A Pilot for the Restoration of Upland Gully Woodland in Ireland

The Development of a Gully Woodland Restoration Plan for the Upper River Dodder Catchment and the Identification and Assessment of Generic Issues of Relevance for Future Similar Projects in Ireland.


“In the summer of 2006, Purser Tarleton Russell Ltd. prepared a report on the potential for forestry on land north of Kippure Mountain in County Dublin that is best described as the upper catchment of the River Dodder. In the report the potential for a native woodland restoration project was clearly identified in the three glens (Slade Brook, Cot Brook and the River Dodder), which run down from Kippure Mountain and join to form the River Dodder in Glenasmole. These glens contain examples of upland gully woodland including species such as rowan (Sorbus aucuparia), birch (Betula pubescens), willow (Salix sp.), holly (Ilex aquifolium), oak (Quercus robur) and hazel (Corylus avellana). There is evidence of previous scattered woodland on the slopes of these glens with numerous dead and dying trees. Although there is successful germination and initial growth of natural regeneration from existing trees, this does not get the opportunity to develop any further due to the browsing pressure of deer, sheep, feral goats and horses. The glens encompass lands in the townlands of Castlekelly, Glassamucky Brakes and Glassavullaun. The owner of these lands has expressed a strong interest in developing this project and in taking appropriate steps in restoring these
upland woodlands.


The Native Woodland Scheme operated by the Forest Service in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food currently funds the development of New Native Woodland and Native Woodland Conservation projects. There is increasing interest in, and recognition of, the importance of riparian woodland development and management amongst many groups including fisheries boards, ecologists and foresters and this is reflected in the scheme.



Although this project comprises both Riparian Woodland and Bog Woodland elements, it involves the restoration of native woodland that does not neatly fit into a single Native Woodland category as defined by Fossitt (2000) or the sub-categories of wet woodland described in the Native Woodland Scheme Manual. In this regard the project merits attention as a case study in upland native woodland or gully woodland restoration in Ireland. Woodlands of Ireland, which provides technical support to the Native Woodland Scheme, agreed to fund a project based around this particular site. This project forms a case study, which will be used to explore the practical issues surrounding operations necessary in the restoration and management of upland gully woodland.”


Publication Details:

Publication Date: January 2009

Published by: Independent – A Report to Woodlands of Ireland

Authors: Paddy Purser M.Agr.Sc. (Forestry) MSIF Purser Tarleton Russell Ltd. & Faith Wilson BSc CEnv MIEEM

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