies and commercial demonstration trials. Several compartments have lights and benching installed for work on bedding and pot plants. All glasshouses and compartments are controlled with Priva Integro computers.

Modern laboratories and culture rooms allow indigenous pests and diseases to be produced for controlled release in glasshouse and field experiments. This approach provides robust testing conditions for efficacy studies and avoids the need to rely on unpredictable natural infections or infestations.

The Stockbridge site (formerly a MAFF, then DEFRA horticultural research and development station) has a long tradition of growing horticultural crops, especially vegetable and salad crops, since the 1950s. The sandy loam is well suited to growing high yielding crops with irrigation used to maintain growth during dry weather. Traditionally brassica crops have dominated the rotation but lettuce, leeks and root crops have featured more recently in response to our clients. Off-centre sites are used for selected crops particularly if different geographical areas or when soil types are required.

Stockbridge has a long association with the Humberside Protected crop industry. Significant investment over the past 15 years has enabled the site to retain credibility with glasshouse growers. Stockbridge has traditionally been involved in developing blueprints for commercial production of tomatoes, cucumbers and chilli peppers. Pioneering work was undertaken to identify optimal temperature and carbon dioxide enrichment regimes to enable UK growers to maximise yield and quality.

The site is well known for its involvement with rhubarb production and was involved in a range of trials in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s. A high proportion of the UK’s specialist growers of rhubarb are located within 20 miles of Stockbridge. Many of the varieties were selected at Stockbridge including Stockbridge Arrow, Stockbridge Bingo and Stockbridge Guardsman. Cawood Delight is named after the local village.