Allerton Staff

Dr Alastair Leake

Director of Policy & The Allerton Project

Alastair has spent many years developing holistic approaches to production that maximise yields and biodiversity whilst minimising environmental impacts.

Alastair is a renowned speaker and translates the practicalities of farming right through from the River Welland catchment to the policy forming arena of Westminster.

Professor Chris Stoate

Head of Research

Chris has wide-ranging expertise in the agricultural environment and coordinates the Allerton Project’s research at a range of scales, from experimental plots to the landscape scale. He has published more than a hundred research papers, has research experience in southern Europe and West Africa and was an author of the UK’s National Ecosystem Assessment. He is the author of the recently published ‘Farming with the Environment’ which provides a detailed but accessible account of the Allerton Project’s thirty years of research. He is an Honorary Professor with the University of Nottingham and has links with other applied researchers in leading universities and research institutions in the UK and abroad. Chris is a farmer in his own right and chairs a number of groups concerned with farming and the environment in the East Midlands.

Joe Stanley ARAgS
Head of Training & Partnerships

Joe Stanley is an experienced livestock and arable farmer who is passionate about British agriculture and developing more sustainable and resilient farming systems which are fit for the future. He is often to be seen in national print and broadcast media talking about rural issues, and is a regular columnist for Farmers Weekly and Countryside magazines, as well as Chair of Leicestershire, Northants and Rutland NFU and trustee of the Henry Plumb Foundation.

Joe has a BA (Hons) in history from Durham University and a Graduate Diploma in Agriculture from the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester. He is author of ‘Farm to Fork: The Challenge of Sustainable Farming in 21st Century Britain‘.

Alice Midmer

Assistant Project Manager

Alice has worked in the agricultural sector for a decade, predominantly with farmers as they adapt to changes, look to more environmental methods and work collaboratively. Prior to joining the Allerton Project, Alice spent seven years with LEAF, bringing stakeholders together and promoting benefits of regenerative practices and integrated farming. Alice has also worked for the Small Robot Company looking at the role of technology in the future of farming and for the Food Farming and Countryside Commission looking at land use at a landscape scale to pilot a Land Use Framework in Cambridgeshire.


Alice has an MBA from Cranfield University, an MSc from Warwick University in Environmental Biosciences in a Changing Climate, a BSc from Durham University in Biology and is a Chartered Environmentalist.

Jemma Clifford

Partnerships and Communications Manager

A former land agent that went on to co-found The Rural Business Awards and The Rural Business Group CIC (not for profit). Jemma specialises in taking a business approach to marketing strategy, feasibility and marketing tools to enable businesses to make the right choices in getting where they want to be. The creation of The Rural Business Group and Awards are a testament to her abilities. Her passion and dedication to ‘Rural’ has been lifelong.

In September 2019 Jemma has taken on a new role of Partnerships Manager at The Allerton Project – The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust.

Dr Saya Harvey

Training Manager

Saya has recently joined the Allerton project team as Training Manager. Saya studied Agriculture and Environmental Science at Newcastle University as an undergraduate and completed her PhD in 2008. Saya has a wealth of practical experience having worked as an ecologist for FWAG, ADAS and Scottish Power on Agri-environment research and management projects. She is now managing a small arable farm in Leicestershire and works as an environmental consultant delivering Countryside Stewardship and Rural Development applications for landowners. Saya is BASIS qualified and does all her own agronomy and fertiliser recommendations on the farm.

Oliver Carrick

Farm Manager 

Olly joined the Allerton project in 2019 as Assistant Farm Manager and progressed to Farm Manager in 2021. Olly graduated from the Royal Agricultural University with a Bsc (Hons) in Agricultural Management. Gaining experience throughout the industry however mainly with large arable farms such as Grosvenor Farms, Velcourts as well as cropping farms in Australia.

Olly has focused his farming intentions into conservational farming, looking at farming with the environment. Aiming to farm commercially whilst creating a landscape to enhance wildlife and promote good soil health.

John Szczur


John has a wealth of knowledge on farmland birds, pollinators and insects. John is involved in the water friendly farming project, looking at ‘habitat, mitigation measures’ for flood prevention.

From insect emergence in cultivation trials to infiltration tests within agroforestry, John has both the practical application and scientific rigour essential for our trials work.


Dr Jenny Bussell

Soil Scientist

Dr Jenny Bussell joins the Allerton Project from Nottingham University, where she worked as a research fellow on a project funded by the British Beet Research Organisation.  The project worked with farmers across the East Midlands to investigate sugar beet establishment, cultivation, and the use of cover crops for improving soil structure.

Previously Jenny completed a PhD at Aberystwyth University focusing on plant and soil interactions under simulated climate change conditions in the Arctic.  The work focused on greenhouse gas emissions and soil microbial health, which have remained a key interest for Jenny during her career.

Gemma Fox

Research Assistant

Gemma is the research assistant at the Allerton Project working on a wide range of projects, both arable and livestock. Having an MSc in Sustainable Agriculture and a BSc (Hons) degree in Environmental science she initially worked in the Livestock Sector, gaining both advisory and practical experience before joining the Allerton Project.

Having worked on a mixed farm in north Nottinghamshire Gemma has gained practical farming experience which supports her work as research assistant, and now has a herd of Pedigree Red Poll Cattle in Leicestershire.

Amie Pickering

Projects Officer

Amie joined The Allerton Project at the end of 2023 as Projects Officer. The role involves working on a range of projects but specifically focusses on the ClieNFarms Innovation Action project and ongoing partnerships with Nestlé.

In 2021, Amie achieved an MSc in Environmental Leadership and Management from the University of Nottingham. For her final project, she partnered with Natural England and a range of academics to examine conservation approaches and discourse in the UK. Amie also has a BSc in Geography and certification in volunteer management. As a dedicated environmentalist and keen culinarian, Amie has always shown interest in the ways we grow, process and distribute our food, previously working on one of the oldest and largest allotment sites in Europe – St Ann’s Allotments.

Patricia Antunes

Welland Trust Project Manager

Patricia is the Project Manager of the Welland Rivers Trust, which works to conserve, protect and restore the river Welland catchment’s watercourses. Originally from Portugal, she trained as a biologist and ecologist, focusing on freshwater quality. She holds a PhD from Dublin City University, having conducted research in Irish agricultural catchments to assess the impacts of unrestricted cattle access to watercourses on water quality, and the effectiveness of fencing as a water quality protection measure. She has taught Biology and Chemistry to both undergraduate students and primary school children, and has volunteered with several environmental conservation NGOs over the years.

Katie Field

Welland Rivers Trust Assistant

Team Overview

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