Forestry students of University College Dublin (UCD) are hosting a free online seminar on agroforestry next Wednesday (March 10).

Taking place from 1:00pm to 3:30pm, speakers on the day will cover the benefits of agroforestry “from foresters’ point of view, the experience from a farmer’s perspective, environmental benefits and an explanation of how to go about getting started, including grants”.

Agroforestry is the practice of growing trees on agricultural land in conjunction with grazing or crops. While a relatively new practice, it has been seen as an attractive proposition for farmers, providing a secondary income stream while offering advantages for animals and/or crops, according to the UCD students involved with this event

Some of the advantages are “improved soil, extended grazing times and increased biodiversity without productivity being adversely impacted”.

Topics and speakers

An introduction to agroforestry by Rachel Irwin

Irwin previously worked as an environmental and ecological consultant. Her current research project focuses on small woodlands on dairy and drystock farms and the potential ambition of woodland measures in the post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

A forester’s perspective by Joe Codd

Codd works as the business development director within Veon, leading sales and client-relationship management and tracking new markets and emerging trends, among other responsibilities. He is currently sitting on the board of the Society of Irish Foresters as a technical councillor and also the board of Forestry Careers Ireland.

A farmer’s perspective by Henry O’Donnell

O’Donnell is an agricultural consultant and is currently working on a European Innovation Partnership (EIP) project to encourage grazing of the uplands of Inishowen in Co. Donegal.

An environmental perspective by Dr. Helen Sheridan

Dr. Sheridan is a lecturer and assistant professor at the School of Agriculture and Food Science at UCD. Presently, she is a lecturer in farm landscape ecology and agri-environmental policy.

How agroforestry works – grants, etc, by Eugene Curran

Curran studied Forestry in UCD and graduated in 1983 and went on to complete a Masters in Forestry and was conferred in 1988. Over the last 11 years, he has developed the agroforestry measure which is currently under the Afforestation Scheme.

You can sign up to the event here.