Forestry Fans Flock to Event with Nearly 300 in Attendance!

Teagasc Forestry Open Day Showcases Sectoral Supports for Industry Stakeholders

Almost 300 forest owners, foresters, and industry stakeholders gathered at Teagasc, Oak Park in Carlow for a Forestry Open Day on Thursday, July 4. The event showcased the wide array of sectoral supports offered by the Teagasc Forestry Development Department. Attendees gained valuable insights into Teagasc’s collaborative forestry research projects and how they underpin the organization’s forestry advisory, training, and education services.

Welcoming visitors to the open day, John Spink, head of Teagasc Crops, Environment, and Land Use Programme, emphasized the significance of applied forestry research in addressing both immediate and long-term challenges. He highlighted the integration of cutting-edge scientific techniques in Teagasc’s programs, covering tree improvement, disease tolerance breeding, forest management for broadleaf and conifer species, climate change resilience, forest carbon, agroforestry, and socio-economic factors influencing forestry uptake.

Dr. Dheeraj Rathore, a Teagasc forestry research officer and co-organizer of the event, outlined the focus on tree improvement and breeding to develop tree species suited to Irish climatic conditions. Projects were highlighted that aim to enhance stress and disease tolerance in broadleaf species like ash, alder, and elm to ensure future productivity, genetic diversity, and ecosystem stability in the face of a changing climate.

The Oak Park event showcased a diverse range of research projects. Dr. Niall Farrelly’s coordination of research on conifer tree species delved into the influence of genetics, forest management, and environmental factors on forest growth and productivity. Other themes explored the response of tree species to climate change, the impact of thinning practices on forest development and profitability, and applied and alternative silviculture, including diversifying forest structure.

Dr. Ian Short led research on applied and alternative silviculture, focusing on diversifying forest structure and developing agroforestry systems. Dr. Junliang Zou’s work as a Teagasc forest carbon researcher centered on understanding how forest management and climate change affect carbon cycling processes, utilizing methods such as model synthesis, data analysis, and field experiments.

Forestry advisory services were a key feature of the open day, with Frances McHugh highlighting the opportunities available under the new DAFM Forestry Programme. Teagasc forestry advisory colleagues were on hand to discuss forest creation options and showcase forest management strategies informed by ongoing research to help forest owners optimize their resources.

The event also highlighted the rejuvenation of Oak Park woodland and Marteloscope plots, which are part of a national and European network promoting integrated forest management. Teagasc’s forestry education services were a focal point, with insights provided into the range of forestry courses at Ballyhaise College that prepare graduates for careers in the sector.

The event at Teagasc, Oak Park, served as a platform for stakeholders to engage with the latest developments in forestry research, advisory services, and education. With a strong emphasis on sustainability, resilience, and innovation, the open day underscored the vital role that Teagasc plays in supporting and advancing Ireland’s forestry sector.

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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