The Lawes Agricultural Trust

The Lawes Agricultural Trust (LAT) aids the advancement of agricultural science through providing support for Rothamsted Research in a number of ways:

  • The land and buildings at Rothamsted are owned by the Trust and occupied by Rothamsted without lease and free of charges for the time being.
  • It provides an annual research grant to the Director under a research policy agreed with the Trustee in 1997.
  • It provides accommodation for nearly 200 people in differing housing facilities and combinations, for the use of staff, students and visiting workers.
  • The Trust also makes capital grants to help complete and to modernise ancillary facilities at Rothamsted.

The Trust operates Rothamsted International, a subsidiary charity which exists to provide the opportunity for scientists from developing countries, to share their expertise within the advanced, multi-disciplinary research environment at Rothamsted.

The Trust also makes capital grants to help complete and to modernise ancillary facilities at Rothamsted. For example, the Trust has in the recent past provided funds to assist the refurbishment of the Rothamsted library (including the provision of an environmentally controlled rare books store) and it has committed to spending almost £1 million on the refurbishment and provision of facilities related to the archive of soil and plant samples which date from origin of the experiments at Rothamsted.

The housing stock available to staff has been increased by the Trust by the recent addition of around £3 million worth of houses and flats on the margins of the estate. A further property offering 15 large study bedrooms, mostly doubles with en-suite facilities on 3 floors has also been purchased and refurbished.

LAT is: A Charity recognised by the Charities Commission (of England and Wales), Charity number, 208228

LATCo is: A Company Limited by Guarantee registered as a company in England and Wales registration number 02566975

The registered address of LAT and LATCo
Hertfordshire AL5 2JQ
United Kingdom

History of the Lawes Trust

Sir John Bennet Lawes, with Sir Joseph Henry Gilbert, established Rothamsted Experimental Station (now known as Rothamsted Research) in 1843. In 1889, with one third of the proceeds of the sale of his fertiliser business, Sir John Bennet Lawes established and endowed The Lawes Agricultural Trust (with £5 million in today's money). The Trust operated the Station, now Rothamsted Research, from 1889 to 1990.

In 1934, the Trust purchased the freehold interest in the Rothamsted Estate. Following later additions, the property interests of the Trust grew to comprise 330 hectares at Harpenden - the Rothamsted Estate - which includes an experimental farm and Rothamsted Manor (Grade 1 listed), residential houses and flats and commercial properties. At Higham in Suffolk, the Trust owns the freehold interest in the 77-hectare Broom's Barn Experimental Station.

In 1990, the business and undertaking of the Station was transferred from the Trust to a separate charitable company of the same name. In 1991, the employees of the Station became employees of the Agriculture and Food Research Council, now the BBSRC. In December 2002 the Station changed its name to Rothamsted Research Limited.