Teagasc’s forestry advisory clinics start today (Monday) and run for the next two weeks at plenty of locations around the country.

These clinics could be great for farmers in light of a recent report which found that over 2.5m acres of land in Ireland is better suited to forestry than agriculture

The clinics are aimed at people who are considering forestry, or who are existing forest owners and are being organised by Teagasc’s Forestry Development Department.

These one-to-one consultations are being held between January 18 and 29.

The Forestry Programme 2014-2020 is now well underway and offers landowners new forest establishment options, according to Teagasc.

Dr Nuala Ni Fhlatharta, Head of Teagasc’s Forestry Development Department said that landowners consider forestry for many reasons, such as supplementing farm income, farm restructuring or developing a retirement fund.

“Any new farm enterprise can present many questions. The 2016 Teagasc Forestry Clinics are an ideal opportunity to flesh out the details of how forestry might work for you.”

Tom Houlihan, Forestry Adviser with Teagasc added that the current programme offers very attractive payments to all landowners.

It is also a great opportunity for farmers to understand the requirements of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and other farm schemes before establishing a forest.

A one-to-one forestry appointment with a Teagasc forestry adviser will provide landowners with free, confidential, independent and objective advice.

Here’s what you can find out at these clinics:

  • How a forest enterprise can improve farm and household income;
  • Discover the wide range of timber and non-timber benefits;
  • Learn about opportunities for non-farmers under the new forestry programme;
  • Investigate how planting interacts with other farm schemes such as BPS, GLAS, AEOS; and
  • How to get the job done right first time.

The 2016 Teagasc Forestry Clinics also present an opportunity for non-farmers who previously would have qualified for a lower ‘non-farmer’ premium.

Although the emphasis for the upcoming clinics is on new planting, existing forest owners, regardless of what stage their forest is at, can also avail of this opportunity to pick up valuable management tips, according to Teagasc.

Clinics will take place in local Teagasc offices between 10.00am and 4.00pm.

It advises those attending to please bring maps and other relevant information and prior booking is essential.

Places are limited and are filling up fast and it is an ideal opportunity to get answers to your forestry questions.