Calling all Farmers: Don’t Miss Out on Free Forestry Open Days!

"Irish Forest Owners to Share Personal Stories and Insights at Free Events for Farmers Interested in Joining the Forestry Sector"

Irish forest owners are set to host a series of free events this month, offering farmers a unique opportunity to delve into the personal stories and experiences of those already established in the forestry sector. Organised by the Irish Forest Owners (IFO), an influential body representing private forest owners throughout Ireland, these events are part of a broader initiative titled ‘Realising the Potential of Family-owned Forestry’. Supported by funding from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), the events will feature informative walks and talks that are open to the public.

Chair of the IFO, Derek McCabe, highlighted the significance of these events, stating that attendees, including farmers, prospective entrants to the forestry sector, and the general public, will have the chance to gain insights directly from private forest owners. They will share their motivations for planting, the advantages and challenges they have encountered, the lessons learned, and how they are harnessing the economic benefits of their forests. McCabe emphasized the inclusive nature of the events, targeting farmers and landowners contemplating planting, second-generation forest owners looking to inherit a forest, individuals interested in learning more about forestry, and those curious about the forestry landscape in Ireland.

The four open events scheduled for June are as follows:
Date: Tuesday, June 11 (6:30-9:00 p.m.)
Location: Lisnabantry, Virginia, Co. Cavan
Host: Owen Cooney
Focus: Young mixed forest – Economic, environmental, and social benefits; part of a farm and forestry enterprise that includes agroforestry.
Producer group: North East Forestry Group

Date: Thursday, June 13 (6:30-9:00 p.m.)
Location: Rosenallis, Laois/Offaly border
Host: John McDonald
Focus: Mature conifer forest – Management and economics of conifers; additional revenue streams from forestry.
Producer group: Laois Farm Forestry Group

Date: Tuesday, June 18 (11:00-1:00 p.m.)
Location: Rathdowney, Laois/Tipperary border
Host: Ruth Young
Focus: Broadleaf forest and organic farm – Inheriting a forest/second generation forest owners; continuous cover forestry.
Producer group: Laois Farm Forestry Group

Date: Thursday, June 20 (7:00-9:00 p.m.)
Location: Carickahilla, Stradbally, Co. Waterford
Host: Tom Hickey
Focus: Mature conifer and broadleaf forest – Management and economics of conifers; forest certification; social benefits of forestry.
Producer group: Irish Wood Producers

These in-forest walk and information events will delve into various aspects of forestry, including the economics of softwoods (conifers) and hardwoods (broadleaves), the advantages of farm forestry, and different forest management options. Attendees can also expect insights on forestry and taxation, forest management certification, and the benefits of joining producer groups.

McCabe underlined the significance of planting trees as a simple yet impactful way to leave a lasting legacy for future generations, providing sustenance for those to come. He emphasized that family-owned forestry is about more than just planting trees; it involves fostering a sustainable relationship between the land, the community, and the environment. McCabe highlighted the importance of achieving a harmonious balance where ecological stewardship and community development work hand in hand.

By integrating forestry into agricultural practices, communities can enjoy a healthier environment, enhanced biodiversity, and economic opportunities, all while contributing to the global fight against climate change. The events aim to inspire and educate individuals about the potential of family-owned forestry, showcasing the positive impact it can have on both local communities and the wider environment.

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons is the founder of Forestry & Carbon. Matt has over 25 years as a forestry consultant and is invoilved in numerous carbon credit offset projects.

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