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Saturday 25 March 2017

Pro Silva Ireland launch long-term forestry proposal

A policy document that prioritises the need for long-term, permanent, mixed-species forestry is to be launched this week.

A policy document that prioritises the need for long-term, permanent, mixed-species forestry is to be launched this week.

Pro Silva Ireland is launching its forestry policy document in conjunction with its open day at Cloragh Farm, Co Wicklow, on Saturday.

The all-island group, which represents professional forest owners and managers is part of Pro Silva Europe, a network of 27 forestry organisations.

The policy document sets out a list of criteria for forestry, which is both ecologically and economically sustainable and endorses the 'close to nature -- continuous cover professional forest management systems' that have been developed and practised in European countries since the middle of the 20th Century.

The Pro Silva Ireland forest policy addresses the following issues:



  • Forests should be permanent and managed in conjunction with, rather than in conflict with, nature.
  • A broader base of silvicultural systems, including close to nature systems, should be available to and used by Irish foresters and forest owners.
  • New forests are necessary in Ireland in order to sequester carbon, regulate climate, provide indigenous energy and timber resources, enhance biodiversity and provide new recreational areas.
  • Native woodland areas should be strategically protected and restored with strategic new linkages.
  • Forest management systems and forest policy should be refined to optimise this important function of carbon sequestration.
  • The capacity for forests to produce timber, a sustainable natural resource, is of great importance and creates employment while sustaining a wide range of industries, from craft to industrial, across rural Ireland.
  • An all-Ireland deer management policy should be developed, which leads to sustainable deer numbers and profitable stalking and venison sectors.
  • Sustainable forest management is dependent on adequate forest access for timber harvesting, extraction, other management and recreation, and funding for the development of access in private forests is essential if private forestry is to develop sustainably in Ireland.
  • Both governments, North and South, should adopt a certified forest products procurement policy whereby all paper, timber and other forest products bought by or for Government is certified.


Two leading European forestry experts will attend the open day at Cloragh Farm, Nun's Cross, Ashford, Co Wicklow. Dr Jurij Diaci is the head of the Slovenian forest service and Professor Jurgen Huss is one of Germany's issue experts.

The event, which will run from 11am to 4pm, is also open to the public.


Details of Pro Silva Ireland's forest policy document and upcoming events, including a free public talk by Dr Jurij Diaci on close to nature forestry on Friday, can be found at www.prosilvaireland.org.

Irish Independent