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The productivity of maturing sylvopastoral systems - AF0104

Sylvopastoral systems offer a means of phasing a reduction in agricultural production while providing, in the longer term, increased UK production of high quality timber. The main aim of this study will be to continue measuring animal outputs from 2 existing experimental sylvopastoral sites at Bronydd Mawr and North Wyke, with a view to determining the potential long-term viability of the system. The study will be composed of 6 specific objectives outlined as follows, together with ways in which they might be achieved: 1. Comparison of output of animal (sheep) production from sylvopastoral areas with that from areas that are grazed grass with no trees. Sward height will be measured at both sites and animal stocks will be managed to maintain sward height at 4-6 cm. Animals will be weighed at monthly intervals from turnout until the end of the grazing season. Records of animal data will be kept and animal carrying capacity of each treatment will be calculated; 2. Comparison of tree growth in areas where trees are cultivated in wide spacings (with grazed swards between them) with that from areas where trees are grown at forestry spacings. Height, stem diameter and survival of trees will be measured at the end of the growing season; 3. Maintenance of experimental sites so that other assessments can be made if required. Tree guards will be regularly inspected and repaired where required. Animal health will be monitored and swards, trees and fences will be maintained in good condition; 4. Recording of meteorological data for use in models. Records will be kept of rainfall, air temperature and other key meteorological factors; 5. Collation of data for environmental studies. Records of environmental parameter data obtained will be summarised; and 6. Comparison of model predictions with field data. Overall, the study will be relevant to MAFF policy objectives for reducing imports and taking land out of agricultural production. Retaining the sites will also maintain the integrity of the National Network Experiment and demonstrate the environmental benefits of sylvopastoral systems.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1998

To: 2001

Cost: £153,763
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Institute of Grassland and Environment Research (IGER)
Fields of Study
Farm Woodlands