Coillte launches new ‘branch’ with an alternative focus

The state-owned commercial forestry business, Coillte, has today announced that it has established a new ‘not-for-profit’ entity – Coillte Nature – which will focus on the environment and recreational forests.

According to a statement, Coillte Nature will target the delivery of new woodlands that will facilitate species diversity, biodiversity and carbon sequestration as part of the Government’s National Forestry Programme.

The establishment of Coillte Nature will also see the conversion of certain commercial Coillte forests to recreational forests.

With the establishment of Coillte Nature, the company is seeking to advance its sustainability agenda by undertaking large discrete projects with a separate non-commercial focus.

These projects are intended to increase the national forest estate but with a strong emphasis on carbon sequestration, species diversification, biodiversity and the development of outdoor recreation and tourism amenities.

mandatory farm forestry

Coillte Nature will collaborate with other organisations in implementing forestry and recreation projects, according to the statement.

A new director of Coillte Nature will be appointed shortly.

The inaugural project

The inaugural project of Coillte Nature being announced today is the Dublin Mountains Conversion.

The project is being jointly funded by Coillte and the three Dublin local authorities with grants for native woodland conversion being provided by the Department of Agriculture.

Conversion from commercial forests to recreational forests will involve a mixture of continuous cover forestry (CCF) and removal of commercial species and replacement with non-commercial native tree species.

Chairperson’s remarks

Commenting on the establishment of Coillte Nature, the chairperson of Coillte, Bernie Gray, said: “Coillte’s focus is to drive a strong commercial performance and at the same time provide a valuable environmental and social dividend to society at large.

“The Dublin mountains conversion project which we are announcing today is an excellent example of the kind of collaboration and innovation which Coillte can deliver for the benefit of the environment and our citizens.”

Welcoming the launch, the Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Agriculture, Andrew Doyle, said: “I very much welcome this new initiative by Coillte for the establishment of Coillte Nature.

The launch of the Government’s Climate Action Plan this week has set us ambitious targets for new afforestation in the coming years and Coillte will have a key role to play in the delivery of this.

“Equally important is the contribution which our forests can make to other environmental priorities especially biodiversity and water quality.

“I look forward to seeing the results which Coillte Nature will deliver on its initiatives,” Doyle concluded.