A 'Woodland for Water' event took place at the Teagasc Moorepark Research Centre on Wednesday 29 May.

The event is focused on enhancing water quality and wider farm sustainability.

The event highlights a number of sustainability measures implemented on Moorepark Research Farm, with a particular focus on planting trees in a strategic part of the farm.

In 2023, 3ha of new native woodland and undisturbed water setbacks along the River Funshion were established.

The Funshion river flows alongside the farm in Fermoy.


Attendees of Wednesday's event experienced at first hand how this woodland measure is working with a suite of other on-farm initiatives to greatly enhance Moorpark’s sustainability credentials.

Such initiatives include the use of grass and clover swards, achieving optimum pH, fertiliser formulation, low emissions slurry spreading, extended grazing, effective manure management and an extensive new hedgerow establishment (8km).

Professor Frank O’Mara stressed how the event "showcases Teagasc’s multi-faceted approach to whole-farm planning, demonstrating the important role of trees in contributing to farm sustainability and maintaining and enhancing water quality".

This, he added, complements the range of on-farm measures highlighted in the Teagasc marginal abatement cost curve (MACC) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Tom Houlihan of the Teagasc forestry department said: “Many farms have areas that would be suitable for planting trees, particularly if it can be incorporated with a phosphate flow pathway to help break the pathway of overland flow."


Outdoor presentations from Teagasc Moorepark researchers, the forestry development department, ASSAP and LAWPRO, the Environment and Signpost programmes underlined the wide range of significant water-related ecosystem services and whole-farm planning potential provided by new native woodland and undisturbed water setbacks along the riverbank.

Farm benefits from this woodland development include the reduction in sediment mobilisation and runoff into the adjacent river; the interception of nutrient runoff into the watercourse; riverbank stabilisation and restoration, in addition to increases in native woodland biodiversity, carbon sequestration and habitat linkage within the wider Moorepark landscape.