The Loddon Observatory is an integrated platform to support sustainable societies, by delivering learning to build capability and capacity to meet 21st Century challenges and by informing policy and practice.


Hosted by the University of Reading, working in collaboration with charities, public sector, business and other research organisations.  We work closely with the Loddon Catchment Partnership and Loddon Basin Flood Action Group, supporting their activities through a range of research, learning and innovation projects.


We are working to address ‘global’ challenges common to other areas, finding sustainable solutions within the locality of the Loddon Catchment. ¬†Current challenges we are addressing are:

  • Flooding: understanding causes, changes and impacts on people; building resilience; improving forecasting; natural flood risk management; sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS)
  • Water quality: understanding the relationship between land, how it is used and impact on water quality; using catchment management to improve drinking water quality and co-benefits for other services (e.g. flood mitigation)
  • Sustainable agriculture: integrating woodlands in to farm businesses for multiple benefits; soil management; improving water and nutrient use efficiency


We are in the process an establishing an environmental monitoring infrastructure within the catchment, integrated with modelling and experimental platforms.

  • Crop Research Unit at University of Reading Sonning Farm, is long-running established platform for field based crop and tillage experiments
  • At CEDAR, University of Reading of Hall Farm, a new grassland experimental platform is being set up
  • Floodplain Monitoring platform will be established at University of Reading Hall Farm.