Tagged: Sheep and Trees
- June 1, 2019 at 8:22 pm #4323
My three siblings and I inherited and are running a small sheep farm in the West Highlands (400 acres, 200 ewes). We are thinking about the future and are interested in schemes for “sheep and trees”. We can get grants but they wouldn’t benefit the local community because they are too expensive and therefore too risky for farmers to run themselves. My idea would be to deer-fence off areas of the hill and scatter debris from native forests in the enclosures as a cheap way to
(literally) seed native forests.
I would like to run a pilot study with an academic where we fence off say 100 m enclosures and run experiments with different trees and in different locations (bog, dry peat, rocky ground etc).
Does anyone know whether this has been tried – recently, whether schemes like this exist already, and can anyone suggest the name of an academic working at an institute or university who might be interested? IMO it would make an absolutely brilliant student project.
Thx to all, Patrick
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- June 2, 2019 at 4:48 pm #4347
- June 2, 2019 at 7:02 pm #4348
Thank you Torbjörn – yes, sorry, the West Highlands of Scotland (I searched for UK forestry – your site came up which confused me).
Is a method ever used in Sweden where land is fenced off from deer and trees allowed to grow naturally, or by seeding? In Scotland (as far as I know) you can only get a grant for planting small trees, not seeding. Planting is expensive and difficult on rocky and boggy ground and must be done by contractors.
Most of our land is more than 500 m from trees, and many of the nearest trees are sitka and sycamore, so seeding would be helpful because native trees are desirable/fashionable.
I will contact the Uni that you mention. Do you know anyone there?
Best wishes, Patrick
- June 2, 2019 at 10:37 pm #4351
No, sorry but I have no contacts there. But try to contact them by mail or phone. Many universities are happy to get real projects for their students or researchers to take part in.
It’s rather unusual to use fencing at forest regenerations in Sweden. Even if it should be good at many places because of hard pressure from deere and moose eating seedlings and damaging silviculture ambitions. But fencing is used from time to time in the south to be able to plant hardwood seedlings. To do hardwood plantation is almost useless without fence because of the game.
Seeding is not used very often. Almost only for pine regeneration but it’s maybe some 3-5 % of the annual regeneration. If seeding is used, it’s always after scarification where mineral soil is exposed that seeds can be placed there at optimal growing conditions.
What kind of species do you intend to use? Is it soft- or hardwood? I guess that seeds of proper provenance also will be expensive if you compare with seedlings?
- June 4, 2019 at 1:58 pm #4370
To plant a native mix in a 100m block will cost around £5-700 for trees and labour. I would imagine that the cost of bringing in forest residues will be higher, and have a greater impact on the fragile upland soils.
If you are planting hardwood species then the Woodland Trust are offering 60% funding for the trees.
As things stand in Uk forestry, there is going to be a shortage of softwood timber due to lack of planting, i won’t even mention Brexit.
A sensible mix of hard and soft wood will still have a high ecological value, and will also provideyou more importantly a source of income.
- June 4, 2019 at 6:04 pm #4371
Torbjörn, I had in mind native species, which are fashionable in Scotland. Eg what we call Scots Pine (not sure what you call it – Swedish Pine?!), birch and oak, which all grow well in the area.
Muz, the 100 x 100 m block is just for the students to use (I hope) in the pilot study. But thank you for the rough costing – very helpful info. Glad to hear that we might make money, but I am now 61 so it may be my children and nephews and nieces who will benefit!
- June 4, 2019 at 6:45 pm #4372
I suppose Scotts Pine is Pinus Silvestris in latin? That’s the only Pine we have as a natural specie and consistently we just call it Pine (“Tall” in Swedish = Pine).
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