The 25th annual RDS - Forest Service Irish Forestry Awards took place in Castletown House, Co. Kildare. Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with special responsibility for Forestry, Mr Shane McEntee, TD. was in attendance to present these prestigious Awards.
The best New Entrant in the Farm Forestry Category and recipient of a RDS Certificate of Merit and a cheque for €500 was Mr John Keoghan from Three Castles, Co. Kilkenny. John’s forest is located at Carrigeen, in the north west of Kilkenny. Planted in 1993 it covers an area of 50 hectares. The area is fertile with well drained mineral soil and grew barley before being planted.
The forest is highly productive and well stocked and is receiving its first thinning in October 2012. The species comprise Sitka spruce, Norway spruce, Douglas fir, Japanese larch, with the remainder of the area being set aside for biodiversity. The judging panel was particularly impressed by the overall quality of the woodland and the proactive manner in which it is being managed.
According to Mr Tom Cannon, Chairman of the RDS Committee of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, forestry plays a significant role in the Irish Economy. Apart from providing our largest source of renewable energy, Irish forests play a vital role in helping the county meet its international climate change targets through carbon sequestration. “We would like to thank the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for their continued generous support which has seen these awards grow into the most prestigious awards in the forestry calendar”, he added.