One of the highlights of the Irish timber growing calendar is the Irish Forestry, Woodland and Bio Energy Show which will be held at Stradbally Hall, Co Laois, the site of the Electric Picnic Festival, on May 10-11.
According to the ITGA's Donal Whelan, the forestry sector can make a major contribution to the economy, with economic output from the timber industry currently estimated to be €2.2bn.
In addition to the series of talks and presentations to be held in a conference centre at the show, the organisers have highlighted a number of other events, including:
• A lumberjack show, sponsored by Husqvarna, which will include 'timber sports' such as pole climbing, wood chopping and chainsaw racing;
nThe Husqvarna tree climbing championships, which will take place on both days of the show in a group of mature oak trees;
nThe Husqvarna chainsaw carving exhibition with Bill Blyth, a tree surgeon and artist who transforms trees into garden furniture or unique sculptures;
nThe Komatsu demonstration arena, featuring their new 865 forwarder – with speed contests over an obstacle course;
nA forest harvesting demonstration with John Deere's new IT4 harvester;
nA horse logging demonstration by Tom Nixon and Ross Jameson's Trojan heavy horse loggers, highlighting a form of harvesting and extraction that is making a comeback, especially in difficult and environmentally sensitive sites.
The show will also feature an eclectic mix of woodland crafts, artisan foods, machinery demonstrations and provide a showcase for relevant wildlife and conservation bodies.