This aims to plant native, permanent woodlands on public land.
An Irish Rail (Iarnród Éireann) site in Roscommon is already being considered as a starting point.
The voluntary planting of native trees is becoming increasingly rare- in 2017, more than half of the trees planted were Sitka spruce forestry for commercial purposes.
And today only 2% of Ireland’s tree cover is native.
This scheme also meets one of the biodiversity commitments in the Program for the Government.
Minister of Forestry Pippa Hackett says that it will improve Ireland’s climate and biodiversity, as well as ‘protect water and add to our landscapes’. She also explained that native woodlands are ‘an important part of Ireland’s heritage, culture and history.’
This could be a starting point towards a new age of tree recognition, but there are those who have expressed their concern towards the fact that these woodlands may not be properly cared for.
Andrew St Ledger of the Centre for Environmental Living and Training suggested that the forests could be maintained by locally trained people, rather than being left alone, to provide long-term benefits for the locals.
What exactly does he mean by that- would it not be better for them to be wild?
What do you think?