Rachel and Jane attended the agroforestry show recently and have come away inspired! Agroforestry covers many things and is a set of practices combining agricultural crops or livestock with trees and shrubs. There are many forms from alley cropping in arable fields to tree blocks for livestock shade and shelter. We heard from farmers reducing antibiotic use in cattle and sheep due to the benefits of browsing trees and shrubs and saw many examples of new agroforestry designs from willow to walnuts.
It is gaining significant momentum and due to be part of the SFI from January, it has many benefits including increasing biodiversity and soil health, cutting carbon emissions and the production of healthy nutritious food and sustainable timber.
We are still awaiting information on how it will be supported through the SFI although new guidance has been given stating that it is considered to be less than 44 trees/ha. More than this and the project is classed as woodland.