FRANCE, Argentan region – plantation of hedgerows by farmers in Normandy

Plantation of hedgerows © Bois Negoce Energie

Background & challenges

This project aims to plant hedgerows, which are part of the typical landscape of the Normandy region. That is why it is focused on planting 10,500 hedgerow trees, in an area with diverse landscape: hedgerows and semi-hedgerows.

The project is designed on a one-to-one basis with each farmer to ensure overall understanding of the his or her needs and expectations. The species are selected together and take into account adaptation to climate change (e.g., the pedunculate oak is replaced by sessile oak) and diseases prevalent in the region (e.g., ash chalarose is why ash trees are missing).

The hedges are installed on three strata (three different tree heights).

By planting these 10,500 trees it will be possible to tackle various environmental issues, namely:

  • preservation of biodiversity: planting these trees will provide sources of shelter and food for a rich and diverse fauna, as well as valuable support for local flora. The planted hedges will contribute towards boosting green areas and thus facilitate the movement of fauna on the territory;
  • water catchment: the roots of the hedgerows help capture nutrients and water in the different soils;
  • soil protection: hedges, with their windbreak effect, limit soil particles from transferring to crop fields;
  • carbon capture: energy wood used by cutting certain tree branches allows the use of a carbon-neutral energy source (through regrowth of the branches following their exploitation). Moreover, according to a study*, 1km of hedging stores the equivalent of 4.58 tonnes of CO2/year, i.e. 4.9kg of CO2 per perennial tree per year.

*Gac et al 2010 according Arrouays and al 2002, Soussana and al 2010.

Project type

Agroforestry 

Beneficiaries

The project is carried out with 35 farmers from 18 different farms and one private individual (20% women and 80% men). Also, all the inhabitants of the region will benefit from the project through restoration of the Norman bocage (mixed woodland and pasture) in this area.

Number of trees

11,235 trees planted, of which 10,500 are expected to remain over time.

Species planted

15 different species at three different levels (strata): 

High sized treessessile oak, large-leaved lime, pedunculate oak;

Medium-sized trees: Country maple, small leaf linden, myrobolan plum, laburnum, black alder, chestnut, flat maple;

Shrubs: hornbeam, hazelnut, blood dogwood, male dogwood, lantana hornbill.

Partner

Bois Négoce Energie

Plantation of hedgerows © Bois Negoce Energie

Works timeline

  • March to May 2020: preparation of the grounds, laying of mulch, planting, installing deer and rabbit barriers;
  • June to July 2020: 1st round of maintenance work

Calendar for the following years:

  • February 2021 / February 2022: pruning and replenishment
  • June to July 2021 / June to July 2022: 2nd then 3rd interview

Planting partner

Bois Négoce Energie is an SME specialising in two business activities: the production and trading of wood waste and recycled wood; purchasing, exploiting and marketing standing and roadside timber.

In addition to traditional recovery sectors, BNE offers its forestry and farming customers a wood energy solution. This allows them to recover low-value wood, without other outlets.

In parallel to forestry exploitation, BNE has diversified into valorising timber from hedgerows. The objective is to offer farmers a outlet for hedge wood by exploiting the linear by replanting.

Concerned about the perpetuation of the resource, BNE also offers a planting service for hedging and abandoned agricultural hedges. Similar to the approach for its exploitation sites, within this framework BNE proposes the intervention of a service provider, partner, specialized in the field of intervention.

Budget

The total funds to be raised amount to €84,000. The price for planting a lasting tree is €8 and breaks down as follows:

  • installation work 2020 (preparation, planting, protection): €5.46
  • 1st interview: €0.32
  • 2nd and 3rd interview: €0.64
  • A Tree For You (19.75%) collection, monitoring and communication costs: €1.58

The project is co-financed by the farmers for a total of €22,470 excluding VAT and Orne Departmental Council for a total of €39,322 excl. VAT.

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