Farmers in Fife, Perth and Skye are among those taking part in a new programme to plant trees on farms in Scotland.
Soil Association Scotland has received funding for a new short programme to showcase the benefits of agroforestry.
Agroforestry in Action was awarded £30,000 from the Scottish Government’s Knowledge Transfer and Innovation (KTIF) fund.
The money will be used to run a series of webinars and develop an online agroforestry hub of “how to” resources.
Programme lead Bruce Pearce, acting senior farming programmes manager at Soil Association Scotland, says agroforestry is key to a more sustainable future for agriculture.
“Trees can store carbon, improve soil health and biology, provide shelter and forage for livestock and wildlife, and give farmers additional income,” said Mr Pearce.
“Through our Agroforestry in Action programme we will share Scotland-specific best practice and resources and work with Woodland Trust Scotland and Scottish Forestry to enable more tree planting on farms.”
Three free webinars in February and March will cover agroforestry and crofting, how to integrate trees into different farming systems, and funding for agroforestry.
Fife-based Johnnie Balfour is one of the farmers involved with the project.
He manages 3,335 acres of mixed cereals and vegetables, pasture-fed beef cattle and forestry at Balbirnie Home Farms, which is also levy body AHDB’s strategic cereals farm in Scotland.
Mr Balfour already grazes cattle in trees, but will be planting an orchard of 1,500 fruit trees next winter as part of an agroecological system.
He said: “We are trying to integrate all of our enterprises so we’ll have arable and forestry together in the orchard.
“We have arable and livestock together, which means planting cover crops and grazing them, with livestock bringing fertility to the soil.
“With forestry and livestock together, the livestock help cycle the nutrients and the forestry brings shelter, shade and variety to their diets.”
Full details of the project, including information about the upcoming webinars, are available here.