There is a “strong interest among landowners in creating new forests”, Teagasc has claimed.

During February and March, a number landowners have participated in three one-hour online workshops “Planting a new forest – Getting started”, organised by Teagasc’s Forestry Development Department.

These workshops were designed to offer participants an understanding of “what a new forest can offer, learn what’s involved and how to get started in the planting process”, Teagasc says.

Close to 600 people registered for these workshops and each session had over 300 participants, Teagasc says.

Commenting on attendance, Dr. Nuala Ni Fhlatharta, head of Teagasc’s Forestry Development Department, said:

“There is a strong interest among landowners in creating new forests, as evidenced by the numbers participating in the workshops.

There is an increasing awareness of the multiple benefits that a forest can provide on a farm; including a secure annual income from premium payments, a pension pot for the future from timber sales and an on-farm natural resource for amenity and enhanced biodiversity.

Noel Kennedy, forestry development officer with Teagasc said:

“There has been a very positive response to the workshops.

“The online model of workshop delivery using Zoom worked well – both technologically and more importantly as an effective means of interacting with landowners to provide the information they need about planting a new forest.

I believe also that being able to join the workshops from the comfort of your own home contributed to a positive atmosphere generating many questions and lively discussions.

These establishment workshops will be followed in April by a nationwide series of workshops focusing on the management of a young farm forest.

The April workshops will use the same delivery methods and format, Teagasc has confirmed.