The Allerton Project was recently host to a farm woodland event, which brought together experts from the GWCT, Forestry Commission and the Woodland Trust to explore the increasing role trees and hedgerows will play in our future farmed landscape, as well as the support available to expand plantings. Held in conjunction with the Forestry Commission and EU Horizon AgriCaptureCO2 project, it also sought to explore the role of agroforestry within future farming systems and how it can contribute to more regenerative and low-carbon food production to meet national targets.
Through the day, attendees were able to tour our working research and demonstration farm and listen to practical, outdoor presentations from the range of speakers who covered topics as diverse as the benefits of woodland creation for air and water quality, how to manage woodland for game, the challenges posed by deer populations, and how farm woodland can benefit biodiversity. There was also discussion of the GWCT’s recently developed Hedgerow Carbon Code, which joins the existing government-backed Woodland and Peatland codes, and the benefits that can be accrued by on-farm carbon storage. There was also significant interest in the Allerton Project’s five hectare silvopasture trial, which is collecting a large amount of data in partnership with the Woodland Trust as to the optimum tree density for silvopastoral systems and the natural capital benefits to be gained.
In the second half of the day, attendees were encouraged to think about agroforestry systems as part of a regenerative farming system as part of a presentation on the AgriCaptureCO2 project and the European Regenerative Agricultural Community (ERAC), before Andrew Down of the Forestry Commission and Stuart Holm of the Woodland Trust outlined the financial support available through both Countryside Stewardship grants, the English Woodland Creation Offer and through their own organisations for the planting and maintenance of woodland and hedgerows.
Commenting on the event, the GWCT Allerton Project’s Alice Midmer said: “It was great to see the interest and appetite for “right tree, right place” from a varied audience in the room. Trees, woodland and hedgerows have such an important part to play in farmed landscape and its brilliant to see this matched with some appealing schemes, support and advice for land owners”
Helen Moore, of the Forestry Commission: “It was great to work with the GWCT on developing a farm walk to explore and share the opportunities for woodland creation. Trees have far-reaching benefits for you, your land, the environment and for future generations. By planting the right tree in the right place for the right reason, coupled with financial support and expert advice, woodland can help you to realise the multiple benefits of your land.”
For further information on grants and support, please visit tree planting and woodland creation overview pages.
For further support and advice from the Forestry Commission email EEMwoodlandcreation@forestrycommission.gov.uk providing your name, address and any details of the project you would like to explore.
You can also visit the Woodland Trust UK’s Largest Woodland Conservation Charity – Woodland Trust or contact email@example.com