A €7,000 prize fund is up for grabs in this year's Irish Forestry Awards, launched last week in the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin.
Sponsored by the Forestry Service, the awards are divided into two categories: Farm Forestry and Bio-Diverse Forestry/Woodlands.
Both categories are based on the need to grow trees profitably, while creating habitats for wildlife.
Winners in each category will receive €2,000, a perpetual trophy and an RDS silver medal. Each runner--up will receive a cheque for €1,000.
The Best New Entrant in each category will receive €500 and a certificate of merit, and this award is open to anyone who has not entered the competition before.
Speaking at the launch, Shane McEntee, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, said the aim of the competition was to recognise and reward those employing the principles of sustainable and commercial forestry.
The competition would also encourage even more people to become involved in an industry that showed huge potential and was already worth more than €1.65bn to the Irish economy, he added.
Application forms for the competition are available on the RDS website: www.rds.ie/agriculture or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The closing date for entries is Friday, July 29.