Huge interest in farm forestry

Most of the 600 landowners who attended Teagasc forestry clinics countrywide in recent weeks are considering on-farm planting.

The number of landowners who availed of one to one consultations with a Teagasc forestry adviser was double what was expected.

Nuala Ní Fhlatharta, head of Teagasc’s forestry development department, said 38 clinics across the country were initially organised.

It was estimated that some 250 landowners would be interested but the level of response was unanticipated.

“To deal with this level of interest, we added several additional consultation days. A few of these forestry clinics are still ongoing. We estimate that we will have dealt with close to 600 landowners,” said Dr Ní Fhlatharta.

Frances McHugh, Teagasc forestry adviser, said at least 80% of queries related to planting on-farm forestry.

Topics discussed included land suitability, environmental compatibility, interaction of forestry with other farm schemes, and potential returns on investment.

Forestry grant aid application procedures were discussed in detail.

Advisers handed out copies of the list of registered foresters who can process grant application on behalf of their clients.

“We therefore anticipate a substantial increase in queries to forestry consultants and companies over the next few months as a result of these Teagasc forestry clinics,” she said.

Teagasc said these consultations are important because making an informed decision on forestry as an enterprise starts with becoming familiar with the issues involved.

The information provided at the clinics can help to guide decisions about forestry as a viable enterprise and future forest management options.

It said the clinics provided the information, expertise and advice necessary to assist in the decision making process in considering forestry on the farm.

* Details on forestry grant schemes are available from teagasc.ie/forestry.


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