Growing Irish Native Woodland Forests

"Ireland’s native woodlands are quietly disappearing..."

"Semi-natural broadleaf forests make up just 2 per cent of our tree cover."

"A recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report recently warned of increasing deforestation– mainly involving broadleaved woodlands..."
Source: The Irish Times

Reshaping the Irish Forestry Industry

When we launched Forestry Crowd back in February, it is fair to say the world was a different place. Our mission at Forestry Crowd was to present an environmentally friendly, native forestry investment - but our core focus was on returns first, and the positive environmental impact as an additional benefit.

As COVID-19 spread and lockdown worsened, many of us made the realisation that our plant is too precious and our focus shifted. We realised that our core focus needed to be to find a way to get as many people involved in helping plant native trees. We purchased land in Co. Roscommon and offered the ability for people to sponsor native trees. Thank you for those who contributed, it is greatly appreciated.

We still felt more could be done. We talked with many of our followers about ideas of forming a charity to help plant more trees. We explored several ideas, but in the end got hit by the same fundamental challenges of trying to find donations, as well as the challenge of getting volunteers on the cause.

There had to be a better way.... and thankfully we found it.

We recently launched a new Facebook page LoveTrees.ie. It was an instant hit and several of our posts were shared around the world. We realised that there was a true social movement from society that wanted to see more native trees planted.

We explored several legal structures again and came to the conclusion that a Co-Op could be a great way to allow people to contribute small sums of money, to help make a big difference. With a Co-Op, every member has a vote in the organisation and democracy and transparency is at the core of the organisation - something we wanted to ensure that we had.

Furthermore, unlike a charity where no return can be given to the person donating the funds, a Co-Op allows for any contribution to be treated like an investment and a return can be made over the lifetime of the native forest.

The idea is simple - money raised by the Co-Op is used to buy land and plant trees. Government Grants pay for the planting of the trees, as well as bring in a regular income over a 15 year period.

Everybody wins: Thousands of Native trees will be planted, a great environmentally friendly investment for investors and society benefits as a whole by all the wonderful benefits that trees give.

With this in mind, we have made the decision that rather structure our forestry investments under a Forestry Crowd, that we will instead opt for a Co-Op under the LoveTrees.ie brand. It is with this in mind, that we are going to start the transition of moving the work we have done to date on Forestry Crowd over to the new Love Trees Co-Op.

This includes the land that we have purchased in Roscommon, which we are still waiting to sign contracts for. We will still be planting 12,000 native trees in the Autumn and nothing fundamentally changes there.

For those who contributed for sponsoring of trees, that money will be moved to the new Co-Op and will be used for exactly the same purpose that it was under Forestry Crowd - nothing changes there.

Finally, if you haven't already, please follow us at LoveTrees.ie.

Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to the exciting progress under the LoveTrees.ie brand.