Exmoor Advisors, Adam Lockyear and myself (Anne May), spent an enjoyable afternoon on the 29th August with 43 attendees at an event focussing on silvopasture, how it can be used and its various benefits.


So, what is silvopasture? Agroforestry is defined as ‘farming with trees’ and includes growing trees on farmland, and the use of agricultural crops and livestock in woodlands. Silvopasture comes under agroforestry as the combination of growing trees and livestock together, this can include forest grazing, wood pasture, orchard grazing and individual trees or groups/lines of trees within a field. Hedgerows, shelterbelts and riparian buffer strips also come under agroforestry and are often found in a silvopasture context.

The event was hosted by the National Trust at Kipscombe Farm, Countisbury. Josey Field explained how they will be planting diverse shelter belts around the farmstead to complement the rotational grazing they have already implemented.

Lindsay Whistance, from the Organic Research Centre, and Rob Wolton, from the Devon Hedge Group, joined us to share their expertise on the topic. During an indoor session and farm walks we covered the fundamental considerations of designing good animal environments: shelter and shade, health and nutrition, behaviour and general welfare, as well as how to manage hedges for fuel, browse, environmental benefits and natural capital.


There were various informative handouts at the event, some of these are available to download below:


Agricology were present and filmed much of the event. You can watch an overview of Kipscombe below:


To view the full playlist of the day (on the Agricology Youtube channel) please click here.

You can also download further materials on silvopasture on the Agricology website by clicking here.


The event was funded by the Exmoor Coastal Streams Facilitation Fund and the Pasture for Life Exmoor Discussion Group. If you are interested in learning more about either group, please contact FWAG SW.


Above: photos from the event