Importance of forestry stressed

NEW planting is vital to the forestry sector so that it can continue to provide an income stream for farmers and a steady supply of material for the timber and energy industries.

That’s the message of Forestry Minister Mary Wallace to mark National Tree Week which continues until Saturday with more than 300 events taking place countrywide.

“The importance of trees does, of course, go far beyond its provision of timber — the environment, clean air, jobs, wood energy and health and recreation are additional benefits,” she said.

Ms Wallace urged communities and local authorities to participate in some of the Tree Week events which include forest walks, tree planting ceremonies, workshops, talks and competitions.

“Trees, the timber they provide and their numerous other benefits are an integral part of life. The significance of trees is often taken for granted.

“There is ongoing coverage of the consequences of deforestation throughout the world — we need to ensure that forestry remains a feature of the Irish landscape, economy and environment,” she said.

“National Tree Week this year will, I hope, reinforce in our minds that trees are also about water and about life,” said Ms Wallace.

National Tree Week is organised by the Tree Council of Ireland and is sponsored by O2 Ireland and Coillte.

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