Forestry plant­ing sea­son launched

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

THE NEW NA­TIONAL forestry plant­ing sea­son has been of­fi­cially launched by Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture, Food and the Marine An­drew Doyle TD on land owned by Wick­low com­pany None-SoHardy (Forestry) Ltd.

Min­is­ter Doyle launched the sea­son while vis­it­ing a Bal­ly­murn tree nurs­ery owned by the Shil­le­lagh based busi­ness – 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 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 fund- ing is avail­able for plant­ing from wood­land restora­tion to wood­land recre­ation ameni­ties,’ he said.

‘It also high­lights the sig­nif­i­cant en­vi­ron­men­tal 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 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 said 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 go­ing for­ward.

(By Bren­dan Keane)

At the launch at None-So-Hardy (Forestry) Ltd’s nurs­ery in Bal­ly­murn, Co. Wex­ford: Nurs­ery man­ager John Ka­vanagh, sales man­ager Lar Be­han, Min­is­ter An­drew Doyle, sales man­ager Tyghe Ryan and HR man­ager Breda Mur­phy.

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