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
Our mission at Forestry Crowd is to establish and grow Irish native forestry. Ireland has the lowest forest cover of all European countries: approximately 11% compared to an European average of well over 30%.
Over the centuries, Ireland experienced a near-total destruction of its forests mainly because of human activity and a deterioration of the climate: from an initial forest cover of around 80% to less than 1%. Ireland is the only country in Europe where such complete forest destruction took place.
Initially, the Irish State carried out most tree planting to stop Ireland's deforestation and to decrease Ireland's timber dependency. Most of these state forests were established on mountain land and consist mainly of exposure-tolerant, fast-growing conifers - a species of tree known as Sitka Spruce.
Sitka Spruce is fast growing, but it is a non-native tree. Sitka Spruce also offers little to no environmental benefits - it provides little for wildlife and damages the soil which it is planted on. There has been plenty of media coverage on the planting of Sitka Spruce in Ireland:
"We have seen in some countries, for example, Sitka spruce being banned and being outlawed because it is an invasive species, it doesn't work, it's not good for the surrounding habitat and we end up with these dead forests which we see in some parts of Ireland." Irish Examiner
"Susbsidised spruce plantations cover vast tracts of the Irish countryside. They don’t offset carbon emissions and are driving bird species to extinction." The Guardian
Furthermore, we feel the Irish forestry industry is failing to see the wood through the trees (pun intended) when it comes to planting forestry. Forestry Crowd wish to plant native woodland, with the intention of ensuring the forest is never cut down (a forestry management technique known as Continuous Cover Forestry).
We hope to plant native trees across Ireland and start making a positive difference to restoring native forests, as well as helping the environment by reducing carbon in the atmosphere.
"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." Chinese Proverb
Sponsor a Tree
We are firm believers that it takes a crowd to make real change! We have launched a 'Sponsor a Tree' campaign, where individuals, organisations, schools and businesses can take part by helping us to cover a cost of planting a native tree in Ireland.
We are on a mission to plant 12,000 trees in 2020, but need your help to make this happen. Join the crowd and make a positive change by sponsoring the planting of a native tree this autumn.