Wakelyns Agroforestry, surrounded by a sea of large-scale conventional arable production, is an oasis of trees, alive with bird song and insects. Integrating trees for timber, energy and fruit production into an organic crop rotation, Wakelyns was established by the late plant pathologist, Prof. Martin Wolfe, to put into action his theories of agrobiodiversity being the answer to achieving sustainable and resilient agriculture. For two decades the farm has been the focus of research into organic crop production and agroforestry. In this new review, written by Jo Smith and Sally Westaway and supported by the Woodland Trust, we summarise some of the key theories investigated and the evidence produced by Martin and fellow researchers from the Organic Research Centre.
A memorial to Martin was staged as part of the closing plenary of the Oxford Real Farming Conference at the start of January. ORC’s Bruce Pearce contributed, alongside Mark Lea of Green Acres Farm, Baker Kim Bell, the ORFCs Colin Tudge and Martin’s son David Wolfe. Listen to the tributes in the audio belowand hear David Wolfe on plans to continue with Wakelyns as a hub for people to learn about agroforestry and nature friendly farming.
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