20 Years A-Growing! Celebrating Ireland's Native Woodlands
Monday 30th April & Tuesday 1st May
Glenview Hotel, Delgany, Co. Wicklow
A comprehensive and in-depth conference on Ireland’s native woodlands will take place over two days, from April 30th to May 1st 2018 at the Glenview Hotel, Delgany, Co. Wicklow. The event is titled ’20 Years A-Growing’ and has been organised by Woodlands of Ireland to celebrate two decades of work to restore, manage and create new native woodlands in Ireland. Anyone with an interest in native woodlands - including landowners, farmers, the forestry industry, academics and environmental communities - is encouraged to attend.
Presentations by leading Irish and international experts will cover a wide range of topics, from managing native woodlands and hedgerows to flood management and woodlands for water protection, while panel discussions will focus on the steps that should be taken to ensure Ireland meets its ambitious targets to plant and restore native woodlands over the next three years. Other topics will include the recent arrival of the great spotted woodpecker, spiders and other invertebrates from native woodlands, invasive species and climate change, seed saving, deer ecology and rewilding.
A field excursion on the second day will take participants on guided walks around County Wicklow to learn more about the management and establishment of native woodlands in practice. This will include visits to Deputy’s Pass, Glenealy and Ballycoyle, Glencree, both of which have been restored and expanded under the Native Woodland Scheme. We will also visit a site at Ballygannon, Rathdrum, which has been restored under the People's Millennium Forest Project. Ireland has the lowest forest cover of all European countries at 11% land cover, of which only 1.5% is native woodland; on average, over 40% of the 33 EU Member States are wooded. Up to 2020, Government targets are to create up to 6,500 acres of new native woodlands and to manage nearly 5,000 acres of existing native woodlands in the current Forestry Programme.
“This highly anticipated conference is essential for landowners, farmers and woodland owners interested in afforesting their land with native woodland or managing their existing native woodlands," said Dr Declan Little, Project Manager at Woodland’s of Ireland. "They will hear first-hand how this can be best achieved, as well as generous incentives and technical supports that are currently available to do so."
Funds of over €20million have been made available to invest in Irish native woodlands over the coming years and it is estimated that native woodlands provide valuable timber and non-timber services that contribute up to €100million to the Irish economy per annum.
Woodlands of Ireland is a national non-governmental organisation that is dedicated to the conservation and expansion of Ireland’s native woodlands since its inception in 1998.