IFA Farm Forestry Chairman Pat Hennessy has urged farmers to adhere to the restrictions on the cutting, burning or destruction of vegetation growing on uncultivated land or in hedges during the nesting and breeding season from tomorrow March 1st to August 31st.
He said, “Although there are some exemptions to the restrictions for works carried out during the normal course of agriculture and forestry, we are asking farmers to be extra vigilant. 2010 was the worst year in recorded history for forest fires. Over 2,000 hectares of forests were destroyed, of which approximately 1,000 hectares were privately owned.”
Pat Hennessy said, “The forest fires resulted in a significant financial loss for many farmers who did not have forest insurance. They incurred the loss of the value of the timber, but also the cost of replanting the forest without a grant, which is significantly higher after a forest fire.”
He advised farmers to insure their forests to protect their investment and to cover the replanting costs.
IFA have joined forces with FBD to develop the Timber Growing Insurance policy that covers the fire brigade call out charges, loss of timber and replanting cost. It has also been extended to cover fire brigade call out charges for a fire in the vicinity of a forest that may threaten neighbouring plantations.
“Although there were substantial financial losses in 2010, thankfully there was no loss of life. I would ask the public to be watchful and to contact the Gardai if they see a fire in vicinity of a forest.”