Ed Barnston: Report Published

New Nuffield Farming Report published – Ed Barnston: ‘Rural Estates: Benchmarking Success’

Ed Barnston NSch 2019, Estate Manager at Barnston Estate near Chester, has published his Nuffield Farming Report titled ‘Rural Estates: Benchmarking Success’. It is now available on the Nuffield International website at www.nuffieldinternational.org/live/reports or can be downloaded directly at https://bit.ly/2RKBeWm

Report Title: Rural Estates: Benchmarking Success

Sponsor: Worshipful Company of Farmers and Savills

Countries Visited: USA, New Zealand, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, UK 

Study Objectives

  • To discover common traits and processes that lead to making rural estates successful 
  • To highlight example benchmarking methodologies 



This report details three types of rural estate – passive, active and proactive, showing that real success is found in proactive rural estates. These businesses show purpose, master planning, strategic management, a deliberate use of benchmarking and use of analytics, as well as bespoke whole-estate reporting. 

The very best estates integrate their performance across the ‘Triple Bottom Line’ of people, planet and profit. The report also calls for the land management industry to rethink the performance of rural estates in order for them to play a crucial role in delivering economic oxygen to rural communities. 

This report is of exceptional quality and relevance to the sector. By examining the land management of over 1.5 million acres of land across the world, this study is able to give a fascinating insight into how the best rural estates operate. 

Practices used by exceptional estates are identified, with a particular focus on the importance of measuring performance. Concluding with a striking call to action, this report asks the rural land management sector to radically rethink how it operates by implementing integrated benchmarking for its clients. This will allow estates to flourish and breathe life into rural communities, as well as become more efficient and therefore more effective.

rolling hills and blue skies


 Notes to the Editor:

The Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust (NFST) is a registered charity (Reg. Charity No. 1098519) that awards approximately 20 scholarships annually in the UK to young people between the ages of 22 and 45 from across the agricultural industry.

There is no need for formal qualifications in order to apply for a Nuffield Scholarship; instead, the Trust looks to unlock an individual’s potential and broaden horizons through study and travel overseas. Scholars are selected with a view to developing tomorrow’s leaders within their individual business and the industry as a whole.

Nuffield Farming member countries span the globe, with established programmes in Australia, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Kenya, and Zimbabwe; Associate countries also include Brazil, USA, South Africa, and Southern Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan).

Nuffield Scholarships are only made possible by the generous support of sponsors from across agriculture and the food industry. NFST work with over 100 sponsors to develop individuals who will become tomorrow’s leaders and inspire change in our industry. 

Scholarship Eligibility

  • Applicants must work within the farming, food, horticulture, rural and associated industries or are in a position to influence these industries
  • Applicants must be aged between 22 and 45 years (the upper age limit is 45 on 31st July in the year of application).
  • There is no requirement for academic qualifications, but applicants will already be well established in their career and demonstrate a passion for the industry they work in and be three years post-tertiary education.
  • Candidates must be resident in the UK and hold a UK passport or be working directly for UK agriculture.
  • Scholarships are not awarded to anyone in full-time education or to further research projects.

For more information, please contact:

  • Emily Ball, Reverberate PR: 07572 666095 or emily@reverberate-pr.co.uk