Forestry discussion groups launched in the southwest
A forestry pilot project in the southwest which is establishing discussion groups for woodland owners is being launched this week.
The initiative is the brainchild of the Limerick and Tipperary Woodland Owners (LTWO) and aims, with the assistance of the Department of Agriculture, to develop the knowledge transfer group concept within the forestry sector.
The pilot project involves 30 growers in Limerick and 30 in Tipperary. A qualified forester will be hired on contract to host the farm walks, advise the growers and act as a facilitator for the discussion group meetings.
The project is being launched tomorrow in Hollyford, Co Tipperary by the Minister of State for Forestry, Andrew Doyle.
Colum Walsh of the LTWO said the project aimed to develop a forestry knowledge base that currently didn't exist among growers.
He pointed out that his father planted marginal land back in the 1990s but there was no tradition of forestry in the family for the previous three generations.
Walsh said there were hundreds of farmers in Limerick and Tipperary with very valuable plantations who are unable to value them or manage then correctly.
He said the pilot project would help build the necessary skills and expertise to enable growers to maximise the returns from their woodland.