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Agroforestry Futures

Agroforestry Futures

 Agroforestry Futures is an interdisciplinary project funded by the UKRI Treescapes Programme that seeks to identify opportunities and barriers to agroforestry expansion in the UK.

We utilise a diverse range of methods and techniques, including those derived from the arts and humanities, social and natural sciences, to investigate how cultural, behaviour, social, economic, ecological and environmental factors could accelerate or prevent adoption of agroforestry by stakeholders.

Agroforestry is an agricultural production system that intentionally mixes trees and shrubs with crops or livestock (Figure 1). The objective is to create a production system that delivers a diverse range of environmental, ecological, economic and social benefits for people and nature (Figure 2). However, planting trees on farms can have costs as well as benefits, and trade-offs have to be carefully assessed to enable growers to make informed choices.


Agroforestry Systems
Benefits of trees on farms

Project Team

The AF Futures team consists of 20 academics, artists and practitioners distributed across 8 different Universities. These include:

Activities and Outputs

AF Futures pursues five intersecting strands of activity:

Art-based Public Engagement

Jen Clarke, working with Simone Kenyon and Naomi McIntosh, are developing art-based public engagement activities in partnership with the Museum of Rural English Life and the Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre to ascertain public perceptions of agroforestry landscapes.

Analysis of Socio-economic Barriers and Enablers of Agroforestry Adoption

Francisco Areal has conducted a large-scale farmer survey, co-funded by Defra, to ascertain UK farmers views and behaviours in relation to agroforestry. Data from this survey will be used to model potential farmer adoption of AF practices for different parts of the UK.

Evaluating Impacts of Agroforestry on Ecosystem Services via Knowledge Synthesis and Modelling

Felix Eigenbrod is leading efforts to synthesise and model data on the impacts of agroforestry on ecosystem services, drawing on data from the peer-reviewed literature. Current modelling efforts centre on the effects of agroforestry on microclimate, given that microclimate plays a critical role in shaping environmental conditions for plant growth and livestock.

Investigating Citizen’s Perceptions and Preferences for Agroforestry

Lynn Frewer and Sophie Tindale are investigating citizen’s views on agroforestry, using a mixture of focus groups and surveys.

Co-developing Future Agroforestry Scenarios

Martin Lukac is leading co-production activities with key stakeholders (e.g. farmers, landowners, citizens’ groups) to develop plausible future scenarios for agroforestry.