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Trees: From Seed to Sawdust – Episode 6 – To Plant or Not to Plant

Other European countries are blessed with a long tradition of planting trees. We lost this tradition somewhere along the line and the Irish state is now trying to encourage private landowners to plant trees. For some farmers and landowners this is a big decision to make, and, in this programme, we speak with retired forester from Coillte Barry Comiskey. He used to go around and visit farmers and talk to them about the benefits of planting trees. He recalls the misgivings that farmers would have had at the time and benefits and supports available to the farmer to plant trees. We also speak with Jim Carroll, a farmer from Castlecomer who was one of the first in his area to plant forestry on his land back in the 1990s. Despite some ups and downs between licences and other issues ‘he has never been sorry that he planted trees’. ‘The trees have been good to me’. Finally in this programme Nicholas Sweetman, farmer and Director of the Irish Wood Producers lays out the importance of trees to mitigate against climate change and calls on the government to ease some of the regulations in the licensing system to make it easier on farmers to join the afforestation programme. The programme ends with a response from Pippa Hackett, Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity, to some of the issues raised by the participants in this programme. Trees: From Seed to Sawdust is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine as part of the Woodland Support Project.

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