An evening discussing Sycamore
Earlier this month the Farm Woodland Forum (UK) held a less formal online meeting to share practitioner experiences on the use of sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) as an agroforestry species. The idea behind the seminar was, in part, to move us away from the online presentation format we have become so used to over the last months and instead to focus on encouraging dialogue – and to that end we did not use PowerPoint once. Instead, we primed a few people to essentially set the scene and then allowed the conversation and discussion to develop freely from that.
We feel that the evening was a great success and we covered a remarkable amount of ground within the hour. We were very pleased to able to capture practical experience from across the UK, from the upper reaches of Scotland down to the south west of England and share experiences with farmers in Ireland - which is, in part, a testament to the sycamore’s adaptability. We also used the chat function to gather relevant documents – and over the course of the hour a huge amount of information was shared, including valuable information on the nutritional value (and risks) of using sycamore for fodder and farmers’ experience of its shelter value. There were some really interesting discussions on changing perspectives on the ecological value of the species and thoughts on its emergent value as a timber species. A recording of the discussion will be made available and we are looking forward to our next discussion in the new year.
Tim Pagella – Chair of the Farm Woodland Forum