Irish Marteloscopes: learning from each other’s experiences

A workshop took place at the Agriculture and Food Development Authority (Teagasc), Oak Park, Carlow in Ireland mid-February 2019 to allow for a professional exchange on how Marteloscopes are used for training and education. Around 15 workshop participants representing Teagasc, Coillte, the Forestry Division of the Department of Agriculture Food and Marine (DAFM), the Irregular Silviculture Network (ISN) and EFI discussed the potential for cooperation involving both new Irish Marteloscopes sites and those of the existing Marteloscope network.

Following a welcome by Nuala Ni Fhlatharta (Teagasc), Robert Windle (DAFM Forestry Division) gave an update on continuous cover forestry (CCF) in Ireland. Phil Morgan (ISN) and Andreas Schuck (EFI) gave an insight on the setup, tools and applications for Marteloscopes. Aileen O’Sullivan (Coillte) introduced the Coillte biodiversity classification tool ‘BioClass’ that is designed to categorize key areas of ecological value. This tool will enable Coillte to ensure its biodiversity areas are properly managed and resourced.

Padraig O’Tuama (ISN) presented research activities utilising Irish Marteloscopes. The project “tree marker training for stand transformation” was stressed by Ted Wilson (Teagasc and UCD) while Jonathan Spazzi (Teagasc) gave insight to his work on applying CCF to private forestry in Ireland. Field excursions took place to existing Irish Marteloscopes and potential new training sites.

Exchange of experiences in Oak Park (Carlow) in Ireland

The two-day exchange showed that there is much to benefit from one another’s knowledge and expertise. Special interest arose in relation to tree microhabitats and their potential use in field training for addressing nature conservation aspects of forest management. This topic is receiving increased attention in forestry as well as with the general public in Ireland. It was thus agreed to adapt one existing Marteloscope site to the Integrate approach by assessing tree microhabitat structures. That will also allow to apply the I+ Trainer software. According to the workshop participants there are plans to establish further Marteloscopes for covering different forest types in Ireland. They proposed that data collection should ensure compatibility with the Integrate approach.

INFORMAR is an interdisciplinary project aimed at understanding the current and future ecological, socio-political and economic drivers and the potential of integrated forest management in Europe. The project is based on three pillars: Policy – supporting the European Network Integrate; Practice – coordinating the growing network of Marteloscopes; and Research – identifying the drivers of integrated forest management and nature conservation approaches.

Photo credit: Ted Wilson

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