The Potential Contribution of Agroforestry to Net Zero Objectives.

Published online
03 Nov 2022
Published by
Woodland Trust
Content type

Burgess, P. J. & Graves, A.

Publication language


The aim of this report, for the Woodland Trust, is to examine the potential contribution of agroforestry to net zero objectives in the United Kingdom over the next 40-50 years, with a focus on 2050. The report comprises six main sections. Section 1 provides the over-arching context for this study. Section 2 focuses on the current baseline of greenhouse gas emissions. Section 3 examines the effect of expanding tree cover on the storage of organic carbon in soils. Section 4 examines the effect of planting trees and hedgerows on the storage of biomass carbon, both above- and below-ground. Section 5 integrates the baseline emissions (Section 2), the soil carbon change (Section 3), and change in vegetation biomass (Section 4) to describe the potential change in greenhouse gas emissions of planting shelterbelts, hedgerows, silvoarable systems, and silvopasture systems. The final section provides recommendations, some of which are: initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions require a systematic approach that considers food, profitability, and livelihoods alongside greenhouse gas emissions to ensure that the best decisions are made; and it is essential that farm businesses start to establish carbon inventories and accounts of greenhouse gas flows to determine future progress.

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