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Forest management walks: see forest management in action

Local Teagasc walk will take place in Co Offaly

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Forest management walks: see forest management in action

File photo via Pixabay

Teagasc in association with the Forest Service (DAFM) is organising a nationwide series of fifteen forest walks from April 29 to May 10, focusing on the management of young forests.

For many owners, the forestry conversation begins around opportunities for diversifying farm enterprises, grant and premia supports and the implications on the whole farm. It is essential to realise that the established forest is another crop and will reap rewards if managed as such.

This year’s series of forestry management walks presents an opportunity to see forest management in action. Each walk will also allow informal discussion of issues on site but also management issues arising on attendees own sites. At these events, forestry experts from Teagasc and the Forest Service will explain why it is essential to care for young forests.

It is very important to ensure that a young forest will perform well and that forest owners know what needs to be done each year. After all, it is the owner that will benefit financially from well looked after trees!

Payment of the second instalment of the Afforestation Scheme (four-year maintenance grant) and forestry premium is subject to the forest successfully achieving certain standards.

Emphasis in the first few years will be on controlling the surrounding vegetation, ensuring that browsing animals won't damage the young trees, replanting of failed trees, assessing nutrient needs, shaping of broadleaf trees and reducing the risk of fires.

The focus of these forest walks is on early management. However, medium to long term management will also be outlined along with the many supplementary grant measures now in place to support forest owners in optimising their farm forest resource.

This nationwide series of forest walks is aimed at landowners who have established a new forest in the last ten years. Landowners who are considering planting some land will also find these events very useful.

The local walk is on Wednesday, May 1, at Blueball, Co Offaly. Please meet at the Blueball Inn, Blueball, Tullamore. Eircode R35 KX08 (on the N52, Tullamore – Birr Road)

No need to register; just turn up at 7pm at the meeting point with appropriate clothing/boots for weather and drive to nearby forest. All are welcome.