Scientists at the Natural Resources Institute (NRI), of the University of Greenwich are undertaking a study to understand the uptake and perception of Carbon farming practices amongst the UK wine industry. Carbon farming refers to a variety of agricultural methods aimed at sequestering atmospheric carbon into soil, improving overall soil health and mitigating climate change. While carbon sequestration has been widely studied in sectors such as arable farming this is not the case for the fast-growing wine industry in the UK.

The University is seeking growers, vineyard managers and owners to take part in an anonymous survey to aid this research. The survey takes no more than 10 minutes to complete. This project is led by Dr Marcos Paradelo Perez.

This initiative is just one of a suite of projects being undertaken by the Institute to support UK vineyards. NRI has recently set up a state-of-the-art laboratory focused on monitoring soil health, with capability to measure water infiltration in field and lab, soil moisture curves and soil compaction, as well as microbial assessments. Using these techniques it is possible to monitor and optimise the impact of new soil management strategies adopted as farmers and growers move towards more sustainable practices. 

Other projects focus on crop protection. Virus infections severely shorten the economic productive lifespan of a vineyard and reduce wine quality but very little is known about the prevalence of viruses in UK vineyards. Dr Gonçalo Silva is developing on-site diagnostic tools that will contribute to more efficient control strategies and guarantee the full lifespan of a vineyard by rapidly identifying infected vines in established vineyards while also testing planting material imported from nurseries to limit the introduction and spread of new viral diseases. 

For information on soil management contact Dr Paradelo Perez:

For information on diagnostic tests for viruses contact Dr Gonçalo Silva:

To access the survey visit:

This story was taken from the latest issue of Vineyard. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports for winemakers and growers in Great Britain, read our latest issue here and subscribe here