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Agroforestry: We are all familiar with modern agriculture. Ranging from arable mono crops of cereals and potatoes, to live stock roaming around on pasture with hedges, fences and areas of ‘Set-a-side’ land for nature conservation.
Likewise with forestry, there are areas of coniferous mono specie forests, usually located on land that is too steep to farm or on areas that are least useful for arable production.
The words ‘agriculture’ and ‘forestry’ have been hybridised into Agroforestry which is the fusion of forestry and farming techniques, where trees, perennial and annual plants can be grown in an integrated fashion.
Rows or alleys of trees can be inter-planted with arable annual crops. Nut cropping trees lend themselves to planting in alleys, creating wind breaks for the annual crops and thus producing a multi-cropping system.
In the case of Silvopasture specific species of tree (determined by their end use, i.e. timber fruit, or nut production) are planted into permanent pasture land and protected from grazing animals such as cattle, sheep or geese. The latter, in the past, has often being used in orchard systems. It creates a simple layered system, which now forms part of the governments biodiversity policy for the UK.