Publication | Statement Determining adequate planting as shelter for animals kept outdoors - the WEIDESCHERM project

trees and bushes with cows in background

Final report of the Weidescherm project

The Weidescherm project includes the assignment 'Determine adequate planting as shelter for animals kept outdoors'. A growing part of the population pays attention to animal welfare and feels that a natural environment is part of this. In addition, our climate is becoming more extreme. Specifically for Flanders more and longer periods of drought and heat are expected. Commissioned by the Department of Environment, BOS+ and ILVO are investigating how the welfare of cattle, sheep and horses can be guaranteed in the pasture by means of natural shelter.

This assignment consists of several parts. The first part consists of a literature study which investigates the effect of extreme weather conditions on the welfare of outdoor animals, their preferences in terms of shelter, microclimate or feed value and which tree and shrub species are less suitable or even toxic. Because not all trees tolerate the open conditions of a meadow equally well (e.g. wind or trampling), we also include this aspect in our research. We also discuss which characteristics of tree species influence their effectiveness as shelters, such as growth rate. In addition, we also summarize the relevant legislation and subsidy possibilities. This report serves as a reference work for this literature review.

Final report (in Dutch) of the Weidescherm project (2020 - 2022)

Lees het volledige eindrapport


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Jolien Bracke

Onderzoekster ILVO

Bert Reubens

Agroforestry expert