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Report to reveal forestry storm damage

A satellite survey of the 7,000 hectares of windblown forestry caused by the winter storms has been completed and the precise extent and cost of the storms to the forestry sector will be published within the next three weeks.

So far there is nothing to indicate that the original €100m estimate of the damage will be revised dramatically.

Most of the forests affected by windblow were in Clare, Galway, Kerry, Cork, Laois and Wexford.

Up to 1pc of our annual timber production from both Coillte and private growers was affected by the storms

The survey, which cost €80,000, was carried out by the Rapid Eye satellite company.

A task force that included the Irish Timber Growers Association, the Forestry Service, the Department of Agriculture, the Irish Forestry Products Association and the IFA, was established to assess the extent of the damage and see what measures could be introduced to alleviate the problems.

"This is the first time that all the partners in forestry joined forces in this way and, while I know that this type of satellite technology has a bad name among the farming community, it was suited to this particular job," said Donal Whelan of the Irish Timber Growers Association told the Farming Independent this week.

"It was the most feasible and pragmatic way of getting the information. I have to say the Department of Agriculture worked very well with the forestry industry on this project,'' Mr Whelan added.

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