Ire­land’s forestry plant­ing sea­son launched in Wex­ford

Enniscorthy Guardian - - NEWS - By BREN­DAN KEANE

THE new na­tional forestry plant­ing sea­son has been of­fi­cially launched in Co Wex­ford by Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture, Food and the Marine, An­drew Doyle TD.

Min­is­ter Doyle launched the sea­son while vis­it­ing a tree nurs­ery in Bal­ly­murn owned by the com­pany, None-SoHardy (Forestry) Ltd, which spe­cialises in broadleaf trees.

It’s ex­pected the com­pany will dis­patch around five mil­lion broadleaf trees through­out the com­ing plant­ing sea­son as part of the Na­tional Forestry pro­gramme.

Speak­ing at the launch Min­is­ter Doyle said it was fit­ting to launch the sea­son in Bal­ly­murn be­cause of what the nurs­ery in ques­tion spe­cialises in.

‘It’s ap­pro­pri­ate that the open­ing of this year’s plant­ing sea­son is an­nounced at a tree nurs­ery spe­cial­is­ing in broadleaf tree pro­duc­tion given the huge uplift in broadleaf plant­ing so far this year,’ he said.

The num­ber of broadleaf trees planted in 2018 rose by 25 per cent com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year and ac­cord­ing to Min­is­ter Doyle that’s at­trib­ut­able to a higher grant and pre­mium af­foresta­tion rates.

‘ This high­lights the diver­sity within the pro­gramme where fund­ing is avail­able for plant­ing [from] wood­land restora­tion to wood­land recre­ation ameni­ties,’ he said.

‘It also high­lights the sig­nif­i­cant envi- ron­men­tal ben­e­fits that the pro­gramme con­tin­ues to de­liver,’ he added.

The nurs­ery at Bal­ly­murn has 15 mil­lion broadleaf plants in pro­duc­tion, the vast ma­jor­ity of which are des­tined for the af­foresta­tion scheme.

Min­is­ter Doyle high­lighted in par­tic­u­lar the level of new na­tive wood­lands es­tab­lished dur­ing 2018 which he said has ex­ceeded 300 hectares.

He said it rep­re­sented a 130 per cent in­crease com­pared to the first year of the forestry pro­gramme in 2015.

Over the last two years None-SoHardy (Forestry) Ltd has col­lected 12 tonnes of acorns lo­cally which sup­ply an in­creas­ing de­mand from landown­ers all over the coun­try to plant na­tive species.

Min­is­ter Doyle also com­mented on the eco­nomic ben­e­fit forestry makes to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try .

He high­lighted that 13,000 farmers through­out Ire­land re­ceived nearly €68m in forestry pre­mium pay­ments and €25m rev­enue from tim­ber sales last year and it’s hoped that fig­ure will in­crease fur­ther go­ing for­ward.

At the launch of the 2018-19 Plant­ing Sea­son un­der the Na­tional Forestry Pro­gramme were, from left: Lar Be­han (Sales Man­ager); John Ka­vanagh (Nurs­ery Man­ager); Min­is­ter An­drew Doyle TD; Teige Ryan (Sales Man­ager) and Breda Mur­phy (HR Man­ager).

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