Biodiversity in Irish Forests
Ireland’s forests and woodlands are important habitat for many native species of flora and fauna in a landscape that is increasingly under pressure from intensive agriculture and urban development. The protection and enhancement of biodiversity in our forests has become an important objective in the practice of Sustainable Forest Management (SFM). Today some 15% of all forests are required to have biodiversity as a main management objective and measures to create greater diversity in our forests are being implemented. Measures such as the increased planting of native broadleaved tree species, restructuring forests to provide more open space, deadwood habitat, native woodland in riparian zones etc. will transform many of the plantation forests established in past decades where commercial timber production was the sole priority.
In reforesting the countryside plantations (man made forests) were used to replace the native forests that were cleared over the centuries. Today, commercial conifer plantations are the most common forest type that we see in the countryside. Early plantations were […]
Centuries of clearance for agriculture and over exploitation for timber have reduced Ireland’s once extensive native woodlands to the remnants we see today. Examples of these old native woodlands are still to be found as small scattered stands that have […]
Old Woodland Sites
As part of Coillte’s commitment to Sustainable Forestry Management it conducted a desk based woodland history survey over the whole of its forest estate. It was found that some 27,000 ha constituted old woodland sites, that is, sites that have […]
Protected Species and Habitats
Ireland’s forests are home to a number of rare and protected species and habitats. Being undisturbed for long periods forests are generally suitable areas for their protection and conservation. However, forest management must ensure that they are not negatively impacted […]