Woodland food growing techniques studied

The concept of growing fruit and vegetables in a similar fashion to the way a woodland ecosystem works has been around since the 1970s.

Ecologist Robert Hart developed the idea, which has now been picked up on by the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) reported.

Chloe Ward, who designed the garden explained that the clever use of natural processes means that maintenance is kept to a minimum.

The benefits include less soil erosion, getting the best out of the earth and little need for weeding.

It is based around the layers of a woodland ecosystem, with three main levels of note.

A ground covering of garlic, salad leaves and sorrel helps keep weeds at bay and is given vital shade by a middle section of berries, which are grown around archways.

The top layer consists of fruit trees and acts in a similar way to a forest canopy.

Ms Ward added that the idea allows the garden to take advantage of mycorrhizal fungi and other such natural soil functions.

In other news, the RHS has revealed that Britain could soon be repopulated with elm trees, with 10,000 set to be planted around the country.