CAIRN is the Countryside & Agriculture Interdisciplinary Research Network Convened in the winter of 2014, CAIRN brings together colleagues from across and beyond CREST researching on issues concerning the countryside and agricultural sciences. Royal Agricultural University

Forthcoming events

Social and environmental impact of robotics and autonomous systems in farming

A one-day workshop to be held at Harper Adams University (UK) Thursday 14 July 2016 as part of the International Farming Systems Association Conference.


To be the leading transdisciplinary arts and sciences network for research into historical, contemporary and future rural and agricultural issues


  • Organise networking to stimulate collaborations
  • Seek funding for interdisciplinary research
  • Publicise collaborative research by the members
  • Provide resources for research-based teaching and learning
  • Enable research impact through public and end-user engagement

The first CAIRN Seminar took place at the CREST / GuildHE offices in London on Friday 28th March 2014, and involved representatives undertaking research into countryside, rural and agricultural issues from Arts University Bournemouth, Bishop Grosseteste University, Harper Adams University, Leeds Trinity University, Norwich University of the Arts, Plymouth College of Art, University of Cumbria, University of St Mark & St John and Writtle College. Discussions centred on historical, as well as technical and material collaborations around key themes and policy challenges, including (but not limited to): land, water and farm management landscapes, “utopias” and peripheries rural resources and conservation biodiversity and rare breeds sustainable intensification re-wilding rural craft rural education and infrastructures tourism

Planned initiatives include

  • collaborative bids
  • a conference organised by Postgraduate students and Early Career Researchers set to take place in 2015, curated by research students
  • research seminars (the first seminar convened in November 2014 at Harper Adams University, focusing on hill sheep)
  • a repository of local and regional resources and collections
  • a CAIRN blog
  • and a CAIRN mailing list for the sharing of ideas and pertinent questions and the flagging of opportunities.