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Midwest Field Day

Visit to 7ha of 23 year old mixed forest managed in a CCF manner together with a visit to 60 ha mixed forest which was a category winner in the RDS Farm Forestry Awards in 2008

Meet at the Cobbler's Rest Pub, Bodyke, Co Clare

This event will accumulate 30 CPD points

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Our first stop is a 7ha mixed broadleaved forest near Bodyke where Kevin Keary (Forest Service) will present an overview of forestry in East Clare. This 23 year old forest is owned by Paddy Gleeson and managed by Johnathan Spazzi. It is worked as a Continuous Cover Forest (CCF) where the overall objective is ‘to maximise the commercial benefits from an area of woodland while letting natural processes do most of the work’. In 1999, this forest won the Farm Forestry category of the RDS-Forest Service Irish Forestry Awards. Topics for discussion here will include the management of a diverse range of broadleaves (oak, sweet chestnut, ash, beech, sycamore and cherry), thinning operations, tree selection, harvesting and extraction, timber utilisation and markets for broadleaved species.

In the afternoon, we will visit a nearby 60ha mixed plantation at Ballynabrone which is owned by Noel Kelly and managed by Donal Fitzpatrick. Planted in 2001, this site also carries a very diverse range of species which are managed with the twin objectives of timber production and amenity/biodiversity enhancement. This forest won the Farm Forestry category of the RDS-Forest Service Irish Forestry Awards in 2008. Points for discussion at this site include the challenges of managing a large range of species, silvicultural systems, income optimisation and the markets for minor species.