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“Virtual Forest Walks” message – walk your forest!

Over the last two weeks, Teagasc’s Forestry Advisors took people on “Virtual Forest Walks”. These ‘walks’ focused on the management of young forests, demonstrating why it is essential to care for young forests.

Close to 400 people across Ireland joined Teagasc on these virtual walks. Each webinar ran three polls, the details of which can be found here.

What is your primary objective in forest management?

The first poll asked participants what the primary objective is in managing their forest. They answered:

  • the production of timber
  • prioritised biodiversity value
  • a mixture of timber production, biodiversity value, carbon sequestration and recreation opportunities (more than half of all answers)

Why walk? and How Often? 

Another poll asked people how often they walk their forest at the start of the webinar. The exact same poll was repeated at the end of the webinar. Teagasc’s Forestry Advisors clearly demonstrated during the webinar the importance of keeping an eye on a young forest as there was a dramatic difference between the two polls.

Rather than ‘rarely’ walking their forest, substantially more people indicated in the last poll that they were planning to walk their forest, either weekly, or monthly.

By doing so allows a forest owner to assess:

  1. if the surrounding vegetation needs to be controlled
  2. if there is a need to shape young broadleaf trees or
  3. if some trees are lacking in particular nutrients.

This allows forest owners to take timely action.

The take home message is very clear – walk your forest

Positive Feedback from Forest Owners

The Teagasc Forestry Devlopment Department is pleased with the positive feedback from the participants of the virtual walks. The forest owners gained an increased awareness of the benefits of actively managing young forests, particularly in the early years, to ensure that the multiple benefits of forests are optimised. New forest owners also acquired knowledge for the management of their forests.

To find out how to better manage your forest, visit www.teagasc.ie/forestry