Viewing in: English
Agroforestry in Wales
Agroforestry can lead to more diverse, productive and sustainable harvests, and make a lasting impact on wildlife, the local economy and landscape.
Credit: Nigel Pugh / WTML
In Wales, a massive 84% of land is used for agriculture.
Agroforestry is a win-win for sustainable farming and the environment and exactly fits with the government's future farming ambitions.
Agroforestry is the deliberate integration of trees and shrubs within agricultural crops and livestock on farms. These systems simultaneously protect natural resources such as clean water, whilst supporting agricultural production.
Interest in agroforestry is growing and Coed Cadw – the Woodland Trust in Wales – continues to actively promote planting trees on farms.
More trees on agricultural land will:
- Increase wildlife and biodiversity
- Prevent soil loss and increase soil fertility
- Enhance farm productivity and contribute to local employment
- Improve animal welfare
- Retain water on land for crops, livestock and people
- Reduce flooding, water and air pollution
- Store carbon and help landscapes and people to adapt to climate change.
After years working in ecological monitoring, pollution prevention and conservation, I could see an immense opportunity locally to increase tree cover to deliver environmental benefits. Having worked with farmers across North Wales, I know that the success of rural communities goes hand in hand with land use.
We want to:
- reverse the current invisibility of trees in agricultural policy and funding
- celebrate existing agroforestry systems in Wales and new approaches which are trialled
- see more trees integrated into Welsh agricultural land management and food production
- ensure landowners, their advisory networks, decision-makers and the general public understand in broad terms what is meant by agroforestry
- encourage the public and landowners to indicate their support to Assembly Members and the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs
- make sure funding supports the retention and expansion of trees on farms, in part through support for agroforestry - regardless of Brexit.