|Saturday 1st Oct 2022|
Registration from 10:30am
Teagasc Ballyhaise Agricultural College, Ballyhaise, Co. Cavan
11am sharp: Visit Ballyhaise woodland on foot
1pm: Lunch in Ballyhaise followed by AGM
Short drive to Coillte Oakwood, Co. Cavan
2.15pm Tour of Oakwood on foot
4pm approx. Completion of field day
We look forward to seeing you in Ballyhaise, Co. Cavan!
Teagasc Ballyhaise College has been providing education and training in forestry since 1988. The College woodlands are primarily an open class room for the forestry students and all work in the woodlands is carried out by the students, allowing them to practice and consolidate their forestry skills.
There are 42 ha of woodlands in the college, comprising of 38 plots, with an average plot size of 1.1 ha.
The site we will be visiting is approximately 3.5 ha in size and was initially planted c. 1880 with oak, beech and silver fir. The silver fir and some beech were felled in 1995. The site was replanted with groups of oak nursed with Norway spruce and hybrid larch. Naturally occurring species of Wych elm, hazel, sycamore and ash were retained.
The objective is to manage the oak plots as pure oak stands, selecting target trees and gradually remove competitors. The spruce and larch were thinned to favour the oak, although selected target trees were retained. Naturally occurring trees were saved primarily for biodiversity but also individual trees that show potential are being managed for their timber value.
During the visit, we will discuss maximizing tree potential from small woodland sites, the timing of thinning interventions, control of unwanted natural regeneration and incorporating additional objectives that were not envisaged at the time of planting to name but a few.
We will also visit one of the agro-forestry plots, consisting of black walnut, common walnut, oak, sycamore, wild cherry, Spanish chestnut, improved birch and red oak.
Oakwood is a Coillte property (c. 47ha) just west of Ballyhaise village. The forest is managed primarily for biodiversity as part of the BIOForest project.
This site is considered a ‘biodiversity area’ within the Coillte estate because it has a long history of woodland cover (since the 1st edition 6” OS maps), it contains some native woodland, and it is adjacent to the Lough Oughter and Associated Loughs SAC. The forest is comprised of a mix of conifer plantation (sitka spruce, Norway spruce and larch planted in the 1990s) and broadleaves.
The aim of the biodiversity management plan for this site is to retain a permanent forest cover in Oakwood and to increase the biodiversity value of the site. The overall management approach is to restructure the forest over time through CCF and gradually convert it to a mixed broadleaf—conifer woodland (i.e. increasing the proportion of broadleaves).
On the field day we will discuss the Coillte BIOForest project, our approach to enhancing forest biodiversity through CCF while realising some timber, and the CCF prescription being applied.