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Benefits of active forest management to be highlighted at Teagasc forest walks

Benefits of active forest management to be highlighted at Teagasc forest walks

From May 2 to May 17, Teagasc invites all forest owners and enthusiasts to a series of fascinating forest walks focusing on proactive forest management.

Previewing these events, Teagasc Forestry Development Officer, Liam Kelly explains that the importance of good management and its timely adoption cannot be underestimated.

There are many different forest types in Ireland now facilitated through Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) forestry schemes. These schemes can support  a wide range of varying species and site types. Forest owners will have varying objectives and expectations for their forest resource, which all need consideration. Like other crops, care and attention will help ensure forests reach their potential and pay future dividends.

Benefits of management

Species selection is a critically important first step on the forest creation journey, helping to ensure that the chosen mixture of species are compatible with the site from the perspectives of soil type, site fertility / growth conditions and environmental sustainability.

It is also important that the tree stocking (number of trees per hectare) is initially correct and subsequently maintained. Crop protection, specifically from livestock and wild animals such as deer, is also very important. Competition from vegetation such as grass, rush and bramble is one of the main reasons for poor initial development and tree loss. This can be effectively addressed with timely and appropriate management.

As your trees develop, interventions such as formative shaping and thinning or respacing can help ensure that the forest can develop to produce quality timber and as a multifunctional resource. In reforestation, which establishes the next generation of trees, there are other factors and approaches that also need to be addressed.

Forest Walk Series

During May, Teagasc will host a series of forest walks highlighting the benefits of proactive forest management. The walks will feature a range of forest types and discussion themes including: conifer management; broadleaf / native tree management; options such as close-to-nature forest management; and reforestation. The range of forest sites has been selected to reflect the broad range of interests and queries that Teagasc Forestry Advisors regularly experience.

Scheduled at locations across Ireland, these eight forest walks will showcase a range of strategies and practices in forest management; helping participants to not only understand but also to effectively implement modern forest management techniques in their own forests. These events are part of Teagasc’s commitment to fostering environmental stewardship and promoting the sustainable development of forestry in Ireland.

Each of the walks will be led by both Teagasc and DAFM personnel. As well as the above, they will also cover a variety of other important topics, including: the prevention and management of forest diseases; the importance of biodiversity; and the latest advancements in tree health monitoring. Participants will gain first-hand experience in identifying potential risks in forest settings and learn about innovative measures to mitigate these risks proactively.

These walks will equip you with the knowledge and tools to monitor and manage your forest resources more effectively. On-site discussions will also delve into the practical aspects of forest management, such as selecting site appropriate tree species and understanding the nuances of different forest management options depending on owner objectives and growth conditions.

All welcome

All interested in forest management are welcome to attend. The walks will be on active working sites, so please wear appropriate footwear and clothing.

Key details of all forest walks are presented in the table below. Please note the varying start times for each of the walks. Please arrive punctually, as many of the meetings points will be off-site and there may be a short drive to the actual forest location.

Table 1: Dates and locations of Teagasc Forest Walks

CountyNearest town

Meeting point and Eircode

DateStart timeForest type & topicsContact details of Forestry Advisor
Cavan Stradone Killymeehan
H12 FC63 
May 15 7pm
  • Oak woodland, close to nature management
  • Conifer management - first thinning
  • Forest access (roads, turntables, bridges)
Kevin  O'Connell,
Clare Tulla Liscullaun
V95 RT61 
May 16 11am Native woodland, close to nature management  Jonathan Spazzi,
Cork Millstreet Millstreet Country Park May 9 11am Conifer management & reforestation, afforestation, deer management  Pádraic O'Leary,
Galway Kilconnell Community Centre
H53 E7K6 
May 16 7pm Native forest establishment, young conifer forest management  Noel Kennedy,
Laois Mountrath Mountrath Mart
R32 DH68 
May 2 11am Conifer management, thinning & reforestation  Liam Kelly,
Roscommon Castlerea Castlerea Mart
F45 FC91 
May 14 7pm Native forest and Native Tree Area Scheme establishment, young conifer forest management  Noel Kennedy,
Waterford Ballyduff St Michael’s Church
P51 K060 
May 17 11am Conifer management & harvesting preparation  Michael Somers,
Wexford Gorey Springmount Tractors
May 10 11am Broadleaf management  Frances McHugh,

Visit the Teagasc Forestry Development Department's webpage here.