Coillte Embrace Continuous Cover Forestry in Dublin Mountains Makeover

There was much excitement this week when my forestry colleague Karen Woods –Pro Silva Ireland committee member and Coillte Operations Manager (Coillte is Ireland’s semi-state body that manages Ireland’s public forests) announced that there has been a landmark decision to manage the popular Dublin Mountain forests using Close-to-Nature continuous cover forestry methods. The conversation of new-to-Ireland continuous cover forestry began 20 years ago with Pro SIlva Ireland, and the support of the international Pro Silva federation of foresters from many countries. And now it’s being implemented in Ireland, with much national pride, that yes we can radically reimagine forestry for broader environmental, social values. Hurrah from Hollywood forest too!!

Pro Silva Ireland

Coillte have unveiled an ambitious plan to makeover their Dublin Mountains forests through continuous cover forestry management. Pro Silva principles will be used to transition nine forests to more diverse woodlands with a focus on habitat preservation and recreation. CCF management techniques can be used for commercial timber production in balance with other forest ecosystem services, but in this case Coillte will use CCF techniques to transform former plantation forestry to more natural woodlands where the primary aim is to provide for recreation and biodiversity enhancement. Coillte Operations Manager Karen Woods (also a Pro Silva Ireland Committee member) clearly explains the move in an excellent new video released for the occasion. Pro Silva Ireland welcomes the announcement and the chance for CCF management to be showcased at scale in public forests.

Read more here:dublinmountainsmakeover

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Haumea Online: 2nd Pilot Ecoliteracy Course for Creatives and Art Professionals – booked out

cathy Fitzgerald | Haumea | Ecoliteracy for the arts

This is the time for a Great Reset. Let’s use it to change the way we see ourselves and our place on Earth. The conservationistAldo Leopold once wrotethat “one of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen.” But if everyone has an ecological education, we will not live alone, and it will not be a world of wounds.

George Monbiot, ‘Coronavirus shows us it’s time to rethink everything. Let’s start with education’,The Guardian, 12 May 2020


I was thinking that I would be writing this post to attract more participants to signup for my 2nd 6-week Haumea Online pilot course ‘Essential Ecoliteracy for Creatives and Art Professionals’. I am trying to make an accessible and inspiring online course on key ecological knowledge, eco-philosophy, eco-ethics…

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‘The Battle of Moytura Or The Battle for the Soul of Ireland’:- why ecoliteracy for the arts is essential now

cathy Fitzgerald | Haumea | Ecoliteracy for the arts

This is a special post for me. I’m reflecting on the first of what I expect to be many more contributions from ecoliterate creatives I am getting to know in my online ecoliteracy course. I now have the good fortune to meet such talented creatives from all art disciplines and from across the world, in my efforts to bring ecoliteracy to the arts. Their work has nourished me in these challenging times.

I’d like to share this new work below from Irish writer Fearghal Duffy who has a deep interest in Irish myth and who was ‘a student’ in my first 6-week ‘Haumea Ecoliteracy for Creatives and Art Educators’ pilot online course (I hesitate to call my cohort ‘students’ as they are remarkably talented).

This new work from Fearghal came about as I invited my first cohort of students to present a small work for our last online Zoom group…

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Innovative 6-week online ‘Ecoliteracy course for Creatives and Art Educators’–seen as a success on Earth Day 2020

This post is from my Haumea Ecoliteracy for the Arts site from a few weeks ago: I have been so busy the last few months in launching my first pilot online course. As I’m just about to launch my next pilot course I thought my followers would like to hear how it went.

cathy Fitzgerald | Haumea | Ecoliteracy for the arts

ABOVE: ‘The Rapunzel Tree’ – new painting courtesy of Irish artist Rachel Webb, April 2020

In this planetary pause, there is more awareness that we need to live well with the Earth’s wider community of life. Creative practices–informed by ecoliteracy (ecological knowledge)–will have important social power to invite society to reflect and reimagine the better world we know is possible. Cathy Fitzgerald PhD., launched an innovative 6-week online ecoliteracy course for creatives that coincided with the pandemic. She reflects now that an accessible and engaging ecoliteracy education for our art sector shouldn’t cost the Earth.


“Today, is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and I’m hosting the final live Zoom meeting of my pilot 6-week ecoliteracy for creatives course. My course has been timely–I have found a relatively low-cost means to share my eco-social art practice experience and knowledge of advances in the art and ecology area in an…

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“I love the story of ‘the little wood that could’. Hope lots of people get to know it.”

I was honoured that my ‘Hollywood Forest Story’ was one of several eco-blogs featured in 🇮🇪 The Irish Times today!

cathy Fitzgerald | Haumea | Ecoliteracy for the arts

Above: a comment shared on twitter by Irish architect Helena Fitzgerald 3/5/2020. Image from within Hollywood forest, looking out to the wider world – from The Hollywood Forest blog by Cathy Fitzgerald.


‘uplifting and insightful writing, and images to delight the eye’ –

‘Getting Out into Nature with a Good Blog’, Paddy Woodworth, The Irish Times, 3 May 2020

I was honoured that my ‘Hollywood Forest Story’ was one of several eco-blogs featured in 🇮🇪 The Irish Times today!

I was also delighted to be in the company of others’ important work in this article – those who have long sought to raise appreciation and awareness for the wonder and plight of the living world. US author David George Haskell’s Song of the Trees (2017) is a favourite book of mine (the last book my late mother gifted to me) and I much admire Director of the Irish…

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A further 2-year Creative Ireland programme for Carlow’s Drummin Bog announced on 50th anniversary of Earth Day

My work with others for restoring a local wetlands – The Drummin Bog Project, has resulted in some great support from Creative Ireland and ArtLInks for furthering art activities in the surrounding area.

I’m so delighted to find the eco-social art framework that I worked on in Hollywood forest is been put to use in another context. Its also a delight to work with local artists and my husband Martin who is a former geologist and now stone sculptor on a project that is close to where we live. Martin is supervising the scientific and geotechnical surveys of Drummin Bog and Willow is involved too 🙂

The Drummin Bog Project: Celebrating Carlow's only Raised Bog


Update: The Drummin Bog Project committee are pleased to confirm a 2-yearprogramme of creative projects to raise awareness of this unique wetland habitatwill continue later in 2020 and into 2021. At present, the programme is temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 virus restrictions. Sadly, fire has also recently damaged part of Drummin Bog but fortunately it does not affect the area for the Creative Ireland programme.


In early 2020, the Drummin Bog Project was delighted to learn that South Carlow-based Drummin Bog committee members and artists Jules Michael and Cathy Fitzgerald were successful in gaining significant ongoing funding fromCarlow – Creative IrelandandArtLinksto further the eco-social art programme of the Drummin Bog Project. The funding will enable rich, inclusive collaborationsbetween members of BEAM, Bagenalstown, members of BagenalstownFamily ResourceCentre, environmental archaelogists from UCC,historical woodwright Eoin Donnelly, people living near Drummin Bog and the wider Carlow community.

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The Hollywood Forest Story in Ireland, Aotearoa New Zealand and The Irish Times

What is the purpose of art? We might put a potentially wise response to that question this way: Art has the same purpose all other activity has, namely to further the conditions of life, or to cultivate the whole of life onward. This cultivation of life is a "mental" process, and thus the world has…Read more The Hollywood Forest Story in Ireland, Aotearoa New Zealand and The Irish Times