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What is agroforestry?

Agroforestry is incorporating trees and shrubs into farming systems. Which can take a number of different forms including orchards, silvopastures (where trees and grassland are mixed with livestock), and ally cropping (where arable or horticultural crops are grown in between trees).

Why we’re excited by agroforestry?

We know that grassland and organic rotational farming can build soil carbon so incorporating this type of farming with trees offers huge potential to maximise carbon drawdown. With increasing weather extremes providing shelter from natural tree canopies will be increasingly important for animal welfare. We already know that hedges and woodlands on farms provide lots of biodiversity benefit so incorporating this into our regenerative organic farming system is hugely exciting.

What are we doing?

We are particularly interested in silvopasture because it supports livestock production, increases diversity of wildlife and habitats. By increasing the variation of tree and plant height and density, and providing open areas for grass and wildflowers, as well as dense shaded areas, it all provides different habitats for wildlife and our cattle.

As we establish our silvopasture we will measure:

Productivity – the potential of wood pasture systems to produce forage for livestock to support animal nutrition

Soil and biomass carbon

Biodiversity – for species and abundance