The Agroforestry scheme which was launched in 2015, involves incorporating trees with either crops or livestock on the same land. The blending of the two aims to achieve additional benefits compared to having the two separate. This is a method used across Europe and around the world, from a simple shelterbelt of trees around fields to an intimate mix of food crops and trees.

Agroforestry can be considered as a very useful tool in a farmer’s belt going forward as it promotes biodiversity and carbon capture, while producing an extra source of income in the form of timber and non-timber products. Along with this is that landowners are allowed to graze animals in and around the plantation and harvest fodder while having no impact on the basic payment scheme.

The scheme is aimed at farmers who keep livestock but wish to plant trees on their land.
The premium which is given for agroforestry to the landowner is up to €660/ha/annum which is paid for five years. This is in addition to your basic payment scheme.

In order to apply for an agroforestry scheme, a registered forester is required to complete the application form. SWS Forestry have registered foresters located nationwide who can assess your site and advise on its suitability for the agroforestry scheme. All enquiries are welcome.

Click here to view our team.

The choice of trees include:

  • Oak
  • Sycamore
  • Cherry
  • 15% fruit and nut trees

Trees will be planted at 400-1000 trees/ha (5m x 5m or 7m x 3.5m)

Each tree will be protected by a tree shelter to protect it from grazing livestock such as sheep or young domestic stock for the first six years during spring and summer. After which these shelters are removed and replaced with plastic mesh and larger livestock can be introduced. Silage and hay production is also allowed.
Contact SWS Forestry on 1800 928 900 or and we can discuss the scheme with you in more detail and can assess your potential site(s) for suitability for the scheme.
  • Water and nutrient cycling.
  • The trees provide a microclimate benefit.
  • Three dimensional growing surfaces.
  • Extension of the grazing season due to drier conditions, with some reports of 15 extra weeks.
  • Reduction of food costs from longer grazing seasons and fodder production, which is high in copper, zinc and protein.
  • Shelter for animals.
  • Increased soil water infiltration.
  • Increased carbon uptake on your farm.
  • A balance between forestry and agriculture.