We, Ragna and Baptiste, run Cloontabonnive agroforest since 2012. The 11 ha farm was in poor condition when we initially took over. Since then we have put a tremendous effort into restoring the land and creating different habitats as well as protecting those already in existence.
As a nature lover at heart and an agroforester by trade we have spent many years planting trees all over the farm to improve soil structure and increase the fertility of the land. Our first planting was in spring of 2013 when 5 acres were planted under the native woodland scheme with a variety of trees such as Alder, Oak, Hazel, Rowan, Scots Pine to name but a few.
Since then we continue to plant groves, shelterbelts and hedgerows with specimen trees to create woodland copses and wildlife corridors connecting the different habitats on the farm.
Apart from the native trees planted we also incorporate flowering and fruiting trees and shrubs into the place. There are currently over 40 different species planted and more to come. Only this winter we planted two orchards as a trial , one is located within the native woodland and another one on the outside edge.
As believers in the importance of diversity on farm we currently keep a small herd of cattle, a small flock of Sheep a variety of poultry as well as Bees and sometimes Pigs. Most of the animal produce is for the home. As different animals have different grazing patterns, the variety of animals play an important role in managing the land.
Trees are also very important as they give shelter, firewood as well as fruit and nuts. We are hoping to increase the area planted in the coming years and continue to look for innovative ways to incorporate trees into the farming landscape.
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