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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‘Uinse’ by Sarah Flynn: grieving Ireland’s madness for monocultures

At a conference in Ireland in 2004, I remarked that the Irish had had enough experience of imported plant disease to last them a thousand years - the calamitous potato famine in 1845. The man from the Ministry got up and bleated nothing could be done because this would restrict trade and the World Trade…Read more ‘Uinse’ by Sarah Flynn: grieving Ireland’s madness for monocultures

Why ancient tree knowledge in Ireland matters today: Blackstairs Ecotrails film and Ogham tree-teaching stone

Today, Ireland only has remnants of its ancient forests and has one of the lowest levels of tree cover in Europe. While afforestation is promoted with plantations of conifers and native trees (tree cover across Ireland is around 12%) there is value in considering how ancient forests were once regarded. Ireland was deforested over many…Read more Why ancient tree knowledge in Ireland matters today: Blackstairs Ecotrails film and Ogham tree-teaching stone