Doyle launches new forestry scheme

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS - By MYLES BUCHANAN

THE open­ing of the For­est Knowl­edge Trans­fer Group (KTG) Scheme for 2019 has been an­nounced by Min­is­ter of State at the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture, Food and the Marine, An­drew Doyle T.D..

Forestry KTGs are for pri­vate for­est own­ers seek­ing ad­di­tional knowl­edge and en­abling them to know when and how to carry out for­est man­age­ment ac­tiv­i­ties in a safe man­ner. KTGs are peer-to-peer dis­cus­sion groups led by a pro­fes­sional forester and will en­cour­age par­tic­i­pants to en­gage with forestry groups and pro­fes­sion­als.

Min­is­ter of State 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.’

Forestry com­pa­nies, con­sul­tants and pro­ducer groups are in­vited to or­gan­ise Knowl­edge Trans­fer Groups. For­est own­ers will then be sought to par­tic­i­pate in the groups. Forests across Ire­land are frag­mented, with the av­er­age size just 8.8 hectares.

The Min­is­ter of State added: ‘Forestry KTGs as­sist with or­gan­is­ing man­age­ment ac­tiv­i­ties into larger man­age­ment units, with for­est own­ers co­op­er­at­ing to max­imise scale. I en­cour­age those par­tic­i­pat­ing in Forestry KTGs to con­tinue to meet after the Scheme has ended, ei­ther in­for­mally or to form a for­est own­ers’ or pro­ducer group, to con­tinue to reap the ben­e­fits of their learn­ing.’

Each KTG can have a max­i­mum of 20 par­tic­i­pants and each par­tic­i­pant will need to at­tend seven meet­ings or out­door events in order to com­plete the pro­gramme. The scheme is only open for those who have not pre­vi­ously par­tic­i­pated in a KTG group.

Min­is­ter of State An­drew Doyle.

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