Farmer-led tree planting push ‘key to web zero for Scotland’


A farmer-led tree planting revolution could make Scotland a world chief in sustainable and regenerative agriculture and assist obtain the federal government’s net-zero targets, in line with the Soil Affiliation.

The natural farm foyer hosted an exhibition on the Scottish parliament on Wednesday 1 June, sponsored by Scottish Greens MSP Arianne Burgess, which introduced agroecological farmers and crofters along with policy-makers.

The Transition to Agroecology in Scotland exhibition highlighted how agroforestry and farm woodland can ship 342,000ha of recent woodland by 2050. This may very well be achieved by means of agroforestry, or the combination of timber into arable land and livestock pastures, in addition to growing farm woodland.

See additionally: Learn how to plant the best tree in the best place in your farm

Farmers demonstrated how they’re placing nature-friendly farming into apply, decreasing the usage of agrochemicals and synthetic nitrogen, integrating timber with livestock and crops, enhancing soil well being and growing biodiversity – all whereas producing high-quality, high-welfare meals to make sure their companies stay viable.  

The exhibition featured a video from Andrew Barbour’s farm in Perthshire displaying how he has efficiently built-in agroforestry and woodlands into his livestock hill farm.

A brand new research, Bushes and woodland within the farmed panorama (PDF) by the Soil Affiliation in collaboration with Cumulus Consultants, was unveiled on the occasion. This demonstrates how a farmer-led tree revolution might help meet tree planting targets.

The Scottish authorities has set a goal to extend annual tree planting to 18,000ha a 12 months by 2024 to mitigate local weather change and obtain net-zero targets. If it maintained this charge of tree planting as much as 2050, on-farm planting might account for 68% (or greater than two-thirds) of that projected whole.

Essential function

Provided that 80% of the entire land space in Scotland is underneath agricultural manufacturing, the report finds that farmers have a vital function to play in assembly these targets for tree planting.

Right this moment, one-third of Scotland’s woodland is on farms, about 546,000ha, however the Soil Affiliation argues that agroforestry, or the combination of timber into arable land and livestock pastures, in addition to growing farm woodland might see this develop by 342,000ha by 2050.

The research suggests this may very well be achieved at an annual value of £100m, which the foyer group says “seems real looking” in contrast with the present £600m spent on farm help and the extra £150m allotted to “speed up progress” on tree planting within the 2021-22 Programme for Authorities.

David McKay, the Soil Affiliation’s head of coverage, mentioned: “The federal government has set an ambition for Scotland to be a world chief in sustainable and regenerative agriculture. 

“We align with their imaginative and prescient for agriculture and can current proof of how agroecological and agroforestry farming practices might help obtain this in apply and, in so doing, assist restore nature, minimize farming emissions and feed everybody a nutritious diet.”

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