A windbreak or shelterbelt is a plantation usually made up of one or more rows of trees or shrubs planted in such a manner as to provide shelter from the wind and to protect soil from erosion. They are commonly planted around the edges of fields on farms. If designed properly, windbreaks around a home can reduce the cost of heating and cooling and save energy. Windbreaks are also planted to help keep snow from drifting onto roadways and even yards. Other benefits include providing habitat for wildlife and in some regions the trees are harvested for wood products.
A further use for a shelterbelt is to screen a farm from a main road or motorway. This improves the farm landscape by reducing the visual incursion of the motorway, reducing noise from the traffic and providing a safe barrier between farm animals and the road.
Afforestation projects involving large-scale planting of shelterbelts have been more than once proposed by governments as a way to reduce soil erosion and improve microclimate in otherwise treeless agricultural areas.
Smaller scale shelterbelt projects have been proposed and implemented elsewhere, e.g. in India.