Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Tuesday 25 April 2017

Check out forestry options at dedicated clinics

Teagasc is rolling out a nationwide series of forestry advisory clinics this month

Forestry - Teagasc will host a series of clinics
Forestry - Teagasc will host a series of clinics
Steven Meyen

Steven Meyen

Teagasc will introduce regular nationwide series of Forestry Advisory Clinics throughout 2017 to facilitate as many farmers and other landowners as possible.

The first series of these clinics will take place between 9 and 18 January promoting the establishment of forestry as a sustainable and rewarding land use on Irish farms.

Forestry offers many advantages to farmers.

For instance, farm forestry is one of the few economically attractive farm enterprises that can mitigate against the effects of on-farm greenhouse gas emissions.

These clinics will be held in Teagasc offices around the country on specific dates, from 10 am to 4 pm each day, where a one-to one consultation with an experienced forestry adviser can be arranged by appointment.

The Forestry Programme offers landowners and existing forest owners many options in relation to forest establishment with a range of attractive grants and annual premium categories available.

A land use change to forestry, like any new farm enterprise, will raise many questions. A consultation with your Teagasc forestry adviser will provide independent and objective advice, empowering you to make informed decisions on many relevant issues including the following:

Opportunities for farmers and other landowners under the Forestry Programme 2014-2020

* Available grants and premiums

* Interaction with other farm schemes, e.g. BPS, GLAS, etc.

* How forestry can improve farm income and the environment

* How to apply and get the job done right first time

* Harvesting and timber sales

forestry clinics 2017.PNG The forestry programme also offers landowners, who are not farming, the opportunity to avail of the same annual planting premiums as farmers.

Although the emphasis for the upcoming clinics is on new planting, existing forest owners, -regardless of what stage their forest is at -can also avail of this opportunity to pick up valuable management tips.

Prior booking of a one to one forestry consultation is essential. To book your free consultation, contact your local Teagasc office. Please bring maps and other relevant information on the day to optimise the advisory experience and outcome.

Financial supports for planting and conserving native species

Investing in Ireland’s native woodlands is an important component of Ireland’s Forestry Programme 2014–2020. In this regard, the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) operates a package of measures, to encourage farmers and other landowners to create new native woodland and to restore existing native woodland.

The Forestry Programme 2014-2020 sets out a target of 2,700 hectares for new native woodland establishment and 2,000 hectares for woodland restoration projects. This represents an investment of over €20 million up to the year 2020.

Native Woodland Establishment

The Native Woodland Establishment Scheme (NWS Est.) supports the establishment of new native woodlands on ‘green field’ sites under Grant and Premium Categories  9 and 10. In 2016 alone, the Forest Service funded the creation of between 150 and 200 hectares of new native woodland.

The First Grant (‘the afforestation grant’) is available to cover the costs associated with the establishment of the new native woodland and is payable after planting with the balance paid by way of a Second Grant (‘the maintenance grant’) four years after successful establishment. Grants are dependent on which scenario you choose (see below).

Landowners are also entitled to annual forest premiums dependent on the scenario chosen. These premiums are payable for a period of 15 years.

Native Woodland Conservation

The focus of this measure is the restoration of existing native woodland. Typical examples include the removal of invasive species such as rhododendron or the conversion of existing conifer forests to native woodland and the protection and management of existing ‘scrub’ to capitalise on its ecological value as emerging native woodland.

A private woodland owner is also entitled to an annual premium of €350 per hectare per year for a period of seven years.

Interested in creating a woodland on the farm with a very high biodiversity value? Experts will be on hand to field your questions at the Teagasc Forestry Advisory Clinics to be held across Ireland in the second week in January?

Indo Farming