Jazz up your walks: Take a 'virtual' forest tour

Jazz up your walks: Take a 'virtual' forest tour

If you need to jazz up your walks (and we’re all guilty of sticking to the same old routes since lockdown mainly because of restrictions) why not try some forest walks? And to find out more, you can start with ‘virtual’ ones.

Over the past few weeks, Teagasc forestry advisers have taken close to 400 people on ‘walks’ focused on the management of young forests and demonstrating why it is essential to care for them.

Marlogue Forest recreation area in East Cork. Covid-19 had an impact on where we could walk but easing restrictions have made it easier to get out. Picture: Denis Minihane
Marlogue Forest recreation area in East Cork. Covid-19 had an impact on where we could walk but easing restrictions have made it easier to get out. Picture: Denis Minihane

Each webinar ran three polls. The first asked participants what the primary objective is in managing their forest. 

More than half of all answers indicated that it was a mixture of timber production, biodiversity value, carbon sequestration and recreation opportunities.

Kevin O’Connell, forestry adviser with Teagasc, said:  "It was great to see the level of interest of new forest owners in acquiring knowledge for the management of their forests."

Those who attended now have a good idea of what to do in their woodlands as the trees grow and develop.

Another poll asked people at the start and end of the seminar how often they walk their forest.

The forestry advisers clearly demonstrated during the webinar the importance of keeping an eye on a young forest as there was a dramatic difference between the two polls.

Rather than ‘rarely’ walking their forest, substantially more people indicated in the last poll that they were planning to walk their forest, either on a weekly, or monthly, basis.

This allows forest owners to assess if the surrounding vegetation needs to be controlled, if there is a need to shape young broadleaf trees, or if some trees are lacking in particular nutrients — basically when to take timely action.

So get walking!

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