FRANCE – Ille-et-Vilaine: agroforestry system in pasture meadows

Planting hedges on the plot © Guines

This project is already funded!

Background & challenges

Loïc and Jean-Philippe, brothers, run a dairy farm in the village of Saint-Marc-sur-Couesnon in Ille-et-Vilaine (Brittany). They manage a herd of 110 cows.

The two farmers are part of an exchange group that “acts for the climate, income, and the quality of dairy farming life.”

The livestock is managed on the dynamic rotational grazing principle: the aim being to divide up the plots of pasture and establish breeding rotation on the segments. This approach will respect the development stages of the plants and allow them to grow back as quickly and abundantly as possible, without drawing on their reserves. It also allows grass growth to be exploited as much as possible, depending on the seasons, while meeting the needs of the cows put out to grass.

To divide up the meadow, the two farmers decided to plant 269 trees of nine different species on a 18.5 hectare plot. The French Chamber of Agriculture, think tanks, and organisations advised the farmers on which species to choose.

The initiative will deliver many benefits, namely:

  • provide an extra supply source for cattle feed
  • improve milk quality and yield on the farm
  • create a microclimate as well as shade zones for the well-being of the herd, in the context of climate change
  • preserve grass production by enabling water to better infiltrate and protect the grass, thanks to suitable shade created by planting trees on the dry slopes
  • regenerate the soil and optimise grassland productivity
  • carbon storage and soil structuring thanks to the tree roots and soil fauna they stimulate
  • encourage infiltration of stagnant water in certain areas

Project type



Loïc and Jean-Philippe, brothers and dairy farmers, in Ille-et-Vilaine


Number of trees

269 long-lasting trees planted


Species planted

11 tree species


French Agroforestry Association

Common whitebeam, Wild service, Heart leaf alder, Turkey oak, White oak, Sessile oak, Holm oak, Cormier, White mulberry, Wych elm, Small-leaved linden

Soil preparation for planting campaign © Guines

Works timeline

  • February 2020: soil and plantation work
  • November 2020: maintenance and replenishing
  • 2020-2023: monitoring and maintenance of plantations, replenishment if necessary

Planting partner

The French Agroforestry Association (AFAF), created in 2007 under French law 1901, develops agroforestry in France for agriculture and in the political arena, as well as with the general public. It is a platform for exchange and partnerships between farmers, agroforestry operators, researchers, political decision-makers, local authorities, and administrative bodies. The AFAF proposes recommendations at both national and international levels and works to ensure trees regain their role within farming systems.

Within this project, the Association is in charge of technical follow-up with beneficiaries over time and providing information needed for communications.


The total budget to be collected is €7,774.10, i.e. €28.90 per long-lasting tree planted, broken down as follows:

  • 95% allocated to the planting project:
    • Plants and replenishing: €2.15
    • Mulching: €1.08
    • Protection and stakes: €7.8
    • Technical advice and monitoring for three years: €6.36
    • For AFAF: coordination, project management and communication: €5.80
    • A Tree For You collection, monitoring and communication costs (14.76%): €4.26
  • plus 5% (€1.45) towards the structural costs of A Tree for You


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