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UK NIRD Farm, Berks - March 2014

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So here is the second site of mine and Mookies mad few days. Bearing in mind I’ve been too busy to do photo reports of late.

Extensive History, borrowed from Merlin's report:

History of the National Institute for Research in Dairying

The need for farm land at agricultural research institutes is occasionally questioned. At the N.I.R.D. (National Institute for Research in Dairying) it wouldn’t have been impossible to carry out research on the physiology of lactation and ruminant nutrition with a few cows and relatively little land, but for a substantial system of applied research on milk production technology, large numbers of cattle at the calf, rearing and lactation stages are much needed.

The 1920 move from Reading to Shinfield provided the Institute with Church Farm. This was set in 332 acres of land and included some traditional buildings which, with some fairly cheap additions; allowed the development of a Shorthorn herd of up to 60 cows.

Expansion of the farming activities was soon needed. This became evident during the 1930's.

In 1945 land was pretty inexpensive and was coming on the market locally.

Arborfield Hall Farm was purchased in 1947 (299 acres). Although this subsequently became the home of the Bernard Weitz Centre with a new herd of 400 lactating cows.

The site eventually closed in mid 1980s, and the grounds were maintained initially, which stopped by about the early 1990s.

As the history of this site is quite big, here is a link to the source of the article below.


The roofs of the buildings were removed in the 2000’s to prevent squatters.

A pretty mundane looking explore which actually turned out very photogenic due to the sun shine. Actually quite an enjoyable, relaxed hour or two.

















More At:


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Nice shots there Landie and write up.

I noticed from one shot that people have to look at this place from their back windows lol

What a bloody eye saw :o

Cheers for the share bud :thumb

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I used to work here from 1979 to 1985. I left for a new job before closure was announced but the writing was on the wall that the various DEFRA institutes around the country were going to be amalgamated with closures. The pictures here are of the outlying huts and I worked as a research chemist in three of them in my years at the NIRD. The house to the West in the car park was the old wardens house and the buildings near there were the service shops for the site. The red tiled building was built by a food company that wanted access to the NIRD flavor panels to develop and test new products. The site was shut down shortly after this new building was erected.


There were much larger buildings to the SW of the site toured. A two story research block and also the old country house. The grounds ran to where the church is and these buildings were demolished to make way for housing. So, the most interesting buildings have long gone.


There is a archive from 1950 that has pictured of the demolished buildings.




The lands were purchased from Arborfield Hall farm in 1947 and large dairy buildings over the road from the Church were used for milk and dairy production for the NIRD. It was an archaic place with strict staff hierarchy of common rooms and selective dining, even in the 1980's.

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I've missed this report so far, some really nice shots. I also like the sky. 


@baz000000: Thanks for this interesting information. And welcome to the forum! :) 

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