The North East Forestry Group (NEFG) is hosting an event on Wednesday November 2 to show some of its members and the wider community what it has achieved with its Woodland to Workshop project.
This project has shown the ability to link local artisanal timber users and local schools to NEFG members, with the aim of developing local markets for timber from the group’s member forests, said Vice President John Sherlock. .
“The group members participated in various training modules such as tree selection, sawing wood, drying wood and building wooden beam buildings,” he said.
The NEFG was formed with support from Teagasc in May 2013. It was open to forest owners in counties Cavan, Louth, Meath and Monaghan.
The aim of the group was to bring together forest owners interested in maximizing the potential yield from their forests and, with the help of Teagasc, to enjoy a range of benefits.
These included bringing together clusters of plantations of similar age to achieve economies of scale in harvesting and selling timber; and organizing courses such as chainsaw and first aid and pooling contractors’ knowledge of thinning procedures to get the best yield from the forests.
A number of field days and events have taken place, with expert speakers on various forestry activities. All sizes and categories of forest and forest owners from novice to experienced were welcomed.
The group, which has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), has successfully organized knowledge transfer groups where forest owners have been paid to attend various workshops and field days to deepen their knowledge and to learn the best management practices for their forest.
Northeast Forest Group
The NEFG commissioned educators from Scotland and the University of the Atlantic in Letterfrack, Galway, as well as forestry advisers from Teagasc to provide expertise in these areas.
Locally grown wood was also provided to four secondary schools for use in their carpentry classes.
“This connection to the next generation of wood users is seen as an essential part of the project,” said John.
“Members also visited several projects using locally grown timber that are under construction and some have already been completed.
“The NEFG website has been reconfigured to provide a portal to connect artisanal timber users with NEFG members. This will connect wood producers with wood users in a true circular economy,” continued John.
“A videographer recorded the members’ journeys on the project from start to finish,” he added.
John believes that the knowledge gained by NEFG members will ensure that they manage their forests in a way that provides quality timber.
“This process should command a premium price for their wood, while protecting the environment,” the vice president said.
“A number of local craft wood users have already taken advantage of local wood and are very excited to have Irish grown wood to use as a unique selling point to market their creations,” he said. he adds.
“NEFG already has two members who have purchased small sawmills in anticipation of future local timber supply.
“By hosting this project, our group realizes that although private forest ownership is still a relatively new agricultural enterprise in Ireland, it has the potential to provide quality timber ready for local artisanal timber users,” said the chairman. of the group, Derek McCabe.
“In turn, the efforts of forest owners will be rewarded with a higher price for their product, while helping local rural enterprise.
According to the president, the project was funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine.
The “Completion Event” will take place at the Headfort Arms Hotel, Kells, Co. Meath at 7:00 p.m.
There will be a presentation of the group’s new timber inventory and the group’s website/sales portal as well as the first presentation of our project at the completion event.
There will also be speeches from key players in the project and a light meal.