Forestry and Wood Sector
Leitrim and Forestry
Leitrim has a very active forestry sector. Approximately 17% of the County is forested compared to the national average of 11%. The proportion of privately owned forestry is growing steadily from 2.4hectares in 1982 to 278 hectares in 2012. The soils and climate of leitrim are very well suited to planting, as it is rich in mineral gley; surface water gley; and brown poolzolic soils.
Opportunities in Forestry
Ireland’s forest industry has changed from the single goal of timber production to the modern approach of multiple use. Potential uses of forestry include:- Construction (renewable building material)
- Wood energy (wood pellets, wood chip, firewood)
- Carbon Storage
Private timber production in Leitrim is forecast to increase from 22,000m₃ in 2012 to 87,000 m₃ by 2022.
Examples of Companies/Projects in Forest Sector in Leitrim
Merenda Limited is a family run business, based in Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim. Merenda design and manufacture wood veneer component products which are used in the manufacture of furniture pieces and for interior wood decors such as architrave and skirting board.
Masonite Ireland is part of Masonite International and is based in Drumsna, Co Leitrim. The Irish plant exports Moulded Door Panels to Door Manufacturers in 30 countries in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Masonite Ireland is an important part of the Irish timber products sector.
McMorrow Haulage Ltd are specialists in Timber Harvesting, Timber Haulage and supplier of Firewood and are based in Dowra, Co. Leitrim.
Glenfarne Demense In 2000, a unique project came to fruition in the Glenfarne Demesne in northeast Leitrim. Situated on the shores of Lough MacNean, this property once formed a portion of the Tottenham estate, where large-scale plantings of broadleaves and conifers took place from the late 1930s to the 1950s. Lough MacNean marks the border between the counties of Leitrim, Cavan and Fermanagh. In late 1999, Coillte was approached by the Lough Macnean Sculpture Trail Committee to develop a project, which is cross-border and cross-community, to promote reconciliation between the communities of these three counties through the medium of sculpture and the visual arts within a forest setting. There is a picnic area and boat quay at the lake, but the road through the Demesne is not open to the public. At Glenfarne Demesne you can enjoy about 2.5 km of walks or a drive along the lake shore.
Useful Contacts for Forestry in Leitrim
Steven Meyen, Forestry Development Officer, Teagasc
s#t#e#v#e#n#.#m#e#y#e#n#|#t#e#a#g#a#s#c#.#i#e 353 (0)71 9131189 or 087 6775158
Marina Conway, Western Forestry Co-Operative
i#n#f#o#|#w#e#s#t#e#r#n#f#o#r#e#s#t#r#y#c#o#o#p#.#i#e www.westernforestrycoop.ie 353 (0)71 9161458
James Duffy, Leitrim Development Company, Drumshanbo
J#a#m#e#s#|#l#d#c#o#.#i#e 353 (0)71 9641740
Leitrim- One Call to Success 353 (0)71 9650496
Role of Local Authority in Forestry
- Each local authority has a role in planning - planning for initial forestation and expansion as well as planning permission being required where an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required.
- In certain protected landscapes tree planting may be restricted or prohibited altogether.
- Applications to the forestry services for planting or felling are referred to the Planning Authority for its observations.
- The County Development Plan of the Local Authority contains policies in relation to the role of forestry in the Leitrim Economy. This plan is currently being prepared for 2015 – 2021 and consultation is on-going.
The Local Enterprise Office is based in the offices of Leitrim County Council and it offers a range of supports to businesses including the Forestry and Energy sector e.g. mentoring, training, financial and information supports.