Ireland’s First Native Woodland Conference 2004

The first Native Woodland Conference took place in Galway from the 8th – 11th September, 2004. Woodlands of Ireland organised this conference to create an awareness of the urgent need for the conservation and management of Ireland’s native woodland resource. The conference which took place on the campus of Galway Mayo Institute of Technology during Heritage Week also coincided with the centenary year of Irish forestry. The conference was well attended and succeeded in its objectives of raising the profile of native woodlands as a valuable part of our culture, heritage, and landscape and highlighted the fact that these woodlands require active management to ensure their rejuvenation and sustainability, thereby providing a lasting legacy for future generations.

Ireland’s Native Woodlands

The overall conference was called “Ireland’s Native Woodlands” and presentations over the four-day conference were grouped under five different themes with a view to presenting a comprehensive overview of Ireland’s native woodlands; past, present, and future. The views expressed in the presentations are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Woodlands of Ireland. See below for an overview of the topics covered:

Theme 1: The Background to Native Woodland Development in Ireland
Theme 2: The Ecology and Current Status of Ireland’s Native Woodlands
Theme 3: Legal Framework and Policy Development
Theme 4: Current Initiatives in the Development of Ireland’s Native Woodlands
Theme 5: The Future of Ireland’s Native Woodlands

A field trip was also organised as part of the conference, delegates were brought to Union Wood in county Sligo, which is owned by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Conference Proceedings 2004

Ireland's Native Woodlands Conference 2004 Proceedings page 01

Due to the conference being the first of its kind dealing with native woodlands in Ireland, it was decided that a publication of the conference proceedings be compiled and published. They were published in 2005 and contain over 30 papers from an array of experts in native woodland history, ecology, conservation and management from Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe.

You can discover more about the 2004 conference Conference proceedings in the following links available as PDFs: Abstract and Full Conference proceedings. If you would like to receive the full proceedings on a CD-ROM, you can send us an email at and we can arrange postage. (Postage costs will be covered by the recipient) Alternatively you can read a synopsis of the proceedings on our blog post. Woodlands of Ireland organised and ran its second native woodland conference in 2018 in Co. Wicklow. You can find out more about the 2018 conference and the proceedings in the links highlighted (Coming soon).


Woodlands of Ireland and Conferences

Since its inception in 1998, Woodlands of Ireland has focused on the main goals of restoration and rejuvenation of Ireland’s semi-natural woodland estate, the establishment of new woodlands with native species, and providing technical support through NWS training, publications, policy initiatives, and research. Conferences are highly relevant to Woodlands of Ireland as they provide a platform to engage with stakeholders, share knowledge, and promote the goals related to native woodlands. These events offer opportunities for networking, collaboration, and the exchange of ideas with professionals, policymakers, and the public. If you would like more information about Woodlands of Ireland’s activities or to get involved, you can get in contact at

Scroll to Top