Improving the resilience of your livestock systems

An event is being held for farmers to demonstrate how trees can grow their business by improving the resilience of their livestock systems.

The Organic Research Centre has joined forces with the Woodland Trust, Harper Adams University and a number of other farming associations, to provide practical advice and discuss how the productivity of farming systems can be enhanced by planting trees and managing existing small wooded areas on their land.

The event that’s taking place on Thursday 11 September at Harper Adams University will also discuss other topics, such as the latest updates on the agri-envrionment schemes and other support for tree planting on farms in England and Wales and how trees can reduce water run-off during heavy rain.

Plus, farmers will be able to find out how to design a tree planting scheme, run effective field trials and hear from farmers who are already benefitting from incorporating trees within their business.

Jo Smith, Senior Agroecology Researcher at the Organic Research Centre said: “I’m looking forward to attending this seminar and working with experts from the Woodland Trust to show the real-world advantages that well-planned and located trees and woodlands can offer to sustainable land and farm management.”

The seminar is part of a three year research project (MRes) on Trees in the Farmed Environment led by Harper Adams and supported by the Woodland Trust. The Trust is keen to help farmers realise the benefits from integrating trees into their farming systems, and also highlight the lessons learnt from a European award-winning farmer-led tree planting project that took place in Pontbren in Wales.

John Tucker, the Woodland Trust’s Woodland Creation Director, said: “The Woodland Trust understands the challenges farmers face to meet the growing demand for food production, whilst ensuring long-term sustainability of their farms. By using the Pontbren scheme as a benchmark, we’re looking forward to demonstrating how tree planting can benefit farmers and inform them about the advice and assistance available from the Trust. To work alongside the farming community is vital for our work, so I would like to thank the Organic Research Centre for supporting this event.”

One farmer who has made trees part of his farm business is Alan Morgan of Gadr Farm near Monmouth. He says: “It’s been a very good thing for me to do. I cut trees for firewood, so I need to plant more to replace them. I would recommend other farmers to think of planting small areas of woodland around the place. It’s a long term investment and you can plant wet areas and field corners that it’s difficult to get to.”

To reserve a place at the seminar either email or call 08452 935603. Tickets cost £10 and the closing date for booking is Thursday 4 September.

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