First Woodland Fair visits Clandeboye Estate

Pictured are Brian Malcomson, RFS NI Division Honorary Secretary; Karen Kane,Clandeboye Courtyard Events Manager; Lady Dufferin; James Hamilton Stubber, RFS NI Division Chairman  and Michael Topping, Woodland Trust Ancient Woodland Restoration Officer
Pictured are Brian Malcomson, RFS NI Division Honorary Secretary; Karen Kane,Clandeboye Courtyard Events Manager; Lady Dufferin; James Hamilton Stubber, RFS NI Division Chairman and Michael Topping, Woodland Trust Ancient Woodland Restoration Officer
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Plans are well underway for the Northern Ireland Woodland Fair which is organised by the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) and hosted by Clandeboye Estate.

The event which is the first of its kind to be held in Northern Ireland is due to be held on Sunday 28th and Bank Holiday Monday 29th May 2017.

The RFS which was established in 1882 is the largest and longest established education charity promoting the wise management of woods in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Its mission is to inspire passion and excellence in woodland management through education and knowledge sharing, and whose vision is for all woodlands to be actively managed and valued by all, for social, economic and environmental benefits. The society has a diverse membership of over 3,500 members including woodland owners, professional forest managers, arborists, countryside professionals, conservationists, lecturers, students and people with an active interest in learning about the care of woodlands and trees.

The fair will be held in conjunction with the annual Clandeboye Open Day where the estate opens the grounds and private gardens up to the public. In recent years, this has only been a one day event but due to demand, the estate has decided to open for the full two days over the May Bank Holiday weekend in 2017. Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy the fabulous private gardens which are owned by the Marchioness of Dufferin & Ava, whilst listening to live music and browsing the many local food and craft stalls.

The private gardens were created by the 1st Marquess of Dufferin & Ava in 1850. Lord Dufferin engaged James Fraser, a renowned Scottish landscape gardener to advise on the creation of the parkland, arboretum and walks to Helens Tower and Helens Bay. Each generation has added to its development over the last 160 years, and today Lady Dufferin has one of the most extensive and eclectic collections in Ireland with more than 3,000 catalogued shrubs and trees. Lady Dufferin is passionate about the gardens and woods and is determined that she leaves her legacy which will be enjoyed by generations to come.

The Woodland Fair will take place adjacent the formal gardens and will consist of a woodland village where there will be dozens of exhibitors who will showcase what they have on offer. These exhibitors will range from woodland industry organisations and funders, woodland education and conservation groups, sawmill and biomass suppliers and woodworking specialists. Additionally, a waymarked trail will take people along a self-guided educational Woodland Operations demonstration tour. This will allow visitors to observe from a safe distance live demonstrations of woodland management operations such as timber harvesting and forwarding, horse logging, biomass chipping, tree surgery and dismantling, firewood processing, mobile sawmilling, charcoal making and planting. With the assistance of interpretation boards along the route this tour will explain the What, Why, Where and When of Woodland Management.

This event is action packed for the whole family, and many activities will be on offer for children of all ages.

For further details please contact Clandeboye Courtyard on 028 9185 3457.