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Rachel Irwin

Walsh Scholar

Research Interests

Growing up on a drystock farm in the west of Ireland nurtured my interest in agroecology, sustainable food production and policy.

Throughout academia, I have developed a keen research interest in agroforestry and the benefits it provides both to the individual farmer, and furthermore wider society. I believe that it is a major tool in climate change mitigation and adaption. 

Current Projects

My current research project Small Woodlands on Farms focuses on small woodlands on dairy and drystock farms and the potential ambition of the Post 2020 CAP, whereby farm woodland creation will be further encouraged in the EU.

This project aims to discuss the impacts of trees and small woodlands on biodiversity, carbon sequestration, ecosystem services and livestock production; to inform policy and create management guidelines. This is in conjunction with the investigation into farmers’ attitudes and perceptions of agroforestry. 


  • B.Sc. (Hons) Zoology with Conservation, Bangor University, Wales.