Annual Meeting 2014

Theme

Agroforestry and Biodiversity

 

Dates

The meeting took place from 13th to 14th May 2014

 

Location

Schumacher College, Dartington, Devon

 

Organiser

Bethan Stagg, Schumacher College (Bethan.Stagg@schumachercollege.org.uk)

 

 

Schedule

 

No data or images to be copied from this report, or the presentations within it, without the written permission of the author(s).

 

13th May

Field visit to Shillingford Organics (at Shillingford Abbott, near Exeter). 

 

14th May

Presentations

Bethan Stagg – Introduction and welcome

Jo Smith (Organic Research Centre, Elm Farm) – Wakelyns Agroforestry: functional biodiversity in an organic silvoarable system

Nasren Rekany (Reading University) – The spatial distribution and functioning of invertebrates in organic agroforestry systems

John Holland (SRUC Hill and Mountain Research Centre, Kirkton) – Mountain woodland biodiversity; an update on the hill sheep and native woodland project

Michael Jide Nworji (School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography, Bangor University) – Review of 20 years of ecosystem services research at Henfaes Silvopastoral National Network Experiment

David Gibbons (Freelance Researcher, Trainer, Reviewer, York) – Aims and history of the European International Farming Systems Association

Paul Burgess1, Anil Graves1, J. Smith2 and J. McAdam3 ( 1Cranfield University, 2 Organic Research Centre, Elm Farm, 3 Agrifood and Biosciences Institute, Belfast) – Using participative stakeholder networks to promote agroforestry in the UK

Agroforestry news and discussion from around the UK (led by Mike Strachan, Forestry Commission, Scotland)

In Scotland, agroforestry has been included in SRDP2.  There is no support for silvoarable systems, but there will be grant support for establishment of new silvopastoral systems under pillar 2 (agri-environment) for 200 and 400 trees per hectare, with insistence on pruning.  Trees to be protected by weld mesh.  Indicative funding of £10 per tree (for establishment costs).  There will be support for shelter belts (minimum of 15 m depth, any length supported).  There will be support for woodland grazing (indicative annual payment of £120 per hectare for up to 5 years for native woodland, subject to an approved management plan).  There will be support for livestock removal from woodlands (at indicative level of £43 per hectare per year, where there has been too much grazing).  There will be grants for water supply in managed grazing.  The Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society Ltd has established a new co-operative for farmers to bank their carbon offsets from farm woodland.

In England, a report on provision for agroforestry for Natural England was sent to stakeholders.  However, support for agroforestry under pillar 2 was not supported by the government.  There has been lobbying of the Minister of State for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs, but this has not been successful.  It was suggested that some support may be available under Forestry regulations, and that forestry now seems to cover very small land areas.

Wales, Northern Ireland. Nothing reported.

 

Field visit to Shillingford Organics, near Exeter

Forum participants were shown round the farm by Martyn Bragg, the proprietor, to whom we extend our thanks.

 

Field visit to the Agroforestry Research Trust (Dartington), managed by Martin Crawford (www.agroforestry.co.uk).

High diversity forest garden established 20 years ago.

Agroforestry trials (3 ha) including mixed variety stands of walnut, sweet chestnut, hazelnut and several novel fruit and nut species.

 

 

 

Field Visit Reports: 
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