28 May 2018
Agroforestry as sustainable land use

EURAF 2018 CONFERENCE: Opportunity for farmers to attend

10 June 2018
Open Farm Sunday at Sonning Farm

We will be showcasing our trials at Reading University Crops Research Unit



22 May 2018
Organic farming: new EU rules adopted

New regulation to come into effect 1 January 2021

21 May 2018
Defra release organic farming stats for 2017

Organic land area in UK slowly increasing



3 May 2018
Stop the dock!

A new technical guide for reducing docks on farmland

Agroforestry projects

Current projects

Project title (acronym)FunderDescription
WOOFS: WOOdchip For Fertile Soils (WOOFS)European Innovation Partnership (EIP), RDPE schemeWOOFS is a new EU-funded EIP Operational Group of researchers, farmers and foresters from the UK. The group is led byORC and formed to investigate the role of woodchip in soil health.
Agroforestry Innovation Networks (AFINET)European Commission (H2020)AFINET will promote innovation in agroforestry through the development of a network, based on successful sharing of practical experiences and existing research knowledge, applied to different contexts, climates and agricultural sectors.
Innovative and sustainable intensification of integrated food and non-food systems to develop climate-resilient agro-ecosystems in Europe (SustainFARM)FACCE SURPLUSThe main objective of SustainFARM is to enhance agronomic, environmental and economic performance of integrated food and non-food production systems (IFNS) by optimizing productivity and valorizing woody components, residual wastes and co-products.

Completed projects

Project title (acronym)FunderDescription
AGroFORestry that Will Advance Rural Development (AGFORWARD) (AGFORWARD)EU FP 7Working with 26 partners from across 23 European countries, this project aims to promote agroforestry practices in Europe that will advance sustainable rural development, i.e. improved competitiveness and social and environmental enhancement.
Innovative strategies for copper-free low input and organic farming systems (Co-Free)EU Framework Programme 7The project aims to develop innovative methods, tools and concepts for the replacement of copper in European organic and low input fruit, grapevine, potato, and tomato production systems.
Agroforestry in dairy systems, a part of Sustainable Organic and Low Input Dairying (SOLID)EU Seventh Framework ProgrammeThis project, part of SOLID, is investigating the potential of integrating bioenergy production from short rotation coppice with dairy systems for alternative feed resources, improved animal welfare, enhanced productivity and environmental benefits.
Towards Eco-energetic Communities (TWECOM)INTERREG 4b NWE Programme/ Ashden TrustRealising the economic potential of using biomass from landscape elements for local energy or heat production with respect for the current ecological, cultural and social functions that these landscape elements fulfil.
Can agroforestry reconcile conflicting demands for productivity, biodiversity conservation and delivery of ecosystem services? University of Reading/ORCThis PhD aims: (i) to identify which goods and services agroforestry systems can deliver, (ii) to quantify the values of these services (ecologically and economically), and (iii) to inform the process of how policy can support these activities.
The biodiversity impacts of establishing a silvoarable agroforestry system – Whitehall Farm, CambsAshden TrustThis ongoing project will monitor the effect on biodiversity of establishing a silvoarable system with apple trees on previously intensive conventionally farmed land in Cambridgeshire.
Eco-Agroforestry NetworkAshden TrustThe Eco-Agroforestry Network aims to bring the sustainable agroforestry approach into the mainstream of UK food, fuel, timber, and fibre production, through research, dissemination, and policy change.
Impacts of organic silvoarable systems on pest and disease distribution – Sheepdrove Organic Farm, BerkshireUniversity of Reading/ORCMSc research project investigating the distribution of pests and diseases, and microclimatic differences, within a silvoarable system and arable control system.
A review of temperate agroforestry research literatureAshden TrustA comprehensive review of research activities in temperate agroforestry systems was carried out to provide a basis for identifying the potential of agroforestry as a land use system that balances productivity with environmental protection.
Tree-crop interactions in silvoarable agroforestryAshden TrustIn 2009 we carried out a study to investigate the interactions between tree and crop components in the mixed hardwood and fruit tree silvoarable system at Wakelyns, in Suffolk, England to identify local variations in cereal yields.
Silvo-Poultry: An Agroforestry System for Organic Chicken Production at Sheepdrove Organic FarmJuliet and Peter KindersleyIn collaboration with Sheepdrove Organic Farm in Berkshire we designed a novel silvopoultry system which is integrated into the farm’s organic rotation.