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Managing the recent Storm Damage, Castleisland, Co Kerry

Teagasc, in conjunction with Coillte and the Forest Service, DAFM, is organising two important demonstrations on windblow clearance and forest restoration. These two events will take place on:

  • Tuesday 8 April 2014: Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny
  • Wednesday 16 April 2014: Castleisland Town, Co Kerry

These two forestry events will provide guidance to forest owners whose plantations have suffered windblow damage.

The windblow followed storm force winds on 12 February which reached violent storm force 11 for a time in the south and west. Early indications suggest that somewhere between 5,000 and 7,000 hectares of both Coillte managed and privately owned forests, mainly concentrated in Munster and south Leinster, have been blown down.

Teagasc in association with Coillte and the Forest Service, DAFM invites forest owners whose plantations have suffered windblow damage and those with plantations approaching thinning stage to attend these important events.

The demonstrations will be held in Kilkenny on Tuesday 8 April and in Kerry on Wednesday 16 April. Please see below for more details.

For forest owners who have experienced windblow, the most important advice is not to rush into decisions but to make a step-by-step plan to minimise risk and maximise the salvage value of the plantation. Most forests, despite being blown, can have considerable timber value.

The demonstrations will visit Coillte forests where an appropriate response plan is in place and windblow clearance operations are underway. Because of the unexpected, chaotic and dangerous nature of windblow a number of important issues arise for forest owners to factor into the recovery process including:

  • Health and Safety issues including risks assessment, safe work planning and responsibilities under H&S legislation.
  • Harvesting operations including felling licences, harvesting strategy, role of contractors and environmental protection.
  • Marketing and sale of windblown timber including timber categories and current prices, quality questions and timber dispatch protocols.
  • Restocking including planning and site preparation, protecting against pine weevil, maintenance and costs.
  • Issues in relation to insurance and taxation will also be discussed. 

Teagasc, the Forest Service, Coillte and a number of forestry companies will have stands at the meeting venue where additional information and advice on a range of forestry topics will be available.

Event details

  • Tuesday 8 April 2014. Meet at the Rising Sun Guesthouse, Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny. Venue will be signposted from Exit 11 (New Ross/Mullinavat) off the M9, Dublin-Waterford motorway. Queries to Michael Somers Teagasc on 087 1216163.
  • Wednesday 16 April 2014. Meet at An Riocht Health and Leisure Club, Craggeens, Castleisland Town, Co Kerry. Meeting point will be signposted in the town. Queries to Tom Houlihan Teagasc on 087 6184353.

Arrive any time between 11 am and 12.30 pm. Guided tours will leave every twenty minutes, and the demonstration will take approximately 2.5 hours. These are outdoor events so please bring appropriate footwear and raingear. All are welcome. Events are free. 

Further information:

  • Kilkenny event: contact Michael Somers, Teagasc
  • Kerry event: contact Tom Houlihan, Teagasc

These events are supported by the Windblow Taskforce established by Tom Hayes TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The Windblow Taskforce chaired by Minister Hayes comprises the IFFPA, Coillte, IFA, ITGA, Teagasc and the Forest Service, DAFM.

The aim of the group is to assess the damage nationally and to quickly identify the various issues that have arisen and that will arise as a result of the severe windblow event of the 12th February, and to agree on a course of actions to deal with these issues.