Teagasc, in conjunction with Coillte and the Forest Service, DAFM, is organising two important demonstrations on windblow clearance and forest restoration. These two forestry events will provide guidance to forest owners whose plantations have suffered windblow damage.
These two events will take place on Tuesday, 8 April 2014: Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny and on Wednesday, 16 April 2014: Castleisland Town, Co Kerry.
The windblow followed storm force winds on 12 February which reached violent storm force 11 for a time in the south and west. Early indications suggest that somewhere between 5,000 and 7,000 hectares of both Coillte managed and privately owned forests, mainly concentrated in Munster and south Leinster, have been blown down.
Forest owners whose plantations have suffered windblow damage and those with plantations approaching thinning stage are invited to attend these important events.
Tom Houlihan, Forestry Adviser with Teagasc based in county Kerry said: “For forest owners who have experienced windblow, the most important advice is not to rush into decisions but to make a step-by-step plan to minimise risk and maximise the salvage value of the plantation. Most forests, despite being blown, can have considerable timber value.”
PJ Trait, Customer Services Team Leader with Coillte based in county Kilkenny outlined what participants can expect to see at these demonstrations: “The demonstrations will visit Coillte forests where an appropriate response plan is in place and windblow clearance operations are underway. Because of the unexpected, chaotic and dangerous nature of windblow a number of important issues arise for forest owners to factor into the recovery process.”
Issues that will be discussed during both events include:
- Health and Safety issues including risks assessment, safe work planning and responsibilities under H&S legislation.
- Harvesting Operations including felling licences, harvesting strategy, role of contractors and environmental protection.
- Marketing and Sale of windblown timber including timber categories and current prices, quality questions and timber dispatch protocols.
- Restocking including planning and site preparation, protecting against pine weevil, maintenance and costs.
- Issues in relation to insurance and taxation will also be discussed.
Teagasc, the Forest Service, Coillte and a number of forestry companies will have stands at the meeting venue where additional information and advice on a range of forestry topics will be available.
- Tuesday, 8 April 2014. Meet at the Rising Sun Guesthouse, Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny. Venue will be signposted from Exit 11 (New Ross/Mullinavat) off the M9, Dublin-Waterford motorway.
- Wednesday, 16 April 2014. Meet at An Riocht Health and Leisure Club, Craggeens, Castleisland Town, Co Kerry. Meeting point will be signposted in the town.
Arrive any time between 11 am and 12.30 pm. Guided tours will leave every twenty minutes, and the demonstration will take approximately 2.5 hours. This is an outdoor event so please bring appropriate footwear and raingear. All are welcome. Event is free.