North East Forestry Group


“It’s a wise man who plants trees whose shade he will never sit.”

North East Forestry Group

Navan  |  Co Meath  |  Republic of Ireland

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Established May 2013


The North East Forestry Group was formed with the support of Teagasc in May 2013.  It is open to forest owners in Cavan, Louth, Meath and Monaghan. 

Currently there are 37,360 hectares with 930 forest owners in the above counties.  The county breakdown is as follows:

  1. Bullet16,830 hectares in Cavan with 462 forest owners;

  2. News2,430 hectares in Louth with 45 forest owners;

  3. Home12,500 hectares in Meath with 259 forest owners; and

  4. About Us5,600 hectares in Monaghan with 164 forest owners.

The purpose of this Group, is to gather forest owners who are interested in maximising their forest’s potential return and, with the help of Teagasc, there can be a number of benefits:

  1. EventsGathering clusters of similar aged plantations, to get economies of scale in harvesting and seller of timber.

  2. NewsRunning various courses (e.g. chainsaw and first aid).

  1. Forest producers can pool knowledge of contractors and thinning procedures to achieve best return from their forests.

  2. The North East Forestry Group provides a number of field days and events, with expert speakers on various forest activities.

  3. We welcome all sizes and categories of forest and forest owners from the novice to the experienced.

  4. The North East Forestry Group are one of the only private owner groups in Ireland to achieve FSC Certification.

  5. We have run a very successful Knowledge Transfer Group (KTG) in 2018, where forest owners were paid to attend various workshops and field days to expand their knowledge and learn best practices in managing their forest.

Remember, forestry is a crop like any other,

and although longer growing, does need nurturing to achieve full potential.

North East Forestry Group gratefully acknowledges the support of Teagasc’s Forestry Development Department.(


Message from your Group’s Chairman

2020 will be remembered for generations to come as a momentous year for modern civilisation.  It will also be remembered by private forestry owners as a year which poor forward planning by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) Forestry Section led to a virtual halt to all licences for any forest activity.  This was a result of a huge anti-forestry campaign by individuals/groups with other agendas rather than environmental concerns, which was the basis for objectors.

The new Minister from the Green party, Pippa Hackett, has altered the objection criteria, but the damage has already been done with forestry now losing its allure for private landowners.

Your Group, the North East Forestry Group (NEFG) has taken on board members concerns and has repeatedly made representations to the DAFM for a solution to this crisis.  This has resulted in the formation of an umbrella group being formed of all the 13 private forest owner groups in Ireland.  We will now, hopefully, have influence at the highest level and be involved in all changes/proposals with regard to policy and funding for what is essentially our land and crops, which all other parts of the timber industry rely on for their business.  We will be launching this group in the near future.

Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the NEFG has had to postpone a number of proposed initiatives, which were planned for this year.  We did, however, have a field day at Stephen Clarke’s forest in Kells (limited to 15 members) in which Kevin O’Connell from Teagasc explained the criteria required to access the new Ash dieback treatment scheme.  This was very informative, but showed how difficult it was to identify the 10% lesions required to avail of the clear fell grant.  Subsequent to this, a number of members have applied for this grant using a Forester (Manus Crowley) who is doing other work for group members.

The 12 members of your Group who are FSC certified, also passed their annual audit and have maintained their group certificate.  We are hoping to open this to members next year, when we can meet in a more relaxed manner post Covid 19.

Four Group members now have succeeded into getting funding for a continuous cover initiative by the DAFM.  They have appointed Manus Crowley, who is a continuous cover specialist, to oversee this project.

Two members of your Group won awards in the RDS Forestry Awards.  Peter Farrelly (shown on the left here) from Kilmainham Wood, won the Forestry Production Award, with myself, John Sherlock (shown to the right here) from Navan as the runner up.

We urge you to enter this competition, as there is a significant prize fund, and of course, it was an honour to be considered.

The NEFG held a Knowledge Transfer Group (KTG) program which, unfortunately, had to be postponed to spring 2021.  However, we did manage to get in one of the meetings where we practiced social distancing.

We hope to also hold another KTG in summer/autumn of 2021

A video is currently being made of comparison between thinning hardwoods by conventional chainsaw methods and using a mechanical shears mounted on an excavator.  We have done a few trial runs of the excavator mounted shears in members’ plantations using Patrick Kelly, forestry contractor from Ardee.

We are looking for a suitable member’s site with good road access and a current felling licence, where we shear the trees and remove and chip for energy at the forest road.  This could be compared with some chainsaw work we have already done.  This will hopefully give comparisons with regard to cost, and what revenue the removed crop achieved. 

If you think you have a suitable site, please contact your nearest committee member, details of which can be found on the ‘About Us’ page.

Your Group’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) has been postponed and will be held as soon as it is safe to do so.  We will notify you when the date has been set.

We hope you all had a merry Christmas and wish you all a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year.

John Sherlock (Chairperson on behalf of the North East Forestry Group)