Tom King, Hollymount Co. Mayo
From the start, I found western forestry and Tony Lenighan of Western Forestry Co-op very helpful.
I called into his office which is located at the Aurivo Mart in Ballinrobe, enquiring about forestry. I am at the age of which the workload was becoming too much for me and rent prices were not matching what the forestry was giving.
With Tony’s help, I originally intended to plant trees on 42 acres. But Tony advised me to hold onto ten acres so I could still claim my single farm payment, on top of the forestry payments. I did not know about this rule regarding the single farm payment and I found Western Forestry Co-op very helpful/honest in this regard. I then decided to plant 25 acres of Sitka spruce and 5 acres of oak.
Tony drew up a plan and organised the planting for me, he covered all details from start to finish. I am very happy with the work he did, especially the fencing work. Western Forestry Co-op use very high quality, heavy stakes and wire and I expect them to last a lifetime.
Then on top of that, Tony and the lady in the office organised all the folios for my land to ensure all the land was in my name.
Finally, Tony also ensured I received compensation for a gas pipe and ESB cable that were running though my land (due to restrictions, I could not plant in these areas). This was an additional payment I did not realise was available, and gave me more income in the first year.
The best thing about the forestry I feel is that I did not have to do any work bar signing a few forms. Tony was very trustworthy and was out managing the digger, planters and fencers from day one. He has now also sprayed the land to kill off grass competing with the trees.
The entire duration from visiting the office to planting the last tree was about 2 months.
Until this, I had to organise rent money, cut down on stock and try maintain the land. Now the forestry grant money comes in every year without asking any questions, I’m not worried about neighbouring stock coming onto my land or mine going out since the land was fenced. I am very happy with my decision to plant on my land, and extremely happy that I arranged for Western Forestry Co-op to do the job for me.