Changing the future of food and farming

Research projects

The biodiversity impacts of establishing a silvoarable agroforestry system – Whitehall Farm, Cambs

Contract Period : 01/06/2009 - 30/05/2012

Main Funder : Ashden Trust

ORC Staff Contact : Jo Smith

This ongoing project will monitor the effect on biodiversity of establishing a silvoarable system with apple trees on previously intensive conventionally farmed land in Cambridgeshire.

Project Aims:

The establishment and development of a silvoarable system on previously intensive conventionally farmed land on black fenland soils at Whitehall Fm, Cambridgeshire, is likely to have a considerable impact on the wildlife in the area, and subsequently, impact on the ecosystem services this biodiversity help deliver. We aim to monitor a range of plants and animals to see how the communities change as the system develops over the next few years. Before the trees were planted in October 2009, we carried out a baseline survey of butterflies, bumblebees, soil and litter invertebrates and vegetation in the proposed agroforestry system and two controls: the adjacent organic arable system and a neighbouring conventional farm. The pollinator and vegetation surveys have been repeated again this summer.