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Connick launches Forestry Campaign at the National Ploughing Championships

During his visit today to the National Ploughing Championships being held at Athy, Co Kildare, Sean Connick T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with responsibility for forestry availed of the opportunity to launch a series of forestry promotional events to be held in Co. Roscommon from 3rd to 16th October 2010.

Launching the campaign entitled 'Growing Woodlands - Enhancing Our Lives', the Minister of State congratulated the participating organisations from the forestry, farming, non-governmental and state sectors for their initiative in arranging a number of events to highlight the benefits that trees and woodlands bring to our lives. Commenting on the range of events, he commented that they were "designed to attract and inform a wide spectrum of the public, from farmers and other landowners to school children and homeowners and businesses interested in trees as a sustainable and renewable resource".

Minister of State Connick also encouraged people to visit the Department's stands at J132 and Q517 which deal specifically with forestry matters. Referring to the significant threats posed to forestry by land and forest fires and the recent discovery of the Phytophora Ramorum disease on Japanese Larch, he said that information on those issues is available from the Department's Forestry Stand.

In relation to the Phytophthora Ramorum issue, the Minister of State advised that he is closely monitoring the situation in conjunction with the Forestry Inspectorate and assured all forest owners that his Department is taking all necessary actions and will continue to liaise closely with landowners in order to ensure everything possible is being done to deal with this threat.  Minister of State Connick also recorded his appreciation for the advice and assistance from other organisations in monitoring the situation.

As this was his first visit to the Ploughing Championships since his appointment as Minister of State with responsibility for forestry, he welcomed the additional opportunity to meet with people engaged in the forestry sector. Speaking on the forestry sector generally, Minister of State Connick acknowledged the challenges ahead and reiterated his determination to ensure that the most efficient and effective use was made of all resources allocated to the area.

Date Released: 21 September 2010