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McEntee presents RDS/Forest Service Irish Forestry Awards 2012

Shane McEntee, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry, presented the RDS/Forest Service Irish Forestry Awards 2012 at a ceremony this afternoon in Castletown House, Celbridge, Co. Kildare.

This is the 25th year of the Awards, which recognise and reward those who employ the principles of sustainable forest management on their properties including sound commercial management, environmental protection, bio-diversity and social amenity. There were two awards categories, 'Farm Forestry' and 'Bio-Diverse Forestry/Woodlands', which relate to the need to develop woodlands that can contribute to the economy and, at the same time, support and create habitats for wildlife.

In his speech, Minister McEntee outlined the significant role that the forestry sector plays in the economy and society. He added, in relation to the Awards, "a number of sectors present awards to acknowledge excellence in their respective enterprises so I believe it is highly appropriate for the forestry sector to do likewise. While acknowledging and rewarding the efforts of the winners in the categories, these Awards also promote the forest industry generally and highlight the work being done to enhance forests".

The winner of the Farm Forestry category was Mr. Colm Foy, Ferefad, Co. Longford.  In the Bio-Diverse Forestry/Woodlands category, the winning forest plantation was Clonbur Wood, managed by Coillte, which is located outside the village of Clonbur, Co. Galway. Awards were also made to the runners-up in the main categories and to provincial winners. The judging panel also made a discretionary 'Special Judges Award' to Mr. Donal Magner, Author and Forestry Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal.

The Minister thanked the Royal Dublin Society for their organization of the competition, the judging panel and all those who entered this year's competition. In congratulating the winners, he said that the Awards are recognition of those who have displayed the highest standards of forest planting and management.  He also thanked the OPW for facilitating the hosting of the Awards ceremony in Castletown House, Co. Kildare.

Date Released: 25 October 2012