Silvoarable agroforestry in the UK

Description of system

Silvoarable systems are currently rare in the UK. The few systems that exist are usually based on an alley cropping design with arable crops in the alleys. The tree component consists either of top fruit trees (apples, pears and plums), timber trees, or coppice trees for woodfuel.

Initial stakeholder meeting

On 18 November 2014, a stakeholder workshop focused on silvorable agroforestry in the UK was held at Wakelyns Agroforestry in Suffolk. It was attended by nine stakeholders including seven arable farmers. Wakelyns Agroforestry is an organic silvoarable research site that was established in 1994 on 22.5 ha on the Suffolk/Norfolk border in eastern England (52.4°N, 1.4°E). It incorporates hazel and willow coppice, and a mixed timber and fruit tree system, with cereals, potatoes, field vegetables and fertility-building leys in rotation within the alleys. At the end of the workshop, the participants identified possible research themes for future research including the role of agroforestry in reducing pest damage and hence pesticide use, and the choice of tree species.

If you would like to know about the activity of this group, please contact Dr Jo Smith jo.s@organicresearchcentre.com

Download the initial stakeholder report

An initial report was provided in November 2014.

Download the initial research and development protocol

Two protocols were produced in April and June 2015.
The first protocol focuses on the testing of cereal mixtures and the second focuses on understorey management of the tree rows.

Download the system description

Two system description reports were produced in April 2016.
The first system report focuses on the testing of cereal mixtures and the second focuses on the understorey management of tree rows.