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Teagasc launches Annual Forestry Photo Competition with new Junior Category

Teagasc, in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, is delighted to launch its annual forest photo competition today, Thursday, 5 October, to support SPAR National Tree Day. This exciting competition will run between October and December and is a celebration of the new Forestry Programme, which charts the course for Irish Forestry from 2023 to 2027.

Teagasc launches Annual Forestry Photo Competition with new Junior Category
Last year's winning photo: The Hidden Waterfall - by Ciaran Willmore, Co. Dublin

Celebrating The New Forestry programme 2023-2027 is a three-themed photo competition that will focus on the multi-functional nature of forests, from timber production to biodiversity enhancement. The competition provides a great opportunity for budding (non-professional) photographers and photo enthusiasts to get snapping, while being in with a chance to win exciting prizes and this year, we are introducing a new junior category for anybody under 18 years of age. 

The ‘Celebrating the New Forestry Programme 2023-2027’ competition focuses on three consecutive forest themes and runs from October to December, 2023. 

At the end of each theme period, both the adult and the junior winners are guaranteed a prize of €300. All the theme winners will then go forward to the Grand Final on December 15, when the overall winner for each age category will be in line for a further voucher to the value of €300.

Can you capture that special autumnal image or perhaps a stunning photo of life in the forest? To kick off the competition, the first theme, ‘Trees and Biodiversity’, is running from October 5 to October 26. This theme focuses on the animal and plant life in and around forests, how and where forests provide shelter and food for animals including insects, birds and mammals, as well as other flowering plants.    

Suitable digital forest images can be submitted online at www.teagasc.ie/forestphotos up to 5pm on the October 26 deadline. 

Table 1: Eligible competition entry dates/times for each of the three themes

Theme Period Theme Eligible Entry Period
1 Trees and Biodiversity 9am, October 5 to 
5pm, October 26
2 Trees on the farm 9am, October 27 to 
5pm, November 20
3 The Forest Harvest 9am, November 21 to 
5pm, December 11

The competition will feature the second theme Trees on the Farm between October 27 and November 20. This theme covers all aspects of trees on the farm and how forests and trees are integrated into other farming activities and into the overall landscape. Trees provide shelter from wind and sun for farm animals and can help in protecting water courses. 

The final theme, The Forest Harvest will continue between November 21 and December 11. This is a celebration of all that we can get from forests. Of course there is construction timber, one of the most valuable forest materials used by humans. But other harvests include fungi, berries and firewood. Perhaps another product from the forest is the wellbeing and health benefits of spending time amongst the trees. Is there an image that can illustrate any of the abundance of resources provided by forests?

Please note that only photos received within these dates and time periods for each theme can be considered eligible. Also note that only one entry per person per category can be accepted.

Speaking at the launch of the Teagasc/DAFM ‘Celebrating the Forestry Programme 2023-2027’ competition, Tom Houlihan, Acting Head of the Teagasc Forestry Development Department, said: “We are delighted to organise this highly popular initiative again in 2023. Our forests provide a wide range of benefits and, as with other years, we invite and encourage good quality and attractive digital images that highlight some of these multiple benefits”. 

Teagasc Forestry Liaison Officer Paul Butler, who coordinates the competition added: “It is a pleasure to see the range of photos submitted each year to this competition. They illustrate how important trees are in our lives and the constantly changing landscapes within and around our forests”.

Individual participants may submit one photo separately for each of the three forestry competition themes. Submission is online only at www.teagasc.ie/forestphotos