Doyle opens “Timber 2017”

Speaking at the opening of the Irish Forestry, Woodland & Bio Energy Show 2017 at Stradbally Hall, Co. Laois today, Andrew Doyle, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry, commented that “Since the first event in 2011, the Show has become one of major events on the calendar for anyone involved or interested in becoming involved in the forestry and bio-energy sectors”.

He also noted that “The list of exhibitors and the wide range of exhibits definitely illustrate the many aspects of forestry and bio-energy, with certain aspects of the Show, such as bio energy and heating, forestry management and ‘added-value’ forestry products, being expanded this year.”

The Minister of State outlined, in his speech, the increase in afforestation in Ireland since the 1980s, resulting in some 19,000 private forest owners and added that “Forestry in Ireland is now entering a new phase in its development, where many of these owners are beginning to realise the commercial benefits of their forestry investment”.

In this context, he continued that “There are a number of measures being undertaken or supported by my Department to assist forest owners including the availability of the Forest Roads scheme, the forest certification initiative and the development of Knowledge Transfer Groups for forestry.”

Minister of State also launched a publication in relation to continuous cover forestry (‘CCF’), stating “My Department has been supporting research in relation to CCF under COFORD’s Low Impact Silvicultural Systems project and also in the translation from French into English of “Guidelines on Continuous Cover Forestry” which I am delighted to be launching here today”.

He noted that this system delivers improved biodiversity value through greater habitat diversity as a result of creating an uneven age forest structure and that ‘From an economic perspective, CCF provides continuity of income from thinnings as opposed to the large lump sum at clearfell stage. Furthermore, as reforestation is not required, the cost of replanting is also avoided”.

He also took the opportunity to encourage landowners to examine forestry as an option within their current farming enterprises referring to the availability of information at the Show and thanked the Show Director, Mr. David Wilkinson, the hosts, the exhibitors and the staff for organising the many exhibits and displays.

Wicklow to receive €137,800 for heritage projects– Doyle

New funding for Wicklow under the Structures at Risk Fund & the Built Heritage Investment Scheme

Valleymount Catholic Church Wicklow

Fine Gael TD for Wicklow/East Carlow, and Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Andrew Doyle has announced that heritage projects in Wicklow are to benefit from New Government   funding “I am pleased to confirm that new funding totalling €137,800 has been granted  for heritage projects  here in County Wicklow”. “Providing funding under these schemes is a commitment in Fine Gael’s Action Plan for Rural Development, ‘Realising Our Rural Potential’. This funding for Wicklow is part of an announcement by my colleague, Minister Heather Humphreys of €4.8 million for 569 heritage projects across the country.

Russ-2-823x420“Through the Structures at Risk Fund, Wicklow will receive €70,000. This includes project for  Russborough House, Blessington, All Saints Church, Carnew and St Saviours Church, Arklow. “Separately, Wicklow heritage projects will receive  €67,800 through the Built Heritage Investment Scheme. The projects to benefit from this Scheme are St. Kevin’s Church of Ireland, Hollywood, Valleymount Catholic Church, Kilmurray Catholic Church, Newtownmountkennedy, St Michaels Church, Coolkenno, Shillelagh Parish Church, Natures Gold, Greystones, Wicklow Parish Church, St Crispin’s Cell, Greystones and Christchurch, Delgany. Minister Doyle outlined, “this funding will allow for the conservation and repair of protected structures across Wicklow .These buildings and structures are so important to our heritage and identity as a county, and maintaining and repairing them is a crucial part of the regeneration of our communities. “The funding is also very important in terms of developing our tourism offering and helping to attract visitors to Wicklow with all the benefits that can bring. “Nationally, it is expected the schemes will leverage more than €11 million in private funds. It is also important to note that the works on these protected structures will generate significant employment in the conservation and construction industries, which is good news for local job creation.”