Photo of Professor Michael Winter

Professor Michael Winter



Extension: 3837

Telephone: 01392 723837

Professor of Land Economy and Society, Director of the Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute (LEEP)


Michael is a rural policy specialist and a rural social scientist with particular interests in applying inter-disciplinary approaches to policy-relevant research and in direct engagement in the policy process.

Alongside his directorship of LEEP he is also Director of the Food Security & Land Research Alliance (encompassing the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter, Rothamsted Research and Duchy College).

His current research focuses on the governance of sustainable agro-food systems and food security; the historical and contemporary sociology of west country agriculture; & farmer environmental attitudes and decision-making, particularly in the context of diffuse pollution and water quality. He leads Project 2 of Defra’s Sustainable Intensification Research Platform

He chairs the UNESCO North Devon Biosphere Partnership and the Uplands Alliance.  He is a member of the governing board of Rothamsted Research, and chairs the Stakeholder Group for the Avon Demonstration Test Catchment. He has recently been appointed to the National Trust’s South West Regional Advisory Board.

Previous appointments include: Visiting Programme Director in Food Security at Wilton Park (Foreign Office), member of  Defra’s Panel of Agricultural & Environmental Economists, the National Ecosystem Assessment Expert Panel, & DEFRA’s Science Advisory Council, and a Commissioner for the Commission for Rural Communities from its inception in 2006 until its abolition in 2013. In 2000, he was a member of the Committee of Inquiry into Hunting with Dogs in England and Wales chaired by Lord Burns. In 2008-09 he vice-chaired an inquiry into the future for the uplands reporting to the Prime Minister.