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29
JUNE 2019
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
Forestry Focus
JUNE 2019
Forestry Focus
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
enterprise, which maintains
his interest in livestock.
He has also more than
doubled the number of
poultry (including hens,
broilers, geese, turkeys
and ducks) which he rears
organically in the farmyard
along with some pigs.
These are reared for both
his own use and for selling
locally, which he enjoys.
He has recently installed
some solar panels and a
small kiln. The solar panels
help heat his house as
well as providing power
to drive the kiln, which he
uses to dry some mature
hardwood timber that
he has also on his farm.
Gerard has also recently
become involved with
Social Farming Ireland,
which has allowed him
to develop his love for
helping people and their
needs. He says "the
benefits that people with
special needs have gained
by participating in both the
farm and forest activities
are huge for both the
participants of the scheme
and myself."
Enhancing the
woodland experience
In the future, Gerard
intends to enhance
his existing resource
by installing additional
leisure facilities within
the woodland. These
will include seating and
information stations
describing the di erent
species of trees, wildlife
and walkways through
the wood. This will further
enhance the overall
farm and forest from a
recreational aspect.
Even though Gerard
has removed his dairy
herd and changed his
main enterprise to tree
farming, he is as busy as
ever, though the work
is not as time critical
and demanding. When
receiving the RDS Forestry
Award last April Gerard
described the lifestyle
change of farming with
forestry: "For the first time
in my life I feel that I am in
charge of my time."
The Royal Dublin Society
has been involved in the
promotion of Irish Forestry
as far back as the 1740s.
Brendan Fitzsimmons,
chairman of the RDS
Agricultural committee
thanked Teagasc for
its support of the Farm
Forestry Award Category.
He emphasised the high
quality of applicants in this
year's award categories
and encouraged farmers
to apply for this year's
awards. Mr. Fitzsimons
concluded: "The e ective
integration of forestry into
agricultural enterprises
presents opportunities for
farming families to achieve
and optimise the many
economic, environmental,
practical and social
benefits that can accrue
from the enterprise."