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Northeast Forestry News

What's new with us

Woodland to Workshop Project


Last year was a very busy year for the project.  In February, we went to Oak Park in Co Carlow to learn about the Marteloscope system for timber quality and value measurement.

Later on in the year, we visited the Atlantic University in Letterfrack, Co Galway to see practical applications for all types of Irish grown timber.

James Thomson, a Scottish Tutor from Thomson Timber Building gave a timber post and beam construction module, which was held in Navan, Co Meath.

We visited the Lawderdale Furniture Company in Ballinamore, Co Leitrim meeting with Eltjo & Marion Van Der Laan, where they manufacture furniture using locally sourced timber, milling and drying on site.


We attended the Techno Teachers’ Conference in Athlone, Co Meath, and had over 35 schools showing an interest to participate in any future purchases of forest owner group timber.

Our conclusion event was held in The Headfort Hotel, Kells with a video of the project

(Produced by Simon McDermott); and new Group sawn timber sales inventory.


Group Website

Our new look Group website has been developed with thanks to Frances Ball and Simon McDermott.  As always, if you have any information that would be of use to your fellow Group Members, please do not hesitate to contact one of the Committee Members (


Knowledge Transfer Group (KTG)

We held our third Knowledge Transfer Group in autumn.  This KTG was focused on Group Certification for private forest owners. Our facilitator was Commercial Forestry Services Ltd representative, Sarah Standish.

We are planning to hold another Certification focussed KTG this autumn, where each forest owner participating during the events receives €70 per event.


Group Certification Audit

Our Certification Group Members have undergone their Audit for their five year Group Certification certificate.  We are now working with the Irish Forest Owners (IFO) who are now managing our certificate, and have achieved both PEFC and FSC Certification.  This is a tremendous achievement as we are still the only private forest owners’ certification group in Ireland.



Atlantic University Visit

Timber Beam & Post Construction


Techno Teachers




Developing our next generation forest owners’ communication and education platform for the families of our present day Group Members.


Continuing on the achievements of our Woodland to Workshop Project, developing and creating markets for both our hardwood and softwood timbers.


Actively lobbying for proper compensation for our Members who have Ash plantations that have been devastated.


Engaging with Members, with a view to possible purchase of a tractor drawn forwarder and crane for Members’ use.  Along with a tractor operated post peeler, so Members can utilise some of their small timber taken from their forests.  


Hosting training modules using funding access from the new DAFM Forestry Promotion Program, which is due to be announced this spring.

Engaging with Teagasc and other industry educators to host training events.

  1. Please click here for reporting, by e-mail, Ash dieback to the Forest Service.  

  2. Include your name and address and your contract number with your e-mail.  Ideally, a photograph of the disease should also be attached to your e-mail.

  3. The disease can also be reported by phoning 01 607 2651.

  4. There is also a very good app which can be used, please click on the following link TreeCheck


The following link is to the Forest Service’s website on the disease:


Information from our Forestry Development Officer


Teagasc Forestry e-News

‘The Making of a Rye River Seasonal’

Some Spruce tips were used from one of the North East Forest Certification Club member’s forest (Martin Barrett from Athboy) to flavour a new limited edition small batch beer for the Rye River Brewing company based in Celbridge.  


Please click on the following link to learn more:  Rye River Seasonal

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine - Forestry

New Grants

This Grant is for forest owners who wish to convert their forest to continuous cover over a period of twelve years.


There will be three payments of €750 per hectare, for three separate interventions.  The scheme is limited to thirty projects initially.


Please click on the following link for more details Element 2, Woodland Improvement Scheme - Continuous Cover Forestry or contact your local Teagasc Forestry Advisor.

Element 2, Woodland Improvement Scheme - Continuous Cover Forestry

‘Application stage


All licence applications for afforestation, forest, road works, felling and aerial fertilisation are screened by the Department for Appropriate Assessment under Article 6.3 of the Habitats Directive and SI 477 of 2011.  Where, having reviewed the application, the Department cannot rule out the possibility of a significant effect on a Natura Site (i.e. a SAC or SPA) it will require the submission of a Natura Impact Statement (NIS) from the applicant.  On receipt of the NIS, the Department will carry out an Appropriate Assessment. ...’

Please click on the following link for the full circular:  Circular 08 2019 Appropriate Assessment.pdf

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Appropriate Assessment


Circular dated 23 May 2019

Please click on the following link for ‘Appendix 20’ referred to in the above Circular: 


‘At the conference ‘Our Forests, Our Future’, Commissioner Hogan announced a potential initiative to encourage Member States to reach the ambitious environmental policy objectives of the post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) proposals.  The initiative proposes to reward farmers with payments for the afforestation of one hectare.

In his keynote speech, Commissioner Hogan announced the idea of a “one hectare initiative”, which would be supported through the CAP.  Under their future CAP Strategic Plans, Member States will have the option to reward farmers with payments per farm for the afforestation of one hectare.  This afforestation should be done in a biodiversity-friendly way, contributing to climate and environmental objectives.

This initiative can be programmed through Rural Development Funding and could help Member States to meet their climate and biodiversity objectives.  It would be another practical example of farmers providing public goods with public support.  In order to limit the administrative burden for beneficiaries and public authorities, a lump-sum payment per year and per hectare could be offered to each participating farmer over the next budget period.

Such an initiative could significantly contribute to the creation of valuable ecosystem services, such as water retention and flood and soil erosion control.  It would also provide significant biodiversity benefits, such as shelter and connectivity.

Commissioner Hogan encouraged Member States to take up this initiative, as it would contribute to the achievement of environmental targets and help safeguard our public goods, including forests.  He said...

“The future CAP provides the opportunity, but the political will to implement this initiative must come from the Member States.  Hence, I hope you will spread the word.”’


‘One Hectare Initiative’

Commissioner Hogan announced a potential initiative at Forestry Conference

McKinnon Report

The McKinnon Report, which was released by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is a review on the current state of Irish Forestry.

It makes very interesting reading, as it addresses some of the fundamental difficulties which are affecting private forest owners who are wishing to do necessary work on their existing plantations.

Committee Members of your Group (The North East Forestry Group) attended some of the consultation meetings with Mr James McKinnon, along with other forest group representatives.

We will discuss these findings and other matters at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the new year.

Please click on the following link for the report:  McKinnon Report

  1. Survey on small woodlands on diary and drystock farms

  2. Hardwood Focus Webinar

  3. Autumn management tips

  4. Keep in touch!’

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) (Forestry Division) has announced details of the new support scheme for plantations impacted by Ash dieback disease, the Reconstitution and Under-planting scheme (RUS scheme) this week:

Reconstitution and Under-planting Scheme (RUS)

  1. 1.Summary document outlining the options available to Ash plantation owners.

  2. 2.New Scheme Document (RUS scheme) which describes the Reconstitution and Under-planting Options open to the Forest Owner.

  3. 3.New Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the evaluation of levels of stem damage (with field sheet).

The following three documents provide details of the new scheme and outline the revised approach as follows:

  1. Circular 07 2020 Reconstitution and Underplanting Scheme (RUS) (Ash Dieback) 10062020.pdf

  2. ReconstitutionUnderplantingScheme-FINAL08-05-20.pdf

  3. General Summary Approach and Supports.pdf

Some of the main changes to note are as follows:

  1. DAFM no longer requires a laboratory positive from an Ash plantation in order for the owner to gain access to DAFM support schemes.

  2. Plantations are no longer subject to statutory plant health felling and disposal requirements.  

  3. Applications under the RUS Scheme are exempt from the felling licence requirement.

  4. Applications for the WIS and other schemes require a felling licence.

  5. Applications for Categories 2b and 2c of the RUS Scheme must be field assessed using the new procedure described in the attached SOP.

  6. All applications must be screened for Appropriate Assessment.

  7. Site biosecurity should be observed.

  1. In one to four year old plantations:  Frost damage 2020.pdf

Our Forestry Development Officer, Kevin O’Connell, has asked us to pop up the attached information notes regarding frost damage.  Please click on each link for details: 

  1. In older plantations:  Frost Damage in Older Plantations.pdf

Frost Damage in Plantations


Runner Up - John Sherlock of Navan, Co Meath

Winner - Peter Farrelly of Kells, Co Meath

Congratulations to both parties - all that hard work was worth it!

Peter said,

‘The forestry sector as a whole will greatly benefit from raised awareness and education into the future.  Most relevant to this in relation to my own forest in recent years, has been the knowledge and information which I have gotten from the discussions within the North East Forestry Group.  These have helped shape the way my forest is planned and managed.

As governments and major groups worldwide begin to focus on environmental impacts and carbon emissions, the forestry sector will, I feel, only become more important as the primary way of storing carbon in this country.

Focusing on sustainability is the only way this can and will be achieved forward into future generations.

Coming from a long line of farmers, I have benefitted by inheriting sustainable methods, which I would hope I am only improving on for future generations.  By ensuring that my forest is managed properly and produces the best quality product, I am confident the timber leaving it can be used for a variety of building materials, as well as an energy source for a long time to come.’

John said,

‘I am thrilled to be given this prestigious award.

As a private woodland owner, I would like to see development of a forest industry providing the raw material in both hardwoods and softwoods as being an integral part of future farming.

Our woodlands, which was originally planted by my late father, Pat Sherlock, has developed from an alternative use of poor land, into a regular source of income, along with being an amenity my family can use.  It is a delight to bring visitors through our

young Oak plantation, leading on to our Alder trees, which seem to reach for the sky.

The award is an accumulation of knowledge, networking, species choice and constantly monitoring the growth of our plantation.

Getting our forest Certified, under the FSC banner within the North East Forestry Group, was a big help in making me aware of all the elements necessary to achieve quality timber, along with maintaining environmental and biodiversity standards.’

Our Teagasc Forestry Development Officer, Kevin O’Connell, has asked us to make the following important information available to all our Group Members.  This concerns our Tree Felling Licences.


Tree Felling Licences

Requirements & Public Notifications

  1. Phase 2 - Forestry Licence Viewer (FLV)

  1. Please click the following link to view the full circular:

  2. Circular 01 2021 Phase 2 Forestry Licence Viewer.pdf

  1. Forestry Licence Viewer (FLV)

  1. Please click this link to view the Licence Viewer

  1. Tree Felling Licence (TFL) Guidance Note

  1. Please click this link to view the TFL Guidance Note 03122020.pdf

  1. Application for a Licence to Fell Trees

  1. Please click this link to view the Application for a Licence to Fell Trees.pdf

  1. Felling Site Notice

  1. Please click this link to view the Notice Site Notice Felling 16122020.docx or Site Notice Felling 16122020.pages.pdf

  1. Site Notice Afforestation

  1. Please click this link to view the Notice Site Notice Afforestation 16122020.docx or Site Notice Afforestation 16122020.pages.pdf

  1. Site Notice Forest Road Works

  1. Please click this link to view the Notice Site Notice Roads 16122020.docx or Site Notice Roads 16122020.pages.pdf

Please study this carefully, as there are notices to be put up at your forest entrance, prior to any harvesting operations taking place.

The following is short footage of the hardwood thinning/harvesting video and drone filming we are doing soon:

Hardwood Thinning/Harvesting Video Taster

As you can see, it is a very quick and efficient way of working in a hardwood plantation, especially if there are a lot of briers.

If you have a hardwood plantation with good access (forest road, etc) a current felling licence and grant approval (if needed) and are interested in having a demonstration filmed at your plantation, please contact John Sherlock on 086 257 6864.

Our Teagasc Forestry Development Officer, Kevin O’Connell, has asked that we share the following four videos:


Videos from the Forestry Section of Teagasc

1.  The Business of Forestry:  How to sell timber - Live Virtual Event

2.  Thinning and selling my timber - a forest owner’s experience.

3.  How to sell timber - a harvesting forester’s perspective.

4.  Timber Sales & Taxation

We have received a copy of the following two paged Circular from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s Forestry Division.

Information Required for Forestry Licence

Application Completion

‘The Department has recently reviewed its systems for the preparation of Appropriate Assessment Screening Determinations, Appropriate Assessment Reports and Appropriate Assessment Determinations.  We have made some improvements to the system to optimise the time of the ecologists to concentrate on the ecology aspects of each application.  Currently these improvements are only applied to private tree felling (TFL) applications, with ecologists working mostly on these files in advance of the system being developed further to assist with forest road works and afforestation licence applications.’

Please click on the following link for some of the updates:

Circular 08 2021 Information Required for Forestry Licence Application Completions.pdf

Please find below the complete one hour webinar Hardwood Focus 2021 ‘Firewood Production from Thinning Broadleaves’

Hardwood Focus 2021 Webinar

- Firewood Production from Thinning Broadleaves

Please click on the following link for a planning leaflet from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine:


DAFM Planning 2021 Leaflet.pdf

This leaflet is relevant for anyone wishing to convert their Ash woodlands to conifers.

Planning Issues Leaflet

Lawderdale Furniture Company
Timber Beam & Post Construction
Tech Teachers
Atlantic University Visit
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