Silvoarable

Trees in the Field: Taking Farming to a New Dimension

By Marianne Landzettel, Sustainable Food Trust

Stephen Briggs scans the horizon where dark clouds are looming. He finished the grain harvest the day before, but the straw still needs to be baled and he’s not keen on rain just yet. But it does look as if a thunderstorm is heading our way, the wind has picked up and suddenly drives a cloud of dust towards us – it’s the soil from a neighbour’s field that has just been ploughed, explains Briggs. “Look at that,” he says, “that’s why I have planted all those trees.” Whitehall Farm lies just south of Peterborough; the land here is flat and the soil fertile. In 2007, Stephen Briggs and his wife Lynn were chosen from out of 85 applicants to be the new tenants of this 102 hectare Cambridgeshire County Council farm. Normally a tenancy is up for renewal every three years, not a good option for the Briggs who...

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