Please see below a selection of videos to promote forestry recently released by the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine as shown at the Ploughing Championships 2016
Western Forestry Co-op attended the Tullamore Show on Sunday 14th August. A great time was had by all. The sky was cloudy but thankfully the rain stayed away and the temperature steadied at around 20 degrees.
Once again, plenty of people called to the stand to enquire about forestry. Our Harvester Joe McManus was very popular with many people watching his chainsaw sharpening demonstration, and enter our free draw to win a chainsaw.
“Our Tullamore Winner”
Congratulations to competition winner Thomas J Loonam – Attinkee, Banagher. Co. Offaly
Operations Manager Victor Barber (right) presenting Thomas J Loonam his winning prize.
Western Forestry Co-op attended the Bonniconlon Show on Monday 1st August, a great day and great weather. Plenty of people called to the stand to enquire about forestry, attend the saw sharpening demonstration and enter the competition to win a chainsaw.
"Our Bonniconlon Winner"
Congratulations to competition winner Declan Haran - Cully, Charlestown County Sligo.
Marina Conway - Western Forestry CEO presenting Bonniconlon winner Declan Haran his chainsaw.
Western Forestry Co-op Harvester Joseph McManus is set up and ready for the show.
Please click HERE to find out more about Harvesting.
Joe McManus in full swing and generating plenty of interest.
In July the Western Forestry Co-op was delighted to welcome Minister of State for Forestry Mr Andrew Doyle TD to Leitrim where he visited an afforestation site planted by Western Forestry Co-op (by local co-op forester and Ballinamore native Colm Gilheaney) for local farmer Sean Creamer outside Ballinamore, Co Leitrim. The Minister was attending meetings in Drumshanbo with local farmers to discuss issues relating to forestry and farming in the county. Sean is a suckler farmer and also works as a green keeper in the local Ballinamore golf club. The Minister (who is also a farmer and forest owner) and Sean were happy to discuss the benefits that forestry has been to their farm enterprises. Sean outlined how he took the decision to plant 25 acres of the wetter more marginal areas of his farm. Sean found that with the recent wet summers, this section of land was more and more difficult to graze each year. He contacted Western Forestry Co-op for advice on planting and species selection and after meeting on site and agreeing a plan; Western Forestry Co-op submitted an application for approval to the Forest Service. Sean’s father and grandfather had a great interest in trees and Sean had a preference for a mixture of broadleaves and diverse conifers to plant on the land. Sean is delighted with how the trees are thriving in an area where he found it very difficult to grow grass and was delighted with the additional benefit of receiving his single farm payment and forestry premium on the same land. Western Forestry Co-op has dealt with many farmers and landowners in Leitrim who are happy with their decision to plant, indeed some of these who planted in the late 80’s and early 90’s are now reaping the rewards through both thinning and clearfell income
ranging from €7,000 - €10,000 per acre at clearfell, which is income tax free. This income from harvesting is being used by these farmers and landowners to invest in other areas of the farm and assist in buying other land. Forestry is not for everyone, but for many it is proving to be a viable land use providing an alternative income on marginal land. When a local landowner plants some of their land, the income from the forestry premium and harvesting will be spent in the area, which will in turn benefit the local community. Marina Conway, Western Forestry Co-op CEO and a Sligo native, says that their Co-op ethos is to help local farmers diversify their land uses when it is beneficial and thereby retain the valuable forest industry and its benefits for the local farmers. The alternative is often that land is sold to external pension funds and the short and long term benefits leave the area.
Western Forestry Co-op are featured in a promotional video “Leitrim One Call to Success”. The video produced by Leitrim.ie promotes businesses that are very active within the County.
Marina Conway CEO of Western Forestry Co-op explains why Leitrim is the second most forested County nationwide and has led to the creation of many local jobs.
Leitrim.ie states that Leitrim has a very active forestry sector. Approximately 17% of the County is forested compared to the national average of 11%. The soils and climate of Leitrim are very well suited to planting, as it is rich in mineral gley; surface water gley; and brown poolzolic soils. Please click HERE for article on Leitrimbusiness.ie
Circular no. 09 of 2016 Issue date: 25/05/2016
Forest Fire Danger Rating
Condition Orange - High Fire Risk
Warning Effective From: 1200hrs 25/05/2016
Effective Period Expires: 1200hrs 07/06/2016
Arising from projected high pressure dominated weather patterns and impacts of this weather on the flammability of fine fuels a High Fire Risk (Condition Orange) is deemed likely to exist in coming days in all areas where such fuels are present in proximity to forests and other assets. A further risk element is involved due to the oncoming June Bank Holiday weekend, and expected increases in human risk activity in high fire risk areas over this period.
Pending significant rainfall, this risk condition will remain in place until 1200hrs on 07/06/2016 unless otherwise stated by the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
All forest owners and managers are again advised to prepare for likely outbreaks of fire. Fire lines, Fire Plans, fire suppression equipment should be reviewed and made ready and other relevant contingencies such as insurance, helicopter contracts etc., checked and confirmed.
The need for increased vigilance at this time cannot be overstated. Forest owners, farmers, rural dwellers and other countryside users are asked to be extremely vigilant regarding fire activity, to report any suspicious or illegal activity to the Gardai and to report all fires immediately to the Fire and Emergency Services via 112/999.
Fire patrols are advised in known fire hotspots.
The Department recommends that forest owners and managers should consider the fire mitigation measures that they can put in place to help prevent loss or damage to forest resources through fire. Examples of such measures are:
Assess your property with regard to fire risk and mitigation factors. Is there a risk of fire or presence of hazardous fuel vegetation on neighbouring lands? Is there a history of land burning in the vicinity of your forest? Are access routes adequate, accessible and clear of obstructions? Is there a firebreak in place and has it been adequately maintained?
BE PREPARED. BE VIGILANT.STAMP OUT FOREST FIRES.
Is Your Forestry Insured?
Western Forestry Co-op manages a group forest insurance scheme since 1988. The Co-op designed and administers the group scheme to provide the best value for forest owners*
There are four elements to our insurance policy:
- Sum Insured - Cover for the loss of growth in the value of your forest
- Reconstitution - Cover for reinstating your forest. Cover for (cultivation, trees, fencing, fertiliser etc.)
- Fire Brigade - Cover for fire brigade call out charges
- Public Liability - Cover for legal liability in case of injury caused to members of the public arising from your forestry activities. Forest owners can opt to insure for sum insured and fire brigade only or include reconstitution cover and public liability
6 ha forest in Year 1 to include cover for sum insured, Reconstitution, Public liability and Fire Brigade from as little as €90.00
*Underwritten by FBD Insurance Ltd.
Information regarding our schemes:
Western Forestry Co-op welcomes appointment of Deputy Andrew Doyle as Minister of State with responsibility for Forestry.
Western Forestry Co-op would like to congratulate Minister Andrew Doyle on his appointment as Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Minister Doyle was first elected at the 2007 general election to the Dáil and became the Deputy Spokesperson on Agriculture with special responsibility for Food and Horticulture. In 2010, he was promoted to the opposition frontbench as the spokesperson for Agriculture. Deputy Doyle was re-elected to the Dáil at the 2011 general election and served as the Chairman of the Agriculture Committee.
Minister Doyle is a forest owner himself and hails from Co Wicklow, the most forested county in Ireland. We look forward to working with Minister Doyle during his term as Minister with responsibility for Forestry.
Western Forestry Co-op Staff
Western Forestry Co-op Board members past and present
Marina Conway CEO; Seamus O’Donohue CEO ICOS; Billy McMahon Board Member Aurivo; Sean Glennon Board Member Lakeland Dairies; Robert Hosey Chairman Western Forestry Co-op and Board Member Aurivo; Ray Gallagher founder and former Manager Western Forestry Co-op; Mary Quinn founding Board member Western Forestry Co-op representing Lakeland Dairies; former Board Member for Aurivo Kevin Cryan and Carmel Feeney, Finance Manager.
Donal Whelan, Executive Director presenting a gift to celebrate Western Forestry Co-ops 30 Years in Business to Marina Conway, CEO and founder and former manager Ray Gallagher.
Minister Hayes Launches 'Land Availability for Afforestation - Exploring Opportunities for Expanding Ireland's Forest Resource'
Minister of State for Forestry, Tom Hayes today launched Land Availability for Afforestation, - Exploring opportunities for expanding Ireland’s forest resource. The report has been compiled under the auspices of the Council for Forest Research and Development - COFORD.
Speaking at the launch today Minister Hayes said “I want to thank Dr Nuala Ni Fhlatharta, chair of the COFORD Land Availability Working Group and all the members of the group for compiling this report. It is a really important piece of work and one, I have no doubt, that will help us greatly in terms of land classification for afforestation. I am sure it will help to realise our ambitions to expand the forest land resource of the country. Together with the new Environmental Requirements for Afforestation that are now being finalised by the Department, this new land classification system gives us the tools to push on with our ambitious afforestation programme.”
The report outlines the physical land resource that is potentially available for afforestation and makes a series of recommendations on how to increase the level of planting.
The Minister continued “as part of this process we have secured a Forestry Programme to 2020, which plans to expand forest cover by a further 43,000 hectares. This package includes attractive grant aid and premium payments, to all landowners, over a 15-year period, who afforest a part of their land holding. It is a fantastic investment opportunity and one that has the potential to contribute significantly to landowners’ incomes”.
Quoting from the report the Minister added, “On lands classified as being ‘limited’ for agriculture, representing 1.8 million hectares, there is wider scope for afforestation. These lands have a higher proportion of difficult soils, often economically marginal for agriculture, with forestry presenting a viable alternative land use option.”
The Minister concluded by saying, “the take home message of this report is that there is a land asset in Ireland that is eminently suitable to support an increase in forest cover. By examining and implementing recommendations that the report contains, allied to a collective will and capacity, I am convinced that over the coming years we will go a long way towards completing the task of restoring the national forest resource.”
There was a very welcome decision in Budget 2015 for forest owners - Forestry clear-felling income is to be tax-free as the “high earners restriction” of €80,000 for active foresters and farmers has been ended.
Simon Coveney, the agriculture minister, said: “Forestry plays a huge role environmentally, economically, and socially in rural areas; and I believe the benefits of this change will be felt long into the future.”
He noted that, in advance of the budget, farmers had sought income averaging over three or five years. “Instead of that, Revenue has said it is easier to remove the high earners restriction for active forestry farmers, so clear-felling is exempt. That goes beyond the expectations and asks of the forestry sector. We need more forestry, planting, and trees and this will be a big incentive to do that.”
Western Forestry Co-op, IFFPA, the IFA and ICMSA have all welcomed the move to make clear-felling income tax-free as forestry is now recognised as an important economic sector in rural Ireland which has really begun to take off among the latest generation of young farmers who see it as a valuable addition to their farm enterprise as well as a secure pension plan for them and their families.
You can now register online and apply for your forest premium in January of each year. Please see links below to a video tutorial of how to apply online and a link to Agfood Online for where to apply.
You may still apply by application form (Form 4) if you prefer but please note your forest premium will be paid in April not January.
Agfood Online Web Page
Video tutorial on how to apply online for the forest premium
Link to Department website to register and/or apply online