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Nearly 700 Landowners Seek Advice at Teagasc’s Forestry Advisory Clinics

Many clinic days were added to the nationwide series of Teagasc Forestry Advisory Clinics to cope with the demand for unbiased forestry advice. More than half of all queries related to planting forestry on the farm.

Investigating the possibility of planting some land, additional queries regarding an existing forestry grant application, and preparing for thinning were the three most common queries raised by landowners attending these clinics.

The status of the Single Farm Payment in relation to forestry and the introduction of new forestry schemes later this year were also regularly mentioned. The Minister of State for Forestry, Tom Hayes TD’s announcement earlier this week was therefore very timely as it reconfirmed the favourable position of forestry in relation to the Single Farm Payment. This will provide further reassurance to those considering planting.

Dr. Nuala Ni Fhlatharta, Head of Teagasc’s Forestry Development Department, said: “The success of this year’s clinics was due to the significant interest in planting among farmers. The attractive incentives currently available and an ever increasing demand for timber mean that a forest enterprise is becoming an increasingly attractive option for more and more landowners.”

She added: “As in all crops, the importance of good management cannot be overlooked in relation to getting the best from a farm forest. Good and timely management will ensure that the benefits of the forest can be optimised with regard to financial returns, environmental benefits and on-farm uses including fuel and timber.”

Noel Kennedy, Forestry Adviser with Teagasc said: “Many landowners are investigating the benefits of afforestation. Issues that were discussed regularly during the Clinics included the Single Farm Payment, grants and premiums, eligibility for farmer premium, interaction with other farming schemes, environmental restrictions as well as financial benefits and implications.”

He continued: “Forestry grant aid application procedures were discussed in great detail at these consultations. All Forestry Advisers handed out many copies of the List of Registered Foresters. Registered Foresters can process the forestry grant application on behalf of their clients.”

These consultations are important in helping farmers make an informed decision on forestry as an enterprise. Forestry can have many attractions, but you need to know if it is appropriate for you. The unbiased information provided at these Forestry Clinics can help guide decisions about forestry as a viable enterprise and future appropriate forest management options.

Details on all current forestry grant schemes and valuable forest management tips are available from the Teagasc Forestry website.