In September, the Consortium Agroforestry Flanders organized an agroforestry excursion to the UK. Fifty Belgian and Dutch farmers, aspirant-farmers, students, advisors and researchers altogether visited five sites in the South-West of England. The first stop, which we highlight in this article, was the forest garden and nut tree plantation managed by the Agroforestry Research Trust (https://www.agroforestry.co.uk/).
The forest garden is located in Dartington (South Devon) and was initiated by Martin Crawford in 1994. After 23 years, the trees and bushes have developed into a complex layered productive ecosystem of about one hectare.
It’s all about diversification, which is our strongest weapon against climate change, pests and diseases. The orchard of Dartington Estate is 3.5 ha and contains 20-year-old trees for the production of fruits and nuts.
The purpose of the orchard is mainly research on different varieties. The yield is partly sold on the local market. You can find here an Eastern European selection of Robinia pseudoacacia, Sweet Chestnut, walnut trees, Oleaster, Common sea buckthorn, Japanese walnut, Eastern black walnut and hazelnut. For more information, please see the full report of this UK visit and all the pictures here.