Pro Silva Ireland’s Spring Field Day will demonstrate the benefits of Continuous Cover Forestry, as practiced by committed owners of adjoining forests at the foot of the Slieve Blooms.
Forest owners in the townlands of Ballindrinnan and Ballynacarrig, near Cadamstown, Co. Offaly, are making a collective effort to practice CCF across a significant number of neighbouring forest properties under the coordination of Pro Silva Ireland member and consultant forester Pádraig Dolan.
The afforestation of the area over the last 30 years represents an expansion of woodland at the foothills of the iconic Slieve Blooms and forest owners have adopted CCF management to build resilient forests which will produce quality timber, while protecting and enhancing local ecosystems.
The field day visit will take in Norway spruce stands, which have undergone first thinning as an initial step to implementing close to nature management, along with broadleaf stands. The day will include input from owners, foresters, ecologists and contractors, including implementing CCF forester Manus Crowley and harvesting manager/contractor Liam Byrne.
The presence of the Silver and Black rivers is an important feature of the site and the enhancement and preservation of these rivers and their associated ecosystems provides a strong incentive for the adoption of CCF management.
Management interventions associated with Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine schemes (Including the CCF and Woodland Improvement schemes) will be viewed and discussed, including tree marking, pruning and enrichment planting. Management challenges, including a significant local fallow deer population, will also be discussed.