24th February 2011

Benefits of woodlands to be showcased at Ayrshire meeting

Farmers interested in ensuring they get the welfare, economic and environmental benefits of woodland on their farm are invited to a free on-farm meeting in Ayrshire next week.

Quality Meat Scotland and the Forestry Commission Scotland are holding a Woodland and Livestock Focus Farm meeting in Ayrshire next week to look at how the economic benefits of woodlands can be maximised whilst maintaining stock numbers on livestock farms.

The meeting, which is one of a series taking part at different Woodland and Livestock Focus Farms across the country, takes place on the Bargany Estate, South Ayrshire on Wednesday 2nd March starting at 10:30am

The initiative, which is being facilitated by SAC, will also look at technical issues such as the potential animal health benefits of putting woodland barriers between neighbouring stock, assessing where shelter woods should be located to benefit livestock, as well as any other woodland or livestock farming topics raised by attendees.

Livestock can benefit greatly from shelter from wind and rain provided by woodlands and there are many other benefits including free firewood, cover for game birds and income from the sale of timber.

Peter Beattie, Technical Projects manager for QMS, said: “This exciting collaboration between QMS and FCS is demonstrating how livestock and woodland management can be integrated on commercial farms to benefit farmers and foresters alike.

“Both organisations want to investigate how the economic benefits of woodland can be maximised while stock numbers are maintained on Scottish farms.

“The meetings offer attendees the opportunity to view real-life examples of managed woodlands and discuss with the farmers and specialists the successes and challenges of combining forestry with stock keeping. The meetings will be of interest to farmers, foresters, advisors and rural policy staff.”

Speakers will include SAC’s livestock, woodland and agricultural advisers, and Forestry Commission woodland officers. Each visit will last two to three hours and is free of charge.

Those attending next week’s meeting is to be held at Bargany Estate near Girvan on Wednesday 2nd March at 10:30am, are asked to meet at the estate office for a cup of tea to start.

Please contact Jennifer Greaves of SAC on 0131 535 3011 or email jennifer.greaves@sac.co.uk to book a place.

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