Some of you know that I am away from Ireland presently due to family reasons. As such, I’m very sorry to be missing the very first Pro Silva Ireland Close-to-Nature forestry management day in my home area. I work voluntarily with the committee of Pro Silva Ireland who are organising this event (22 April 2017),  to develop awareness of the growing conversations and real examples of this alternative forest management approach throughout Ireland.

My involvement with Pro Silva Ireland (established in 2000) to help with their communications,  means I get fantastic advice from leading Irish and international foresters (Pro Silva Ireland is part of a pan-European forestry network)  for Hollywood’s transformation into a resilient, mixed age, mixed species forest. Such knowledge feeds directly into my eco-social art practice, where conversations, the social learning from foresters and landowners, informs and motivates my long term creative practice. At this event, I’m particularly delighted to know the experience of how commercial plantations planted by a local farmer, Peter Rose, are being managed for continuous cover, will be shared with a local audience (and others who are coming from across Ireland) who would perhaps not associate innovative forestry practices with Carlow.

Also, the event in Carlow will be special with the launch of the first full-colour comprehensive and practice guide to Close-to-Nature forest management for Irish forests. Padriag O’Tuama (past Chair of ProSilva Ireland) has worked hard to have this fully illustrated practical guide made available for the growing interest in continuous cover forestry in Ireland. There will also be discussion, of the importance of the freshwater pearl shell mussel in the Blackstairs valley area and how permanent forest management can be a positive management strategy for this endangered Irish species.  Please feel welcome to attend if you have an interest in alternative forest management and how forestry is changing in Carlow. Details below.

Saturday 22nd April

in a commercial farm forest at Spahill, Borris, Co. Carlow

Including launch of New Pro Silva Practical Guide

(see directions below).

Meeting Time 11.00 AM

The forest site is situated near the town of Borris in South Co. Carlow. This part of Carlow is influenced by the River Barrow and also the Blackstairs Mountains to the East.

The site is part of the 110 ha farm owned by Peter Rose.  Peter is mainly involved in suckler cow farming for beef production and commercial farm forestry. Almost half of the total farm area (approx 50ha) has been planted under forestry through the Afforestation scheme. The forest area comprises average sized farm forestry blocks (6ha) ranging in age from 10 years to 26 years old and has a wide range of species including Sitka spruce, Norway spruce, Douglas fir, Larch, Scots pine and hardwoods of ash, sycamore and oak. Forestry operations here are influenced by the fact that the plots are within a Freshwater pearl mussel catchment area.

We will be looking at a six hectare, 26 year old SS/NS plot that has received a 2nd thinning intervention and is in the process of CCF transformation. The second part of the day will be looking at a 20 year old SS/NS stand that has had a 1st thinning. Here we will carry out a marking exercise that will allow participants to actively select trees for removal.

Forest stops for discussion on the day will include:

·       Thinning selection for CCF (3rd thinning)

·       Freshwater pearl mussel and aquatic zone management

·       Clearfell site due to windthrow (Storm Darwin)

·       Marking exercise in spruce stand (2nd thinning)

The day will be led by Pro Silva Ireland committee member Manus Crowley with input from other committee members who actively manage CCF sites around Ireland.

Huw Denman

We will also be joined by Huw Denman of SelectFor ( ).  Huw is a forest manager based in West Wales.  He has direct experience in the transformation of upland commercial forestry plantations and has studied the application of CCF principles abroad.  He has a background in harvesting and marketing and in forest certification.  Huw is no stranger to Ireland and Irish forestry and has been, along with his Selectfor colleagues, a close supporter of Pro Silva Ireland over the years.  He has also worked professionally in Ireland for many years in private forest management, training and certification.

 Launch of New Pro Silva Booklet

During the day we will be launching a new booklet called “Pro Silva Silviculture” which provides very practical guidelines on implementing continuous cover forestry and close to nature forestry management practices.

We are very proud of this new publication which was originally produced by our friends in Wallonia and has been translated into English with financial assistance from the Forest Service in the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine.

Participants should bring a packed lunch and be dressed for the outdoors!


As usual at Pro Silva Ireland field days we will be collecting a voluntary contribution (suggested as €20) towards the running of field days and other events.



Make your way to Borris Co. Carlow and follow the road (R702) south through the town. Take the lefty turn at the bottom of the town (signposted Rathanna) and travel out underneath the old viaduct bridge. Stay on this road for approx 2.5km and take left.  Follow road and you will see ProSilva event signs to site


Googgle maps details and directions

Site location

Directions from Borris:


For further queries contact:  Manus Crowley 087 4165106

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.