Trees Outside Woodlands Programme

Tow Partner Logo

The Trees Outside Woodlands (TOW) programme is developing innovative and sustainable new ways to increase tree cover to address both the climate and ecological emergencies. The £2.5M, three-year programme is funded by the government and delivered in partnership by The Tree Council, Natural England, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs with five local authorities, including Shropshire Council.

The agroforestry and orchards pilot component of the programme, on which Shropshire Council is leading, is testing how to best encourage the uptake of tree planting schemes on farmland to improve biodiversity, soil health, productivity and animal welfare.

Agroforestry is in simple terms ‘farming with trees’, and could provide the ideal solution to the need to plant more trees and produce enough food for the nation at the same time. For more information, we created a quick agroforestry systems guide, detailing the kinds of agroforestry that are commonly used on farms.

To date, 27 farms within Shropshire have participated in the agroforestry and orchards pilot. Please see the map on this page for details of where these farms are located.

Another part of the programme is testing how to establish community tree nurseries and their role in increasing the supply of healthy, sustainable trees in England. The five nurseries that we have supported in Shropshire are also shown on the map.

Finally, the map shows the locations of people who have received trees for planting through Shropshire Council’s Community Tree Scheme, that is run in conjunction with the Defra’s Trees Outside Woodland programme.

A new part of the TOW programme this year is the ‘Targeted Trees’ scheme, that will support landowners to plant trees to increase connectivity between biodiversity hotspots in Shropshire. If the land you own was ever marked as woodland or orchard on old historical maps, then you may be able to replant these areas. Take a look at the priority planting areas interactive map to see if you're eligible.

If you'd like further information about any of the above, please contact Nick Rowles:

If you'd like to know more about agroforestry and how it can improve productivity and biodiversity on your farm, please watch the following video...