Coillte

Nature Conservation in Coillte's Forests

As well as protecting our forests during operations, we also work to manage nature conservation and improve biodiversity in all areas under our control.  In this regard, we initiated a strategy in 1999 on nature conservation across the entire Coillte estate.

Coillte's nature conservation strategy was formulated to take account of the requirements of forest certification, EU Habitats and Birds Directives and National policies in relation to biodiversity and nature conservation.  One of the main focuses of this strategy is the conservation of habitats which identifies a minimum of 15% of the estate that will be managed with nature conservation as a primary management objective.  Since 2000, the process of identifying suitable areas for inclusion in this 15% has been carried out, building on the extensive site knowledge of forest managers within the company, supplemented by survey data commissioned from independent professional ecologists, who surveyed portions of the Coillte estate.  At present, we are in the process of refining and standardising a database of this ecological information so that it will become more widely available.

Healthy Forests, Healthy People

"Healthy Forests, Healthy People" is an exhibition show-casing the environmental and recreational amenity provided by Coillte’s forests. It features recreation, habitat restoration and the management of biodiversity on the company’s estate.

Coillte recognises the central role that forests play for nature conservation and biodiversity and are actively restoring some of Ireland’s most important woodland habitats.

Featured in this exhibition are Coillte’s contribution to:

-Over 2,000 km of walking and cycling trails across some of the most beautiful Irish landscape

-More than 150 recreation sites and 10 forest parks maintained by the company

-Quality trees for quality forests grown by Coillte Nurseries

-Responsibly managed forests: 88,000 hectares of Coillte’s estate managed with biodiversity as the primary objective

-The Dublin Mountains Partnership (DMP) established alongside local authorities and recreation users to provide an improved recreation experience on the public lands in the Dublin Mountains

Speaking at the launch of this exhibition in Clara in Offaly during 2009, An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, T.D. said, "I would like to pay tribute to the Company's innovative management of this natural, renewable resource and in particular to their contribution to halting the loss of biodiversity".

Coillte's Lab Ranked In Top Three In Europe

In a series of inter-laboratory calibration ring tests, the Coillte Laboratory was ranked amongst the top three laboratories out of a total of more than 50 participating laboratories from across Europe (including EU and non-EU states). The purpose of these ring tests is to assess the accuracy and precision of lab results for a complex range of parameters in  forest soils, tree foliage and forest ecosystem waters using harmonised European test methods. This work was part of the EU Life+ and Forest Service funded project, led by Fiona Harrington, on the long term monitoring of European forest ecosystems in response to air pollution and climate change.