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

Please click here to send us an e-mail.


Established May 2013

 

Japanese Larch Disease Update

A disease has devastated a plantation of 16,000 trees in Gougange Barra National Forest Park in West Cork.  The disease, Sudden Oak Death, is caused by a species of fungus like organism called Phytopthora ramorum.

How to spot the symptoms of Sudden Oak Death:

  1. Bulletdead and partially dying trees dispersed throughout the forest

  2. Japanese Larchdepending on the degree of infection, the top of the tree will be turning grey or reddish brown

  3. Homepossible needle wilt, irregular shoot growth, branch and shoot dieback, weeping resin and/or heavy cone production

The National Park has closed, and Coillte has moved in with harvesting equipment to fell the diseased trees - this could take up to 6 months (with a reopening date of June 2014).  The forest will be replanted.


Thankfully, the timber can be used and is being processed in licensed sawmills.  The timber will be kept separate and the waste incinerated.


Coillte has tested 29 other sites so far.  It was originally found in the Galtee Mountains in 2010 in wild Rhododendron.  It resulted in 17 infected sites, which were ultimately felled.  This disease spreads rapidly and has also been found in South Tipperary, Wicklow and Kilkenny.


This, along with the more recent Ash Dieback disease (please see the article below) is causing a lot of concern among forestry owners across Ireland.  The Department of Agriculture has advised vigilance amongst forestry owners.

Healthy Japanese Larch

Hopefully, these diseases will not affect the new and existing private plantations across Ireland, which are now coming to fruition after many years of waiting and caring for a crop that is truly in harmony with our rural landscape.

Ash Die Back Disease

News from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Availability of Current Forest Road Scheme

Press Release dated 19 March 2014

Tom Hayes, TD..., confirmed today that the terms and conditions of the current Forest Road Scheme will continue to apply to applications financially approved up to and including 30 June 2014, with 31 March 2014 being the deadline for submission of applications under the current Scheme. ...’

Please click below for the full Press Release

Current Forest Road Scheme.pdf

Information provided by the Forestry Development Officer, Teagasc

Forest Service Forest Fire Risk Warning System 2014

‘Forest Fire Risk Warnings are issued as circulars periodically during the main wildfire risk season from February through to July.  These warnings provide forest owners and managers with advance warning of high risk weather conditions, and permit appropriate readiness and mitigation measures to be taken in advance of fire outbreaks.  ...’

Please click the link below for the full details:

Forest Service Wildfire Risk Warning System 2014.pdf

Information provided by the Forestry Development Officer, Teagasc

Forest Fire Risk Warning

Condition Yellow - Moderate Hazard Alert

Article written by Bob Gogarty (Committee Member)

Planning a Forest Thinning

Most new enterprises in farming are an adventure, as it was for us when we decided to plant our forestry in 1995.  We identified an area of land of approximately 2½ acres that was not good land and obtained advice from Teagasc regarding species, fencing and planting.


Coillte looked after the mounding and planting of trees which were Ash, we did all the fencing.


As it was a small area, we did the maintenance and replacement of plants that did not grow.  Our forest grew quite well and we decided to prune our trees, but we gave ourselves a lot of work, as we pruned every tree instead of picking out the good ones and leaving the rest to grow naturally.


In 2012, we obtained a felling licence, from the Department of Agriculture, to thin and high prune our trees - this we did ourselves.  We cut out every 7th row to allow machinery access to take out the tree thinnings.  We also knocked down all crooked and forked trees from rows that were left.  All timber for being removed was cut into 8 foot lengths, our method of taking out was by tractor and buckrake. 


Let me outline some of the mistakes we made:


  1. Ash Die Back DiseaseToo much pruning

By taking out every 7th row when thinning, we were sometimes cutting out a row beside a drain, this left it awkward when taking the timber, as the tractor was inclined to slip into the drain.  In some cases, it would be better to leave 7 rows and cut the 8th.

  1. Ash Die Back DiseaseTree butts cut too high

If the trees were cut too high from the ground on the paths, and as the tracks of the tractor lowered, the butts would catch the bottom of the tractor.

In outlining some of the mistakes that were made, I hopefully benefit someone that is thinking of planning their forest thinning.


This is why groups like this can be beneficial to everyone.  We can consult each other and find out the best methods to manage our forests.

Kevin O’Connell, from Teagasc, has kindly provided the following link, as a few people were interested in hurley ash at the field day at the end of March.


The DVD was ‘produced by the GAA, Teagasc and the Irish Guild of Ash Hurley Makers - 2011’.  Please click on the following link and scroll down the Teagasc webpage to view the video:

The Art of Hurley Making - ‘From Ash to Clash’

Please click on the following link for full details:

Ash Dieback Findings

The following is information on Ash Dieback from The Forest Service Website:

http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/forestservice/ashdiebackchalara/

Ash Dieback Reminder

The disease Ash Dieback, is affecting woodland in Ireland.  The disease is not harmful to people or animals, however, it can kill Ash trees.

How to spot the symptoms of Ash Dieback:

  1. About Usblackening of leaves which will often hang on the tree

  2. Eventsdiscoloured stems often in a diamond shape where the leaf was attached

  3. Ash Die Back Diseasedead branches

To help stop either of the detailed diseases spreading any further:

  1. Before visiting other places, clean mud and leaves from all footwear, pushchairs, bikes, cars, dogs and horses

  2. BulletDo not remove branches, leaves or wood from this area

Please contact your nearest Teagasc office to notify them if you do spot any of these signs.  Please DO NOT take in specimens to their offices.

Ash Die Back Disease

The following update (as at 31 March 2016) on Ash Dieback disease confirmed findings in Ireland has been provided by Teagasc:

Update on Ash Dieback Disease as at 31 Mar 2016.pages.pdf

Forest Certification and Private Forests

As production from private forests increases, certification will facilitate market access...

The conference, held on June 30th in the Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, was launched by Minister of State for Forestry, Andrew Doyle TD and had a capacity audience comprised of private timber growers, forest owner groups, forestry companies, state agencies and timber processors.

Marie Doyle, of University College Dublin (UCD) Forestry has written a good article on the certification of private forests in Ireland.

Please click on the following link for the full article Forest Certification and Private Forests Article.pdf

Ash Die Back Disease
About Us
Events
Bullet

Information Updates from Teagasc

The following link is to the Master contract for Timber Sales on the Forestry Development Section of the Teagasc website.

‘A project undertaken by the Irish Timber Growers Association to facilitate and encourage the management of woodlands by providing a template Master Tree Sales Agreement for use by growers in standing timber sales.’:

Other information that will be of benefit to people that intent to harvest can also be found at:

Teagasc Advisory Newsletter

Simply click on the following link to view the April 2020 edition of the Teagasc Advisory Newsletter:  Teagasc Advisory Newsletter

Included ‘in this month’s edition:

Irish Farmers Journal

Our Group was mentioned in an Irish Farmers’ Journal article by Donal Magner on 22 September, ‘Private Growers and Forest Certification.

Mr Magner reports that the North East Forestry Group and the Forestry Owners Co-operative Society of Cork are taking part in the pilot project for Forest Certification.  An update of this will be given at this year’s Annual General Meeting taking place on 20 October in the Teagasc Navan Office (details of which can be found on our ‘Events’ page).

Minister Doyle Launches Timber Forecast & GIS Portal

Andrew Doyle, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for Forestry, today launched the All Ireland Roundwood Production Forecast 2016-2035.  A demonstration of the Department’s new GIS Portal, which displays Timber Production Forecast results geographically, was also provided at the launch.....

Please click on the following link for the full press release dated 19th October 2016:

Minister Doyle Launches Timber Forecast & GIS Portal (19 Oct 2016).pdf

European Investment Bank Press Releases

The European Investment Bank and Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) have agreed to back a new initiative expected to support €112 million of new investment in privately owned forests across Ireland.  ....

Please click on the following link for the full press release dated 3 February 2017:

European Investment Bank and ISIF confirm multi-million backing.pdf

Minister Doyle Welcomes Initiative to Facilitate Forest Certification

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle, T.D., with responsibility for forestry, has welcomed the development of a template for private forest owners to establish certification groups.  ....

Please click on the following link for the full press release dated 28th November 2016:

Forest Certification Announcement 28 Nov 2016.pdf

The European Investment Bank today confirmed details for the first EIB support for forestry related investment in Ireland in 20 years.  The new €90 million long-term loan from the European Investment Bank will be used to finance the cost of planting, forest management and forest road construction and maintenance by Ireland’s state-owned, commercial forestry company Coillte over the next four years.  ....

Please click on the following link for the full press release dated 3 February 2017:

European Investment Bank confirms €90 million backing for Coillte forest investment.pdf

Forestry Sector Development - COFORD Division

Newsletter Volume 17 Number 1, 2017

The link below is to the latest edition:

COFORD Division Newsletter Vol 17-1-2017.pdf

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Press Release

1 March 2017

Doyle launches pilot Forestry Knowledge Transfer Group

... “Management of your forest asset enhances your ability to derive a good return.  While there are a number of support schemes available from my Department such as the Forest Roads Scheme, my Department is also seeking to assist forest owners in other ways.” ...

Please click on the link below to take you to the full Press Release:

Press Release 1 Mar 2017.pdf

To see Issue 123, 25 September 2020 edition - please click on the following link:  Teagasc Forestry e-News

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Press Release

17 May 2017

Minister Doyle Updates on Burnt Agricultural and Forestry Land


Department Investigating all of the Recent Incidents of Illegal Burning of Land


Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle, T.D., today provided an update on the issue of the recent illegal burning on agricultural and forestry land that has led to the outbreak of serious fires in various counties throughout the country.  This update follows Minister Doyle’s recent visit to the site of the recent gorse fires in Cloosh Valley...


Please click on the link below to take you to the full Press Release:

Burnt Ag Land (17 May 2017).pdf

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Forestry Act

We have been passed the following information from Teagasc:

The implementation of the Forestry Act.  Site notices must be erected for afforestation and felling.  There are new conditions for felling trees and new procedures in applying for a felling licence.

Please click on the following links for information:

  1. About UsCircular 08 of 2017 Commencement of Forestry Act 2014 - Further Informat....pdf

  2. Ash Die Back DiseaseSI 191 of 2017 Forestry Regulations 2017.pdf

  3. New Tree Felling Requirements Information Note.pdf

  4. BulletSite Notice Afforestation 09052017.pdf

  5. BulletSite Notice Felling 05042017.pdf

Forestry Certification Update and New Website Launch

As a major milestone for the certification project approaches, namely the audit of the woodlands, a training day was held in Navan to prepare the owners for the audits and beyond.

Article written by Des Drew (Committee Member)

The day was run, jointly, by Commercial Forestry Services and UKFCG with attendees from Teagasc, The Forestry Company and The Forest Service.  The first part of the day looked at the reports from the pre assessment audits and considered any issues or problems that needed to be discussed and set right for the main audit.  There was good interaction and some robust debate.  The afternoon session focussed on particular FSC requirements such as lone working rules, use of pesticides and all the information/records to be kept and how best to complete all the information needed.

The highlight of the day was a presentation by Mechteld Schuller, who updated us on the progress of the project and who demonstrated a new website which she developed for rolling out certification across the country in future years.  The project itself is ahead of schedule.  This certification website is now available to anyone interested in getting their woodland certified and is a fabulous source of general forestry guidance and information.  It can be seen at www.groupcertification.ie


Next step is the public consultation and then onto the audit and hopefully certification of our woodlands by April or so.


Do take a look at the website which is a great resource for all woodland owners in our North East Forestry Group and in Ireland.

Calculating a Stand’s Yield Class

The concept of yield class is often mentioned by foresters, but not always understood by the layman. 

The growth of a tree may be measured in terms of height, diameter, volume or weight, but volume is the most meaningful for management purposes.

Please open the following link for the full article:

https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/calculating-a-stands-yield-class-29078900.html

The following article was written by William Merivale for the independent.ie:

Felling Decision Tool

The Felling Decision Tool provides guidance to forest owners on when to fell their forest to obtain the best return from their forest asset.  The tool can be accessed through the following link:

http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/forestservice/forestservicegeneralinformation/foreststatisticsandmapping/fellingdecisiontool/

There is an accompanying COFORD Connects Note for guidance Felling Decision Tool - Conifers

For further details on the Felling Decision Tool, please contacted John Redmond directly by clicking on the following link:  John Redmond

FOROWN is a project funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, which is looking at forest owner engagement in the management of their forests.  UCD Forestry along with Teagasc, are partners in the project.

As part of this project, Evelyn Stoettner and Aine Ni Dhubhain, from UCD Forestry, are trying to understand how talking and interacting with other owners in a small group influences a forest owner’s opinion on forestry related issues.  They have undertaken some social network analysis work with the Knowledge Transfer certification group of the North East Forestry Group.  This group have been surveyed on two occasions to determine the forestry related interactions between the group members (i.e. who turns to who to discuss issues) and their opinion on forestry related topics.

The amalgamated results will be available to the group when the study is completed by the end of this year.

Evelyn and Aine very much appreciate the participation of the group members.

FOROWN Project (Irish Private Forest Owners)

UCD (University College Dublin) Forestry

The role of knowledge transfer and social networks.

RDS Spring Awards 2020

- promoting sustainable farming and living in Ireland

It is with great pleasure that we can let you know there were awards given to two of your Group Members in the 2020 Production Forestry Award:

Ash dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus)

Any owner who has Ash as a forest crop, can you please check to see if there are signs or symptoms of Ash Dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus).  The following clips will help you in the identification of the disease:

  1. BulletPlease click here for reporting, by e-mail, Ash dieback to the Forest Service. 

  2. Include your name and address and your contract number with your e-mail.  Ideally, a photograph of the disease should also be attached to your e-mail.

  3. BulletThe disease can also be reported by phoning 01 607 2651.

  4. BulletThere is also a very good app which can be used, please click on the following link TreeCheck


The following link is to the Forest Service’s website on the disease:

https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/forestservice/treediseases/ashdiebackchalara

Information from our Forestry Development Officer

Teagasc Forestry e-News

‘The Making of a Rye River Seasonal’

Some Spruce tips were used from one of the North East Forest Certification Club member’s forest (Martin Barrett from Athboy) to flavour a new limited edition small batch beer for the Rye River Brewing company based in Celbridge. 


Please click on the following link to learn more:  Rye River Seasonal

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine - Forestry

Press Release 21 January 2019

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle, T.D., today announced a public call by his Department for proposals in the area of forestry promotion.  The call is encouraging innovative proposals which will highlight the multifunctional benefits of forestry in Ireland over the next two years.

Doyle announces call for proposals for promotion of forestry in Ireland.

Please click on the following link for the full press release Press Release 21 January 2019.pdf

Please Note:  The deadline for submissions of proposals in response to the Call was 1pm on 1 March 2019.


Proposals were to be e-mailed to the Department of Agriculture by 1pm on Friday 1 March 2019 - XXXXXXXXXXXX.

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine - Forestry

New Grants

This Grant is for forest owners who wish to convert their forest to continuous cover over a period of twelve years.


There will be three payments of €750 per hectare, for three separate interventions.  The scheme is limited to thirty projects initially.


Please click on the following link for more details Element 2, Woodland Improvement Scheme - Continuous Cover Forestry or contact your local Teagasc Forestry Advisor.

Element 2, Woodland Improvement Scheme - Continuous Cover Forestry

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Reconstitution of Woodland Scheme (Drought)

Circular 05/2019 dated 15 April 2019

Ireland was significantly impacted by drought conditions over the summer months of 2018.  Replanting of these losses and maintenance of required forestry standards following drought damage presents a significant financial challenge to forest owners and their foresters.  For that reason, this Reconstitution of Woodland Scheme (Drought) is introduced to offer financial support for affected owners and their foresters.

Please click on the following link for the full circular Circular 05 2019 Reconstitution of Woodland Scheme (Drought).pdf

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle T.D., today announced the opening of the Forestry Knowledge Transfer Group (KTG) Scheme 2019.


Minister Doyle, said, “The Forestry KTG Scheme 2018 was very successful, with positive feedback from the over 600 farmers and forest owners taking part all over the country.  I am therefore delighted to open the Scheme again for 2019 and hope to see a similar level of participation this year.  Knowledge Transfer Groups are a well-established method of sharing knowledge and best practice.  They provide participants with the essential tools to mobilise their valuable timber resource and help to maximise the income from their holding.”


Further details and application forms can be found on the DAFM website at:  by clicking here.’  (Please follow this link - not the link contained on the following KTG Press Release link.)

Please click on the following link for the full press release:  KTG Press Release 28 May 2019.pdf

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Doyle Announces Opening of Forestry Knowledge Transfer Group Scheme 2019

Press Release 28 May 2019

‘Minister of State of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Andrew Doyle T.D., today announced the publication of the Department’s annual Forest Statistics Report for 2019.  This Report is prepared annually by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.


Launching the report, the Minister commented, “‘Forest Statistics - Ireland 2019’ is an annual compilation of statistics on the forest estate and the forest industry in Ireland.  It is the definitive compendium of up-to-date information on forestry in Ireland and is the go-to-reference document for anybody interested in the subject. ...”’


The Report is available on the Department’s website, by clicking on the following link:  Forest Statistics Ireland 2019

Please click on the following link for the full press release:  Forest Statistics Report 2019 Press Release 29 May.pdf

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Doyle Announces Publication of DAFM’s ‘Forest Statistics Ireland 2019’ Report

Press Release 29 May 2019

‘Application stage


All licence applications for afforestation, forest, road works, felling and aerial fertilisation are screened by the Department for Appropriate Assessment under Article 6.3 of the Habitats Directive and SI 477 of 2011.  Where, having reviewed the application, the Department cannot rule out the possibility of a significant effect on a Natura Site (i.e. a SAC or SPA) it will require the submission of a Natura Impact Statement (NIS) from the applicant.  On receipt of the NIS, the Department will carry out an Appropriate Assessment. ...’

Please click on the following link for the full circular:  Circular 08 2019 Appropriate Assessment.pdf

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Appropriate Assessment

Circular dated 23 May 2019

Please click on the following link for ‘Appendix 20’ referred to in the above Circular:

ForestryStandManNov15050116_NIS_section_appendix.pdf

‘At the conference ‘Our Forests, Our Future’, Commissioner Hogan announced a potential initiative to encourage Member States to reach the ambitious environmental policy objectives of the post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) proposals.  The initiative proposes to reward farmers with payments for the afforestation of one hectare.

In his keynote speech, Commissioner Hogan announced the idea of a “one hectare initiative”, which would be supported through the CAP.  Under their future CAP Strategic Plans, Member States will have the option to reward farmers with payments per farm for the afforestation of one hectare.  This afforestation should be done in a biodiversity-friendly way, contributing to climate and environmental objectives.

This initiative can be programmed through Rural Development Funding and could help Member States to meet their climate and biodiversity objectives.  It would be another practical example of farmers providing public goods with public support.  In order to limit the administrative burden for beneficiaries and public authorities, a lump-sum payment per year and per hectare could be offered to each participating farmer over the next budget period.

Such an initiative could significantly contribute to the creation of valuable ecosystem services, such as water retention and flood and soil erosion control.  It would also provide significant biodiversity benefits, such as shelter and connectivity.

Commissioner Hogan encouraged Member States to take up this initiative, as it would contribute to the achievement of environmental targets and help safeguard our public goods, including forests.  He said...

“The future CAP provides the opportunity, but the political will to implement this initiative must come from the Member States.  Hence, I hope you will spread the word.”’

‘One Hectare Initiative’

Commissioner Hogan announced a potential initiative at Forestry Conference

McKinnon Report

The McKinnon Report, which was released by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is a review on the current state of Irish Forestry.

It makes very interesting reading, as it addresses some of the fundamental difficulties which are affecting private forest owners who are wishing to do necessary work on their existing plantations.

Committee Members of your Group (The North East Forestry Group) attended some of the consultation meetings with Mr James McKinnon, along with other forest group representatives.

We will discuss these findings and other matters at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the new year.

Please click on the following link for the report:  McKinnon Report

Your Forestry Group - Spring 2020

Message from Kevin O’Connell

Remember your safety is very important, so please put a system in place to protect yourself while in the wood.

Kevin O’Connell

Forestry Development Department

Teagasc

Mobile:  087 121 6159

Please click here to contact Kevin by e-mail.

Hello to everyone, I hope you and your families are keeping well and are copying with the lockdown during this Covid 19 pandemic.

Like most of you, I am resigned to work from home for the next couple of weeks.  I’m still open for business, as they say, to take phone calls and e-mails, but no visits.

I was talking to some of the North East Forestry Group (NEFG) Committee and we discussed how we could get members to interact with each other and to get involved with their forests/woodlands.  I decided I would write an informal article on jobs to be done and maintenance in the forest.  I thought that people may now have time on their hands and are out about in their woods, so why not carry out some jobs or at least plan for jobs into the future.  It may keep you healthier and a little sane in the process.

I’m not over familiar with methods of getting my message across like blogs, etc, I don’t want to set up a WhatApp group as I have learned from past experience they quickly morph off into something different.  If members have any ideas, please let me know, but remember there is a good variation in age and technological ability within the group, so as they say down the country “ground hurling, keep it simple”.

Talking to your Group’s Chairman, John Sherlock, he came up with a suggestion that members could submit a short description of what jobs or issues they have their in forests/woodlands.  These could be shared with other members who may have done something similar and indeed have solutions to particular problems. 

Best of luck to the ’12 Apostles’ in the Forest Certification Club with their imminent desk top audit.

The weather is good at the moment and is set to continue for at least the next week, so wrap up and out you go!

In my next instalment, I’ll give guidelines on lone working in your wood.  I’ll also take a look at maintenance operation that can be carried out.

Please click on the following link for guidelines for the forestry industry during this Covid 19 pandemic:  Forest Industry Guidelines (C19).pdf

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Minister Creed Issues Strong Warning Against Any Illegal Burning of Land

Press Release 27 March 2020

and

Fire Danger Notice - Condition Orange

...Michael Creed T.D. has issued a strong warning to landowners not to carry out any illegal burning of land.

... “Given the current emergency arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that no one should start an illegal fire in the countryside.  Such activity will cause the unnecessary diversions of emergency service resources.  Wildfires put homes and livelihoods at direct risk and cause considerable disruption to rural communities and habitats.  At any time, but particularly in the current emergency, such disturbance to rural dwellers, including those who are old and vulnerable, cannot be permitted under any circumstances.”...

Please click on the following link for the full Press Release:  DAFM Press Release 27 March 2020.pdf

Also issued on 27 March, was the following Fire Notice:  Fire Danger Notice 02 of 2020 - Condition Orange.pdf

Your Forestry Group - Risk Assessments

Message from Kevin O’Connell

Hello to everyone, just to be clear about working in your forests/woodlands, we will have to adhere to our Government’s conditions for the lockdown, i.e. categorising the work as necessary and not travel more than 2km from home.  People will have to interpret these conditions for themselves.

If it is your decision to work at different tasks in your forest/woodlands, please follow the pointers I have highlighted below.  If you see any omissions that you think should be added, please do so:

  1. BulletFollow the Covid 19 guidelines for working.

  2. BulletDo not work alone, if possible have someone with you, remember for the moment, it must be a household family member.

  3. BulletIf working alone, put in place procedures to ensure your safety.

  4. BulletDo not use machinery/tools that you are not trained in, e.g. chainsaws.

  5. BulletAlways have the appropriate personal protective equipment for the task.

  6. BulletCarry out a risk assessment for the task (see below).

  7. BulletPut a checklist in place for yourself.

Risk assessments are a common sense approach to what risks there are onsite and for the task to be carried out.  It allows you to identify and document foreseeable events.  If the risk assessment shows it is not possible for the work to be done safely, then do not do it.

The following link is a sample of a risk assessment I did for a high pruning:  Site Specific Risk Assessment (sample).pdf

Please click on the following link for a blank risk assessment:  Site Specific Risk Assessment.pdf

Remember if working alone make a checklist for yourself, to include the following:

  1. BulletA mobile phone that is fully charged - make sure there is coverage.

  2. BulletHave periodic check procedures in place with someone at home, ring on arrival, ring at a set time (every two hours) and most importantly when you are leaving.

  3. BulletCarry a first aid kit.

  4. BulletAlways wear hi-vis clothing.

  5. BulletIf you have a known medical condition, make sure you carry any necessary medication with you.

Leave a copy of the risk assessment and checklist with the designated person at home.

Kevin O’Connell

Forestry Development Department

Teagasc

Mobile:  087 121 6159

Please click here to contact Kevin by e-mail.

Group Update

Your Group had great intentions to host various subgroup events and field trips this year, but due to the Covid 19 pandemic all have been put on hold.

We have decided to try and keep in contact with our members by starting a new Forest Owners’ Diary section of our website.  We would invite members to write a small piece, preferably including photographs, on any work they have done in the last 6/12 month period at their own forest/woodland.

We are looking for a simple piece of your own experience, good or bad.  If you would please e-mail it to us by clicking on the following link here, we would really appreciate the input.

  1. BulletAsh dieback (Chalara)

The North East Forestry Group were invited to a meeting with the Forest Service and Minister Doyle with regard to the proposed Ash dieback scheme.  There were also representatives from other forest owner groups, along with the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

There was a robust discussion, during which it was pointed out that the proposed scheme only paid for the treatment and replanting, but NOT compensating the forest owners for loss of growth on what is a valuable timber.  It was proposed by the owner groups’ representatives, along with the IFA, that the forest owners’ premiums must be restarted for the full-term (20 years) from the date of when the Ash dieback treatment was carried out - this was rejected out of hand by Minister Doyle. 

After the meeting, the forest owners’ representatives, along with the IFA, decided that we would all stand together to push for the restarting of premiums to be included in the long awaited Ash dieback treatment scheme.

  1. BulletContinuous Cover Forestry (CCF) Pilot Scheme

Four members of your Group applied to take part in this scheme last year - we are still awaiting confirmation from the Forest Service.

We will up date you when we hear any news.

  1. BulletForest Certification Club

The North East Forest Certification Club have continued to maintain their Forest Certification without support from any institution, state or otherwise.  This is due to the determination of our 12 members who have maintained their forests to this high standard, along with sharing the financial burden of maintaining their Certificate - hats off to the 12 members!

The good news, is that 3 members who have thinned recently, have received a premium for some of their certified timber coming out of their forest.  This was only achieved by strong negotiation and getting various quotes from different harvesting companies/sawmills.  Please remember this when you are considering selling your timber.  Also, maybe ask around other members who have recently thinned.

  1. BulletTimber Prices

Your Group are continuing to put prices up on this website (please click here to take you to your ‘Notice Board’ page, then scroll down to the bottom of the page).

If you have recently sold timber, would you please share the details with either Owen Cooney or Peter Farrelly (please click here for your ‘About Us’ page which will show you their contact details).  Please Note:  Your name or area will not be shown.

  1. BulletAsh dieback (Chalara)/Hardwood Subgroup

Two of our committee members, Jeffrey Schraven and Jeremy Finegan, are now co-ordinating both these groups.

We feel that as most forestry owners will have hardwood, including Ash, it makes sense to combine both groups.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact either Jeffrey or Jeremy directly (please click here for your ‘About Us’ page, which will show their contact details).

When the present crisis is over, we will meet up and continue to enjoy growing quality timber in our woodlands, along with all the health benefits this also brings as a bonus.

Article written by John Sherlock (Group Chairman)

  1. BulletThe value of taking a walk.

  2. BulletSeasonal management tips.

  3. BulletBasic Payment Scheme (BPS) and forestry - main points.

  4. BulletKeep in touch!

The Forest Service has issued the following RED fire warning notice.

Please click on the following link for the notice:

Fire Danger Notice 08b of 2020 Condition Red.pdf

Fire Forest Danger Rating

Condition RED - Extreme Fire Risk - Take Immediate Action

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) (Forestry Division) has announced details of the new support scheme for plantations impacted by Ash dieback disease, the Reconstitution and Under-planting scheme (RUS scheme) this week:

Reconstitution and Under-planting Scheme (RUS)

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Forest Division) have invited applicants under the Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF) Scheme to make applications for support under this scheme.

With reference to Circular 01/2019 and 07/2020, applications for support under the above scheme are now being accepted.  The scheme will run until the end of the Forestry Programme 2014 - 2020.  The Scheme is open to those who wish to choose CCF to mange Ash Dieback or where the adoption of an alternative silvicultural system to clear-fell is clearly stated as being a management objective. ...

Please click on the following link for the full circular:  Circular 08 2020 Support for CCF.pdf

RDS Spring Awards

The Irish Forest and Woodland Awards - Call for Entries 2020/21

With a prize fund of €9,000 the awards promote the economic, environmental and social benefits of good forestry and farming.  From magnificent historic woodlands, to innovative commercial forests, the awards reveal inspiring examples of the benefits and diversity of forestry in Ireland  The RDS is proud to play its role in highlighting the best in Irish forest and woodland management and showcase the vast potential that forestry offers rural Ireland.

In addition to receiving a specially commissioned trophy, the winner in each category will receive a cheque for €2,000.  Each runner-up will receive €1,000 and an RDS Certificate of Merit.’

There are three prize categories for the Awards:

  1. BulletProduction Forestry Award

  2. BulletTeagasc Farm Forestry Award

  3. BulletCommunity Woodlands Award


Everyone with woodland is encouraged to enter, as all woodlands, large or small, are of merit. ... Having the judges visit your woodlands is one of the great benefits of entering the awards, as they are experienced foresters and can advise in the development of your woodlands.


For more information, please click on the following link:  RDS Spring Awards


Please Note:  The deadline for submissions is Friday 31 July 2020.

Support for Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF) Scheme

  1. 1.Summary document outlining the options available to Ash plantation owners.

  2. 2.New Scheme Document (RUS scheme) which describes the Reconstitution and Under-planting Options open to the Forest Owner.

  3. 3.New Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the evaluation of levels of stem damage (with field sheet).

Some of the main changes to note are as follows:

  1. BulletDAFM no longer requires a laboratory positive from an Ash plantation in order for the owner to gain access to DAFM support schemes.

  2. BulletPlantations are no longer subject to statutory plant health felling and disposal requirements. 

  3. BulletApplications under the RUS Scheme are exempt from the felling licence requirement.

  4. BulletApplications for the WIS and other schemes require a felling licence.

  5. BulletApplications for Categories 2b and 2c of the RUS Scheme must be field assessed using the new procedure described in the attached SOP.

  6. BulletAll applications must be screened for Appropriate Assessment.

  7. BulletSite biosecurity should be observed.

Our Forestry Development Officer, Kevin O’Connell, has asked us to pop up the attached information note regarding frost damage in one to four year old plantations.

Please click on the following link for details:  Frost damage 2020.pdf

Frost Damage in One to Four Year Old Plantations

For Volume 10 Issue 1 Spring/Summer 2020 - please click on the following link: 

Forestry & Energy Review

Forestry & Energy Review Magazine

Our Forestry Development Officer, Kevin O’Connell, has asked us to pop up the attached information note regarding frost damage in older plantations.

Please click on the following link for details:  Frost Damage in Older Plantations.pdf

Frost Damage in Older Plantations

News

Runner Up - John Sherlock of Navan, Co Meath

Winner - Peter Farrelly of Kells, Co Meath

Congratulations to both parties - all that hard work was worth it!

Peter said,

‘The forestry sector as a whole will greatly benefit from raised awareness and education into the future.  Most relevant to this in relation to my own forest in recent years, has been the knowledge and information which I have gotten from the discussions within the North East Forestry Group.  These have helped shape the way my forest is planned and managed.

As governments and major groups worldwide begin to focus on environmental impacts and carbon emissions, the forestry sector will, I feel, only become more important as the primary way of storing carbon in this country.

Focusing on sustainability is the only way this can and will be achieved forward into future generations.

Coming from a long line of farmers, I have benefitted by inheriting sustainable methods, which I would hope I am only improving on for future generations.  By ensuring that my forest is managed properly and produces the best quality product, I am confident the timber leaving it can be used for a variety of building materials, as well as an energy source for a long time to come.’

John said,

‘I am thrilled to be given this prestigious award.

As a private woodland owner, I would like to see development of a forest industry providing the raw material in both hardwoods and softwoods as being an integral part of future farming.

Our woodlands, which was originally planted by my late father, Pat Sherlock, has developed from an alternative use of poor land, into a regular source of income, along with being an amenity my family can use.  It is a delight to bring visitors through our

young Oak plantation, leading on to our Alder trees, which seem to reach for the sky.

The award is an accumulation of knowledge, networking, species choice and constantly monitoring the growth of our plantation.

Getting our forest Certified, under the FSC banner within the North East Forestry Group, was a big help in making me aware of all the elements necessary to achieve quality timber, along with maintaining environmental and biodiversity standards.’