New full-colour book highlights Ireland's native woodlands - Ministers Humphreys and Doyle

Date Posted: 28.09.2017

A new full-colour book entitled Management Guidelines for Ireland’s Native Woodlands has today been launched by Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Andrew Doyle TD, the Ministers responsible for nature conservation policy and forest policy in Ireland.

Native woodlands are among our richest and most important natural habitats, and are key to wider countryside biodiversity, water protection, landscape and heritage. They also provide diverse products for their owners, form the basis for eco-tourism enterprises, and represent an invaluable resource for local communities and school children to enjoy and to learn about their local heritage and the wider natural world.

A joint initiative between the Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht and the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, the new book provides owners and practitioners with key information on establishing and managing native woodlands as a living part of our countryside, to realise their full potential. It is co-authored by Dr John Cross and Kevin Collins, individuals with wide expertise in the area.

Minister Humphreys said:
“I am delighted to see the release of this valuable manual on woodland management. Our native woodlands are a very special resource for biodiversity, especially the very long-standing woodlands. They are a key component of some of our best national parks and nature reserves, and contribute greatly to the landscapes we protect in those parks and in the wider countryside. They give us a wide range of other services, and are a wonderful amenity for enjoyment and healthy exercise. Communities across the country are genuinely engaged in caring for and enjoying such woodlands; they, and professional foresters, will benefit from the publication launched today.”

Minister Doyle said "Between them, the authors combine many years of experience of ecology and forestry and have produced an attractive and practical set of guidelines offering clear and concise guidance for the establishment and management of our native woodlands. We believe that these Management Guidelines for Ireland’s Native Woodlands will contribute significantly to enhancing the quality and encouraging the expansion of this vital component of Ireland’s natural, historical and cultural heritage."

Support is available from the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine for the planting of new native woodland, comprising grants of up to €5,750 / ha and annual premiums of €635 / ha for 15 years. This scheme is operated in partnership with Woodlands of Ireland, an umbrella group representing native woodland stakeholders in Ireland.

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