Tree planting and farming hand in hand
How to plant without affecting your subsidies
- Trees can provide: shelter for livestock, habitats and food for game, wildlife, and pollinators, and wood fuel. They can help combat soil erosion, slow water run-off, and extend the growing season through warming the soil.
- This trial (integrating grazing sheep with different tree densities), is aiming to:
- Demonstrate how combining trees and grazing can potentially make your farm more sustainable.
- Establish the optimum number of trees that can be planted whilst also allowing for grazing of permanent pasture.
- Fuel the push for a new policy approach that allows trees to be integrated into farms without farmers being penalised.
- The project is also hoping to look at the benefits trees can have on flock performance, how well grass grows under and around trees, identify when grazing around trees affects flock productivity, and identify the most beneficial tree densities and ways in which trees improve environmental resource protection.
- Trees incorporated within the trial include:
- Wild privet and crab apple (providing cover and food for pheasants);
- walnut (with climate change in mind, as it thrives in warmer climates);
- and oak, hornbeam, small-leaved lime and aspen (high canopy trees that can be used to replace any ash lost).
Also see Stuart's blog from February 2017 'Agroforestry - it's just trees on farms!'
(Photo credit: Stuart Holm).
Video footage below was taken on a visit to the trial site in November 2016.
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