Busman’s holiday for Irish foresters
Forestry and Land Scotland’ north Region team last month played host to a group of foresters from Ireland who were on a two day fact-finding trip to share expertise on various aspects of modern forestry.
The four-strong group from Coillte, Ireland’s state forest service, visited five sites and discussed issues ranging from restocking low fertility sites and pest control, to peatland restoration and managing the harvesting challenges of steep ground sites.
Martin Price, FLS Forest Management Support Officer who helped host the visit, said;
“Forestry in Scotland and Ireland is very similar in terms of the types of sites and forests that are looked after.
“The Coillte team manages 440,000ha of land (7% of Ireland’s land area), compared to the 650,000ha (10%) that FLS manages, and like us they have a mixed portfolio with timber production, nursery production, renewable energy and some recreation and conservation provision in the mix.
“Both forestry organisations are dealing with similar sorts of issues so it’s great to set up these exchange trips to find out how each organisation is tackling the challenges of modern forestry and to share experience and lessons learned.”
Coillte has worked in partnership with the forestry organisations in Scotland, Wales, and England for a number of years. As members of the Forest Management Officers and Hylobius Working Groups it has helped fund and define research as well as share experience and expertise.
Dermot Cuniffe, Establishment Process Manger with Coillte, said;
“Many thanks to the FLS for facilitating the trip for all of the onsite engagement with their teams.
“They provided us with a packed two-day agenda that gave us an opportunity to discuss key challenges in forest regeneration including plant protection, deer management, species selection and ground preparation techniques.
“Stops at peatland restoration sites and cable harvesting sites were also extremely useful elements of the overall knowledge-sharing visit and we’re looking forward to hosting FLS in near future”
In the recent trip to Scotland the delegation visited Torrachilty (establishment and regeneration, and peatland restoration), Longart (Forest research Hylobius weevil control trials), Benmore, West Sutherland (restocking of low fertility sites), as well as Boblainy (restocking and regeneration management) and Morriston (steep ground harvesting).
Return trips are already being planned between Newton and Ballintemple nurseries.
Notes to editors
Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) manages forests and land owned by Scottish Ministers in a way that supports and enables economically sustainable forestry; conserves and enhances the environment; delivers benefits for people and nature; and supports Scottish Ministers in their stewardship of Scotland's national forests and land.