The successful Integrating Trees Network (ITN) initiative is looking to expand and attract more host farmers across Scotland to help highlight the multiple benefits that trees can bring to farming businesses.
The network’s on-farm visits and online events are led by the host farmers and crofters, backed with support from the Scottish Government and Scottish Forestry.
So far the network has held 24 events which have brought together farmers and crofters to share their experiences and learn from each other.
Lyn White, Scottish Forestry’s forestry and farming development officer, said: “The network is a fabulous way for farmers and crofters to see and hear directly from their counterparts about tree planting. The events are informal and the beauty is that all those taking part can get practical advice and support, and make contacts, to help them integrate trees into their businesses.
“The current network of hosts have been brilliant and offered so much expertise to others who are considering growing trees for the first time.”
The most popular events focused on integrating trees to improve biodiversity on farms, the Woodland Carbon Code and how best to design shelterbelts.
Anyone interested in taking part should contact Lyn.White@forestry.gov.scot or Hilary.Grant@gov.scot.
Each host has shared their practical knowledge, ranging from why they wanted to grow trees, their practical experiences of planting and managing trees, and what they have learnt along the way, to the benefits trees bring to their business.
Discussions at the events have included integrating trees at every scale: shelterbelts; croft woodlands; small scale woodland creation and commercial scale projects.
Scottish Forestry experts are also always on hand to back up the hosts with advice on forestry grants and experts are brought in to discuss technical topics.