RDS Irish Forestry Awards Offer €12,000 Prize Fund for Winners
The RDS Irish Forestry Awards, part of the RDS Spring Awards, have officially opened for entries. With a prize fund of €12,000, the awards aim to recognize and reward farmers and woodland owners who have implemented climate-smart agricultural practices on their properties. These practices include sound commercial management, environmental protection, and biodiversity preservation.
The awards are divided into four main categories, catering to the full range of forestry use, from small public amenities to larger commercial operations. The production forestry category is open to farmers and landowners who practice sound silvicultural management on their farms. The Teagasc farm forestry award specifically acknowledges working farmers who integrate forestry and farming for the benefit of the environment, society, and the economy.
In addition to the existing categories, the 2023/24 edition of the awards has introduced a new category in partnership with Woodlands of Ireland. This category focuses on native woodland conservation and aims to encourage and reward projects that sustainably manage ancient and long-established forests and woodlands, benefiting both biodiversity and the local economy.
The winners of each category will receive a cash prize of €2,000 and an RDS silver medal, while the runners-up will be awarded €1,000 and an RDS certificate of merit. Furthermore, all category winners will receive a specially commissioned trophy.
Dermot Power, Chair of the RDS Committee of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, emphasized the importance of showcasing the benefits and diversity of forestry in Ireland. He stated, “We all have a responsibility to be climate smart about land use. With so many economic, environmental, and social benefits associated with good forestry, it is beneficial for all of us to promote real-life examples of best practice.”
Joe Gowran, Chief Executive of Woodlands of Ireland, expressed his enthusiasm for the new Native Woodland Conservation Award. He explained that the award aims to recognize projects that conserve and sustainably manage ancient and long-established forests and woodlands, benefiting biodiversity and the local economy.
Applications for the RDS Irish Forestry Awards close at midday on August 25, 2023. The winners will be announced at a ceremony held in the RDS Concert Hall next year.
These awards serve as a platform to celebrate and encourage the adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices in forestry. By recognizing farmers and woodland owners who prioritize sustainable management, environmental protection, and biodiversity preservation, the RDS Irish Forestry Awards contribute to the promotion of best practices in the industry.