Forests in Ireland have a great variation spanning from native woodlands, to big commercial plantations to trees and woodlands in more urban areas. There are 5 main types of Irish forests you could visit on the Forestry Tours of Ireland: Amentity forests; farm forests; upland and peatland forests; native woodlands; and urban forests. Irish forests provide a broad resource not just the basic timber produce you'd expect but includes bio diversity, wildlife conservation, carbon sequestrian, environmental protection as well as rural development, employment, amenity and recreation and tourism.
The practice of farm forestry in Ireland has seen a big increase in recent years. This is largely due to the payment of grants and annual premiums to farmers from both the forest service and the EU. This was implemented to help incentivise farmers while making a long investment. Historically, farmers planted trees such as hedgerows to protect livestock and their property from bad weather. Unlike today however, in the past incentives from the EU led farmers to use as much of their land as possible for agriculture production, which led to woodland areas being the last resort and only used in the most infertile areas that weren't suitable for any other use. Thanks to the reform measures under the Common Agricultural policy, farmers began to look at other uses for areas of their land, and thus farmed forestry became more prominent. There is now an increase in the availability of fertile lowlands for farm forests.
Farmed forestry also has a key role in rural development, providing an alternative source of income for farmers and enabling them to stay on their farms full-time. This is in addition to providing high quality timber. There are other benefits from the planting of broadleaves. The production of hardwood timber from broadleaves which leads to high value end products such as furniture and craftwork. Biodiversity is another benefit. On the forestry tours of Ireland we can arrange for you to see the vast green woodlands and open fields, a landscape which is largely shaped by farm forests. We can also arrange for you to meet with farmers and forestry consultants, forest service inspectors and contractors working on the farm forests.
There is now an increase in the availability of fertile lowlands for farm forests. Farmed forestry has also led to an increased opportunity to increase the variation in Ireland's forests. Species that require fertile land and shelter to survive are being planted such as Broadleaf species. Equally conifers such as Douglas fir and larch that are site-demanding are now being planted.
Founded in 1942 to promote Irish the Irish Forestry profession. Representing over 700 members across the Forestry and Timber Industries.More About The Society of Irish Foresters
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