Forest owners across Ireland will have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills in the forestry sector through a series of forestry knowledge transfer group (KTG) programmes in early 2024. These events, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), form part of a three-year initiative aimed at promoting learning and increasing awareness among forest owners.
The KTG programmes will be led by professional foresters and will incorporate a combination of classroom-style learning, practical exercises, and outdoor events. The training will take place in various locations across the country, with each programme being organized by different forest owner groups.
The locations and associated groups for the KTG programmes are as follows:
– Moate, Co. Westmeath – North Midlands Farm Forestry Group
– Inishowen, Donegal – Donegal Woodland Owners Society
– Kilkenny – Irish Wood Producers
– Laois – Laois Farm Forestry Group
– Cavan, Louth, Meath, and Monaghan – North East Forestry Group (with a specific focus on forest certification)
– Waterford – Irish Wood Producers
– Wexford – Irish Wood Producers
Each KTG programme will consist of a total of seven meetings and events, with a maximum of 20 participants in each group. Participants who successfully complete the programme will receive a payment of up to €560. Facilitators, on the other hand, will receive €500 per annum per participant in their group, provided that all the programme requirements have been met, according to DAFM.
In terms of eligibility, forest owners or joint forest owners are welcome to participate in the KTG programmes. However, only one participant associated with a single forest property can take part in a particular KTG. Participants must be at least 18 years old and do not need to be a member of a forest owner group or a farmer. It is also important to note that individuals who have already participated in a forestry KTG in the past three years are not eligible to apply.
Expressions of interest can be submitted through the Irish Forest Owners website. In cases where the number of forest owners exceeds the available places, selection will be based on a first-come, first-served basis, as outlined by Irish Forestry Owners.
These KTG programmes present a valuable opportunity for forest owners across Ireland to enhance their knowledge and skills in the forestry sector. By participating in these events, forest owners can gain valuable insights and practical experience that will contribute to the sustainable management and development of their forest properties.