Wakelyns is at IP21 5SD in Suffolk, UK
Wakelyns comprises over 50 acres of agroforestry in north-south tree lines with an organic rotation cropping system in between.
Ann and Martin Wolfe bought Wakelyns in 1992 after Martin’s earlier scientific career showed how mixing even just three varieties of a cereal crop together could restrict disease and stabilise crop yield. Their idea was further to experiment with forms of agriculture by using diversity and reversing the trend to crop monoculture though organic rotation agroforestry. From 1994 they planted, and then maintained, one of the oldest and most diverse alley-cropping agroforestry implementations.
Different areas at Wakelyns have different tree line spacing: 12m, 15m or 18m; and different types of trees in the tree lines some for timber, some (hazel and willow) on a short rotation coppice for fencing and for biomass; and a wide variety of fruit trees (including 40+ types of apple, as well as pears, many sorts of plums, quinces, cherries and much more).
Since Ann and Martin’s deaths (in 2016 and 2019), David and Toby Wolfe and their families have continued with the organic rotation agroforestry while also evolving Wakelyns into a hub for farming, food and the environment.
Within the organic rotation cropping in the alleys, we now grow YQ population wheat (as developed at Wakelyns in conjunction with the Organic Research Centre and John Innes Centre), hemp and lentils; and host “RealVeg CSA” – no-dig organic horticulture from Holly, Chloe and Rachel. Spring 2023 will also see vines added as a component within some of the tree lines themselves.
Over the years, we’ve had some good coverage in the media.
Diversifying and making Wakelyns more sustainable has involved a new focus on “short [food] chains”, “enterprise stacking”, and people.
Short chains means that, rather than trying to crop and sell the raw produce (wheat, flour, fruit, vegetables, etc.) they are often baked and cooked by Henrietta in the Wakelyns Bakery for sale as food to families within our local area and beyond.
Another of our short chain stacked enterprises, Adam and Emma from Willow Phoenix use Wakelyns and other willow and hazel in a range of on-site weaving and landscaping projects.
Claire & Kitty’s “Contemporary Hempery” has brought hemp to Wakelyns as a valuable organic weed-suppressing crop within our organic rotation which will also produce fine fibres for high-quality clothing (and with the shiv woody cores being used by Summer Islam and her colleagues from Material Designs as part of their ‘regenerative architecture’ sustainable construction projects).
For more information see www.wakelyns.co.uk
Or check us out on Instagram and X:
For Agroforestry Open Weekend 2024 we will be open on Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 May.
Booking is essential. Book via the links below.
Come and have a look round and learn about all that we are doing at Wakelyns including with the RealVeg CSA horticuture team and Adam & Emma from Willow Phoenix.
There’ll be fun stuff for kids and, of course, delicious food from the Wakelyns Bakery through the day.
One hour long Guided Tree Walks with Paul J, our long term arborist, will take place starting at 11 am, 1pm and (Saturday only) 3pm . Please book them via the separate link. Please note that information and booking for our all day guided tree walks and guided bird walks (on other dates in the year) is here.
Other than that, you will be welcome to wander round the farm looking at everything that is happening. Members of our team will be around to answer questions, and there will be lots of fun stuff going on in the farmyard area.
Points of interest as you walk round will be identified by signs showing QR codes. Scanning those codes with your phone camera will take you web pages with more information about what you are seeing. So please bring a “smart phone” for the full experience!
Paul W will be around to talk about the practical side of farming with agroforestry.
Claire will enthuse you about her Contemporary Hempery project at Wakelyns and Gill can show you how she looks after the wild bees at Wakelyns.
This year we will also be joined by some of the team from the Organic Research Centre who will be explaining their work at Wakelyns, including how we are now (through them) part of an EU wide project studying the long term impacts of agroforestry at 9 of the most established sites across Europe.
Admission is free but (so that we can manage the flow) booking is essential please. Booking via the links below.
Well behaved dogs on leads welcome.
Accessible parking available.
Accommodation also available (for the Open Weekend and generally, in conjunction with courses and other events at activities at Wakelyns) either:
Book here to visit Wakelyns during Agroforestry Open Weekend 2024
Agroforestry Open Weekend 10-12 arrival on 18 May 2024 (10:00 am – 12:00 pm)
One hour guided tree walk 11am on 18 May 2024 (11:00 am – 12:00 pm)
Agroforestry Open Weekend 12-2 arrival on 18 May 2024 (12:00 pm – 2:00 pm)
One hour guided tree walk 1pm on 18 May 2024 (1:00 pm – 2:00 pm)
Agroforestry Open Weekend 2-4 arrival on 18 May 2024 (2:00 pm – 4:00 pm)
One hour guided tree walk 3pm on 18 May 2024 (3:00 pm – 4:00 pm)
Agroforestry Open Weekend 10-12 arrival on 19 May 2024 (10:00 am – 12:00 pm)
One hour guided tree walk 11am on 19 May 2024 (11:00 am – 12:00 pm)
Agroforestry Open Weekend 12-2 arrival on 19 May 2024 (12:00 pm – 2:00 pm)
One hour guided tree walk 1pm on 19 May 2024 (1:00 pm – 2:00 pm)