Best practice for burning a hot topic at Co. Cork seminar

Best practice for controlled burning was the main topic at an upland management event in Co. Cork yesterday, November 7.

The seminar, at Millstreet Country Park, Millstreet, was organised by Teagasc and the Forrest Service of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and was attended by over 80 landowners.

Fire safety and controlled burning were both up for discussion, as well as upland farming and environmental management.

As well as Teagasc and the Forest Service, the event was co-organised with the Cork Wildlife Co-operative Group (CWCG).

The nature, extent and frequency of land burning, and the habitats in which this activity occurs, are contentious issues and impact on overall land productivity.

“Reconciling the differing objectives of farming, forestry, safety, conservation, public recreation and limited emergency resources requires a clear understanding of each of these objectives and respective perceptions,” said Eugene Curran, of the Forest Service.

The event included a demonstration site, on which the attendees were shown the equipment that is, according to the Forest Service, necessary to carry out a controlled burn safely.

These included fire retardant clothing, beaters and fire drip torches; however, the attendees didn’t get to see a controlled fire in action due to “adverse weather conditions”.

The event was part of an ongoing programme of localised controlled burning demonstrations, which the CWCG has been organising with other bodies since 2011.

In previous years, organisations including the Irish Farmers’ Association, An Garda Siochana, Coillte and various local authorities have given their backing to the demonstrations.