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Woodland wisdom at CELT open day this weekend

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A CELT Woodlands Open Day, will be held in the Slieve Aughty Centre, Loughrea next Sunday September 11 from 10am to 6pm.

It is a fully hosted free event, sponsored by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The Centre for Environmental Living and Training (CELT) is opening its doors once again to celebrate Ireland’s native forests and the very many benefits of trees to ecologies, the economy and wellbeing.

Morning talks on Agroforestry and Riparian Woodland Management will be particularly geared to land owners, farmers, and anyone interested in the continuation and expansion of native woodlands.
Hosted walks will be held to demonstrate forest bathing, foraging, Brehon tree laws and Ogham alphabet as well as a medieval roundhouse.

Crafters and demonstrations will be held in bushcraft skills, archery, leather work, wood turning and much more.

There will be a forest school segment for youngsters and organic lunches will be provided.

A special screening of “Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees” takes place at 5pm.

In a statement issued to the Clare Champion, CELT stated people have appreciated trees during hot weather and temperatures for the shade they provide, the cooler localised temperatures, and how they retain water in the surrounding soils and landscapes.

Andrew St Ledger, The Woodland League public relations officer has drafted an Introduction to Agroforestry handbook aimed at farmers, which was launched at the beginning of this Woodland Promotion project, and copies will be available free on the day.

This Agroforestry Handbook is an introduction to the multiple benefits and reasons for Irish farmers, especially small farmers in the west of Ireland to consider integrating native trees onto their farms, and for small holders to consider.

“In many cases small farmers already have agroforestry on their farms, by way of hedgerows, scrub, and individual native trees, so this is nothing new.

“In a welcome move from the Department of Agriculture, in the next CAP, farmers will be allowed to have up to 50% scrub/trees on their farm and retain their basic payment.

“This opens up a lot of potential for agroforestry initiatives on farms. In the past farmers were penalised for having scrub or trees, which led to a lot of unnecessary environmental/habitat destruction.

“Our partner CELT obtained the funding for the handbook from the Department of Agriculture as part of a Woodland Promotion project and The Woodland League provided input to its design and development. It is open source available, free to use and share,” Mr Ledger said.

CELT will also run a number of field trips and webinars as part of the Woodland Support Project, all gratefully funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

An Agroforestry and Upland Native Woodland Restoration Demonstration Site Tour conducted by Andrew St Ledger will be held in Suidaine, Glendree Upper, Feakle, on September 18th from 2pm to 5 pm.

Interested participants should meet at Peppers’ Car Park, Feakle Village to car share, from 1.45.

A webinar entitled “The Great Forest of Aughty” Upland Native Woodland Restoration Project, a farmer, community, NGO, partnership approach with multiple benefits in East Clare and South Galway is scheduled on September 29 between 7 and 9pm.

This online presentation will be followed by questions and open discussion. Email celtcoordinator@gmail.com to register interest in one of their hosted walks.

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