SAVE THE DATE: 2017 Native Woodlands Conference October 9 – 11, 2017

Save the Date!


Woodlands of Ireland is pleased to announce the 2017 conference, Native Woodlands 20 Years On: Progress, Opportunities and Challenges, which will take place at Knockranny House Hotel, Westport, Co. Mayo on Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th of October.


On Wednesday 11th, there will be an excursion to look to at the management of an ancient woodland at Brackloon Wood, just outside Westport, and the establishment of a new native woodland at the Bundorragha Freshwater Pearl Mussel catchment, near Leenane.


This three-day event will bring together foresters, policy-makers, scientists, conservationists and the private woodland sector to chart the progress Ireland has made over the past 20 years.


Delegates will hear from leading Irish and international experts on relevant topics, including native woodland ecology, updates on policy and legislation, ecosystem services, flood management, pests and diseases, seed and stock requirements, education and more.


For more information and to register, please visit our dedicated conference website at


We look forward to seeing you in the beautiful setting of Westport and its immediate surroundings to discuss challenges, identify opportunities and explore solutions for native woodlands.



Kind regards,


Dr Declan Little

Project Manager, on behalf of the Organising Committee


For specific enquiries, please contact the Conference Coordinator Hannah Hamilton via

Native Woodland Scheme Training

Native Woodland Training (NWS) courses are held once there is sufficient demand from would-be participants. The course is a 2-day event and covers the theory and practise of native woodland management. It includes a field excursion to a native woodland to carry out a NWS Management plan by the course participants. This allows for the accreditation of approved foresters working on the Native Woodland Scheme and is also open to ecologists, woodland contractors, landowners, relevant State agencies (i.e. NPWS, EPA, etc) and Local Authority staff (see our Native Woodland Training page for more information, and for videos of course modules and presentations).

For those who may be interested in attending future courses please contact:

Kevin Collins, Forest Service (01-6072502)
- or -
Declan Little (087-6685823).

Once there is sufficient demand a course will be held subsequently.

A Strategy for Native Woodlands in Ireland

The Minister with responsibility for Forestry at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle TD, launched 'A Strategy for Native Woodlands in Ireland 2016-2020' at Ballycoyle Wood, Glencree Co. Wicklow on July 14th, 2016. The Strategy - which was compiled by Woodlands of Ireland over the past two years in partnership with native woodland stakeholders in the public and private sectors - covers a broad range of topics from the management of ancient/old/scrub woodlands, the creation of new native woodlands, woodland creation as part of climate mitigation and water quality enahancement measures, natural capital realisation and recreational native woodlands. Woodlands of Ireland and its many partners will promote the Strategy in an effort to realise the targets set for the next five years for the benefit of our native woodland resourse, the wider environment and local communities. The full text of the Strategy is available on our Publications page.

Native Woodland Scheme

The Native Woodland Scheme for the current Forestry Programme 2014-2020 was formally launched in September 2015. Woodlands of Ireland worked closely with the Forest Service in revising the scheme, taking account of the experience of landowners, NWS foresters & ecologists, and contractors amongst others, over the past number of years. In addition, Woodlands of Ireland will promote the scheme with the public (primarily NPWS and Coillte) and private sectors (via the industry and individual landowners) in an effort to achieve the area targets for the scheme between now and 2020. These targets are 1,950 ha for NWS Conservation (of existing native woodlands) and 2,700 hectares for Establishment (the creation of new native woodlands) up to 2020. This represents a projected investment of c. €7.25m and €16.5m over the next six years for NWS Conservation and Establishment respectively. 

We believe the scheme is better than previous versions and are excited at the potential it has to offer in addressing the conservation of existing - and the creation of new native woodlands. Woodlands of Ireland would be grateful if you would actively promote the scheme amongst landowners in particular. If you have any queries or if potential applicants would like further information and guidance please contact the Forest Service or Woodlands of Ireland 


Seed Stands

Woodlands of Ireland are supporting the Forest Service in the establishment of a national catalogue of seed stands specifically for seed collections for the Native Woodland Scheme. This is to ensure a continuous supply of native tree and shrub planting stock locally and regionally throughout Ireland in future. Allowing seed collections to take place in privately-owned woodlands will contribute towards the appropriate management and expansion of the native woodland resource.

If you or anyone you know has a native/semi-natural woodland and wishes for it to be considered for inclusion in this database please contact Declan Little.