The AG-FORWARD Project

Photo T. Guéhenneuc / Association Terres & Bocages

© T. Guéhenneuc

AGroFORestry that Will Advance Rural Development



Developing sustainable agricultural systems is a main challenge nowadays in Europe. The aim of the AGFORWARD project (AGroFORestry that Will Advance Rural Development) is to encourage agroforestry practices that will promote rural development in Europe. In Brittany, the research developed by BAGAP and SAS research units focuses on recent hedgerows and hedgerow networks planted in the 2000s. These agroforestry hedgerows are designed by the farmers of the ”Terres & Bocages” association, and managed with an adaptive strategy to allow multiple ecosystem services.


Our goal was to assess the potential ecosystem services provided by agroforestry hedgerows in three domains:

  • Supporting and regulation services associated with biodiversity (habitat for species, crop pest control, pollination)
  • Supporting and regulation services associated with soil and water
  • Provisioning services from the hedgerows and associated fields.


We conducted a comparative study on new planted hedgerows and traditional field margins (old hedgerows and herbaceous margins) in four study sites in the Côtes-d'Armor Department, Brittany (France). Within these sites, we performed biodiversity assessments and farmers' interviews (BAGAP reseach unit), as well as soil sampling (SAS research unit).


New planted hedgerows harbored the same numbers of fauna and plant species as traditional field margins. There was a trend of higher soil carbon levels in top soils located closed to new planted hedgerows. There was no simple relationship between the type of field margin (herbaceous margin, old or new planted hedgerows) and wheat yield in adjacent field. Interviewed farmers highlight that new hedgerows provided protection for cattle, successfully constrained cattle movement, regulated runoff and soil erosion, improved landscape aesthetics, and designed property limits. Firewood production and the protection of wild fauna were mentioned as supplementary benefits.


Reports and "Innovation" leaflet (in English) are available on line

Scientific Publications

Garcıa de Jalon, S., Burgess, P.J., Graves, A., Moreno, G., McAdam, J., Pottier, E., Novak, S., Bondesan, V., Mosquera-Losada, R., Crous-Duran, J., Palma, J.H.N., Paulo, J.A., Oliveira, T.S., Cirou, E., Hannachi, Y., Pantera, A., Wartelle, R., Kay, S., Malignier, N., Van Lerberghe, P., Tsonkova, P., Mirck, J., Rois, M., Kongsted, A.G., Thenail, C., Luske, B., Berg, S., Gosme, M., Vityi, A., 2017. How is agroforestry perceived in Europe? An assessment of positive and negative aspects by stakeholders. Agroforestry Systems.

Moreno, G., Aviron, S., Berg, S., Crous-Duran, J., Franca, A., García-de-Jalón, S., Hartel, T., Mirck, J., Pantera, A., Palma, J.H.N., Paulo, J.A., Re, G.A., Sanna, F., Thenail, C., Varga, A., Viaud, V., Burgess, P.J., 2017. Agroforestry systems of high nature and cultural value in Europe: provision of commercial goods and other ecosystem services. Agroforestry Systems.

BAGAP staff involved

Claudine Thenail (Landscape Agronomy)
Stéphanie Aviron (Landscape Agroecology)
Valentin Cabon (Landscape Agroecology)



European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7).

Modification date: 06 February 2023 | Publication date: 01 February 2018 | By: BAGAP research unit