20September2017

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Expanding the forest resource in Wicklow

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County Wicklow, the Garden of Ireland has a rich tradition in forestry. It has the largest proportionate forest cover by county with 22% of the land area in forestry. While over 15,000 hectares of this forest area is already in private ownership, significant further opportunities exist for farmers and landowners to diversify into a forest enterprise and thereby capitalize on an outstanding natural resource. 

All interested are invited to a forestry field evening on April 20 with a focus on opportunities for landowners with new afforestation and adding value with appropriate management. The meeting point is the car park of the RC Church in Avoca at 7.00 pm.

New afforestation can deliver economic, social and environmental benefits at the farm level, for the local economy and nationally. There may also be scope to expand the native woodland resource on appropriate sites in county Wicklow, providing additional environmental benefits, including habitat creation and water quality protection in Natura areas as well as in areas designated as Acid Sensitive. Wild deer populations present significant challenges to agriculture,

Wild deer populations present significant challenges to agriculture, forestry and conservation, necessitating best practice in their sustainable management. New woodlands, where at least 70% is planted with broadleaf/diverse conifers will be considered eligible for deer fencing.  

Teagasc are working with the forestry sector to ensure landowners with suitable land are fully aware of the potential provided by forestry. The Teagasc Forestry Development Department provides independent advisory, training and research support to private forest owners. It can also provide one- to-one assistance for landowners in County Wicklow and beyond, focusing on land suitability, how a forest enterprise can improve farm income and how it interacts with existing farm schemes.

Contact your local Teagasc forestry advisor, Frances McHugh to find out more.

Source: HortiTrends News Room