North of England Agroforestry Living Lab

Trees for food, carbon and biodiversity

Are you practising or interested in agroforestry? Have you found successful routes to market for your agroforestry products? Keen to explore with others how trees can add value to your farm…your wider environment…your community?

The Organic Research Centre and the EU Horizon Europe-funded REFOREST project are looking for agroforestry farmers and stakeholders to be part of the North of England Living Lab.

What is a Living Lab?

A regional network of farmers and others working in the farming and food sector who are prepared to meet with each other to co-develop solutions to confront the main challenges for agroforestry uptake in their area of work.
The Living Labs will form the core of REFOREST, a new four-year European project (2022-2026) aiming to share innovations and experience in agroforestry; integrating trees into farm systems across Europe.

What will it involve?

Living Labs are being established in seven different countries and we would like you to be part of the UK lab. Your main role will be to:

  • Interact with researchers and other lab members to co-design apps (digital decision-support tools) to help design and implement agroforestry. Apps will address issues decided by you and other group members that are relevant to agroforestry in the north of England, with a particular focus on food production, carbon capture, and biodiversity.

You can be:

  • A farmer in the north of England with a mature or immature agroforestry system, or a farmer interested in the carbon and biodiversity value of trees on your farm such as traditional field edge trees and hedgerows.
  • Any other agroforestry stakeholder in the north of England involved in or interested in food production, carbon capture, or biodiversity in agriculture, and agroforestry systems in particular.

Your time commitment to this work can be as little or as much as you desire, researchers will work with you to facilitate data collection for your farm and agroforestry site (if you are a farmer). You will be invited to attend regular workshops to share your experiences with the Living Lab network and have various other opportunities to engage as much or as little as you like. This includes with the University of Newcastle and their Cockle Park agroforestry demonstration site who, through their ‘Agroforestry Futures’ Treescapes project, are collaborating with REFOREST. Our living lab has budget to support participant costs of meet-ups, field visits and other events.

What will you gain?

The living lab will allow you to:

  • Be regularly informed of the latest knowledge and developments in agroforestry
  • Have access to expert advice on implementing agroforestry
  • Be part of new innovative research
  • Meet and network with local like-minded practitioners in the industry and engage with other stakeholders
  • Have the opportunity to publicise your own agroforestry project (if relevant and desired), for example through it being featured as a case study or demonstration site
  • Help you fulfil SFI payment requirements

If you would like to add value to your business and be at the forefront of temperate agroforestry research, please join this exciting new Living Lab community of practice.
Register here or contact us at the Organic Research Centre:

Sign up to our e-Bulletin

Sign up to ORC’s e-bulletin and be the first to receive updates from our in-the-field research and the latest organic and agroecological news and events. Delivered to your inbox monthly.

Newsletter signup

By submitting this form, you are agreeing for us to contact you by email about our research, knowledge exchange, policy support and fundraising. Your details will only be used by the Organic Research Centre (ORC) in adherence with our Privacy Policy.

If you would like to change how you receive communications from the ORC or update your contact details, please click the appropriate link at the footer of any email you receive from us, or contact: