Wakelyns’ alleys and hedges contrast with the neighbouring monoculture fields

Here at Wakelyns we have been developing an “agro-forestry” system of farming for over 20 years under the direction of plant scientist Prof. Martin Wolfe and his wife Ann.

Our otherwise windswept fields in Suffolk have been planted with “hedges” of willow, hazel and fruit trees running North-South creating “cropping alleys” about 12m wide for our cereal, vegetable and pulse products.

Emerging wheat in a Wakelyns cropping “alley” – protected by the willow hedge.

The hedges naturally reduce pest and disease incursion into the crops grown in the alleys, they contribute to the fertility of the soil and they protect the soil from wind erosion and over-drying. Indeed the system is so successful at conserving water that even here in East Anglia we have no need to use any irrigation.

The only input coming into the farm is the occasional bit of diesel for the tractors but as we’re not spraying pesticides nor spreading fertilisers, they get minimal use!

Read more about Agroforestry at Wakelyns