The North East Forestry Group (NEFG) is organizing a series of events for knowledge transfer (KT) groups, aimed at assisting forest owners in obtaining group certification for their woodlands. These events, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), will provide forest owners with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge on maximizing returns from their woodlands by sharing experiences with others. The seven meetings will also emphasize good forestry management practices, simple forest operations, and the necessary documentation that owners must complete.
The KT groups are open to forest owners in counties Cavan, Louth, Meath, and Monaghan. Participants will be paid €70 for each meeting attended. Forest owners who have not participated in a similar course within the past three years are eligible to join. The program will be available to both existing and prospective new members of the North East Forestry Group on a first-come basis. Registration will close once the program reaches full capacity.
The meetings will include up to four field trips to NEFG members’ forests in the region. Linda Coughlan, an experienced forestry manager, will act as the group facilitator. Donal Whelan and Mechteld Schuller, who previously worked with NEFG on the forest certification project, will cover the certification aspects of the program.
Derek McCabe, chairperson of the North East Forestry Group, expressed his enthusiasm for the Knowledge Transfer program, stating, “This is a fantastic opportunity for private forest owners who are considering certifying their forest to meet and discuss various challenges and learn from other private forest owners on how they manage their woodlands. It’s an opportunity to take control of the future of your investment and maximize returns. Knowledge is power, and knowledge in a group setting is even more powerful. Take ownership of your forestry and bring it to the next level.”
The North East Forestry Group, established with the support of Teagasc in May 2013, is the only private forest owners’ group in Ireland to have Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) forest certification. According to current data, there are 462 private forestry owners in Cavan, 259 in Meath, 164 in Monaghan, and 45 in Louth.