Dehesa - A Spanish Agroforestry Farming System

Agroforestry is the integrated use of trees on a farm or small holding for a wide range of benefits, in such a way that the land can still be used for agricultural production.

There are very few contemporary examples of agroforestry in Scotland today, so to help land managers visualise what this system could look like and how it might work on your farm, we have made a short film about a living, working agroforestry farm in the south of Spain. The system is called Dehesa, and although the climate is different, the Dehesa has many parallels with marginal land in the Scottish uplands.

In livestock systems, this way of managing land can diversify farm income; improve productivity; sequester carbon; improve a farm’s resilience to a changing climate by providing shelter to animals; reduce feed costs by providing tree fodder; reduce risk of flooding; improve animal welfare; and reduce soil erosion and moisture extremes.

Dehesa - A Spanish Agroforestry Farming System
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A film inspired by a week of study at the 500 hectare Dehesa San Francisco Farm in Andalucía. The trip was supported by the Erasmus+ programme and ARCH. Filmed & edited by ©Kate Holl (NatureScot Woodlands Officer).

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