Agroforestry – a win win for farming and the environment
Why should farmers consider agroforestry? Whether you are an arable or livestock farmer, agroforestry – integrating trees into your farming system – offers multiple benefits. It can boost productivity, increase wildlife, improve soil health and animal welfare, manage water flow and contribute to climate change mitigation. Agroforestry can deliver while avoiding potential trade-offs between food production and public goods that occur in many modern farming systems.
This year for the first time, the Woodland Trust is here at Groundswell. We promote the benefits of agroforestry and help farmers and landowners plant trees – and we want to help you too.
Come and visit our stand FY2 just outside the main conference barn and talk to one of our outreach advisors – they have years of experience advising landowners on the benefits of trees and can provide information on our subsidised tree packs and planting schemes.
We are also running seminars. Join us on Wednesday 26th in the Soil Tent at 11am to find out how silvoarable (trees and crops) can improve the sustainability of your arable business whilst delivering an array of public goods. Our friendly panel will include farmer Stephen Briggs who has a 52 hectare silvoarable scheme, one of our outreach advisors and researcher Tom Staton who is investigating how agroforestry can support pollinators and beneficial insects. There will be plenty of opportunity for practical questions too.
“It has delivered everything we wanted. It’s making us more income and delivering soil protection and biodiversity benefits.” Stephen Briggs Whitehall Farm
The interest in silvopasture – planting trees for shade, shelter and browsing – is gaining momentum. Both the ‘beast from the east’ and last summer’s drought highlighted the benefits of having natural shade and shelter available. The drought also highlighted the value of tree browse. A well designed scheme provides many public goods – including enhanced biodiversity and a solution to climate change.
We are joining the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association, Groundswell founders and hosts, the Cherry family and Organic Research Centre to host a practical session on the benefits of silvopasture and how to get started, including choosing a site, which tree species to grow, when and how to plant and funding options. Join us on Wednesday 26th June in the Soil Tent at 12pm to find out more.
Let us help you plant trees on your farm. Visit woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant for more information.