Protecting the Environment

We aim to positively contribute to the environment and to communities.

Responsible Forest Management (RFM) is the principle by which Coillte manages its forest operations, developments and excision. RFM is independently verified through the Forest Certification process. Forest certification of our forest estate demonstrates to stakeholders and customers that our natural resource management practices are economically, socially and environmentally responsible.

Coillte is conscious of the need for caution during forest operations to ensure that our work is carried out in a sustainable manner. Coillte ensures that environmental and social impacts of forest operations or enterprise developments are assessed prior to commencement of any site disturbing operations. The purpose of an Environmental Impact Appraisal (EIA) is to identify potentially significant adverse impact at planning stage and to propose measures to mitigate against such impacts.

There are four established strategies for impact mitigation used by Coillte as part of its EIA process including avoidance, reduction, remedy and contingency or emergency planning. 

This EIA procedure is audited annually as part of forest certification and is considered to be effective.

Protecting and Restoring Valuable Habitats

As part of our Nature Conservation strategy, between 2002 and 2009, Coillte carried out three habitat restoration projects which were co-funded by the EU LIFE-Nature Programme. Taken together, our Blanket Bog (2002-2007) and Raised Bog (2004-2008) restoration projects have restored over 2,500 hectares of bog on the Coillte estate in the west and midlands.  This included the felling of conifer trees on 1,400 hectares and the blocking of forest drains on 1,900 hectares, in order to restore natural water table levels. 

The LIFE-Nature Unit of the European Commission informed Coillte that the Raised Bog LIFE Project (2004-2008) carried out in Ireland has been selected as one of the best LIFE Nature projects out of the 73 that finished and were evaluated in 2009.

Our third LIFE project, Restoring Priority Woodland Habitats (2006-2009), concluded in December 2009.  Through the removal of invasive tree and shrub species from over 550 hectares, this project has put in place conditions which will allow native woodland to regenerate naturally in future years.    For further information, please see details of Coillte’s Habitat Restoration Projects. 

Recognition of our work in restoring habitats and attracting people to nature clearly shows us living the values we have set ourselves.