Initial guidelines for a native woodland scheme were drawn up by Woodlands of Ireland, especially its Technical Advisory Group in conjunction with foresters, ecologists, ENGOs, and others working in this field. At the behest of the Steering Committee, it was submitted to the Forest Service in 1999 and was received favourably. Subsequently, the Forest Service formed a Native Woodland Development Group (NWDG), which included relevant statutory bodies, professionals and Woodlands of Ireland.
The NWS was officially launched in October 2001. The scheme addresses the restoration of existing native woodlands and the creation of new native woodlands (including the establishment of native riparian woodlands).
Woodlands of Ireland continues to provide technical support to the Forest Service for the scheme, especially through outreach/site visits re potential applicants and in scheme revamping/revising at intervals, the development of a Native Woodland manual and accompanying ‘Technical Bulletins’ publications, woodland management initiatives, training and the promotion of native trees and shrubs in the nursery sector (see here).