Petition To

Save and Restore our Native Forests

Climate Fix Native Forest First

Signatures Goal: 100,000

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To : The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, The Minister for Agriculture, The Minister for the Environment, The Minister for Heritage, Culture and the Arts and The Minister for Finance.:

As a matter of urgency, The Woodland League, dedicated to restoring the relationship between people and their native woodlands, a not for profit environmental NGO is calling for three immediate government Actions to conserve, restore, and expand our Native woodlands.
 
1. The expansion of our ancient woodlands, by land purchase and or use of adjacent Coillte and other Public lands, drafting of long term management plans for each site, and adequate multi annual funding to achieve the aforementioned. With a target of 5% ancient woodland cover by 2025.
 
2. The Creation of linear native woodland corridors, after mapping using the EPA mapped water catchments as the framework, in and between the pockets of ancient woodlands, so that there is connectivity for the complex biodiversity to move across the land, aiding wildlife, water and soil protection, flood and climate mitigation, landscape enhancement, with multiple benefits for local communities. To be implemented by a partnership of, farmers, local community groups, GAA, NGO’s, Councils, and relevant state bodies, a Public – Public partnership.
 
3. Reform of Coillte, the Irish Forestry Board, in charge of 7% of Ireland’s Public forest land, changing their narrow failed forestry remit, to ensure they are compelled to participate and fully support the first two actions. Starting with transitioning the 29000 ha identified as old woodland sites on the Public forest lands, and targeting the 250,000 acres of failed Coillte conifer plantations identified in the McCarthy report on state assets in 2010. 
 
Please Sign our Petition above to support this campaign and speak up for our Native Forests.

Why we need to save and restore our native forests:

“Native woodlands are the Highest expression of Natural Vegetation with the greatest amount of Biodiversity on this Island” Dr. John Cross, ex Senior Native Woodland Specialist, NPWS. Only 2% of Ireland’s land mass  consists of semi natural and native woodland cover, most of it recently planted or naturally regenerated, much of it isolated, fragmented and far from a satisfactory condition.
 
It is also mostly young woodland and has not achieved the complexity of relationships or highest nature value of our remnant shreds of ancient woodlands, these occupy,.less than 002% of the land mass. This is a National scandal.
 
Our native woodlands are part of the very fabric of our collective cultural and natural heritage, their protection and restoration are fundamental to our collective future on this Island. To put this into perspective in terms of native Biodiversity, 20% of plant life, 28% breeding birds, 50% invertebrates are native woodland species (John Cross, 2012)
 
Urgent action is required to Prioritise, Protect and Expand this vital precious and vulnerable vital natural resource to secure their multiple known benefits into the future.
 
Threats to this Native Tree Treasure include, agriculture, development, and wind farms.
 
Ref, EPA 21st Century Deforestation, 2017 

Supporting information:

Michael Collins quote on biodiversity.

“Our object in building up the country economically must not be lost sight of. That object is not to be able to boast of enormous wealth or of a great volume of trade, for their own sake. It is not to see our country covered with smoking chimneys and factories. It is not to show a great national balance-sheet, nor to point to a people producing wealth with the self-obliteration of a hive of bees”. from path to freedom speeches of Michael Collins.

https://celt.ucc.ie/published/E900001-001.html 

Ireland’s Biodiversity reporting to the UN to comply with the Convention on Biological Diversity shows a continuous decline in species and habitats including rare ancient woodlands. https://www.cbd.int/doc/world/ie/ie-nr-05-en.pdf

The Woodland League 2020 vision for Native woodlands: https://youtu.be/NH2XF71z_A0  

Native Woodlands the Key to Biodiversity on Land: https://youtu.be/nopewmqHxN0

What the Woodland League are proposing and have a model for in our, live, Great Forest of Aughty project in East Clare is supported by a Scottish scientific paper, as the most effective methodology for native woodland restoration and use of public funding. The current use of public funds for native woodland restoration is being done on an ad hoc basis, many new woodlands are isolated on exposed sites open to the elements and deer and hare pressures, with questionable results to date.

Great Forest of Aughty animation video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olPlB8YCiTY

Article about the Aughty project in this Global Forest Coalition, Forest Cover magazine link in 2016: https://globalforestcoalition.org/resources/forest-cover-issues/forest-cover-50/

The Woodland League are members of the Global Forest Coalition: https://globalforestcoalition.org/about-us

Current approaches to native woodland restoration in Scotland. In particular, the integration of woodlands into habitat networks, increasing ecological connectivity between woodland fragments, is considered essential to ensure success in the long term. This provides scientific validation for our proposal for the creation of linear native woodland corridorsRef: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03746600108685021


The 1988 Forestry Act, which established Coillte is not fit for purpose, this was confirmed by the All party Oireachtas Climate Committee report recommendations, who also called for riparian linear native woodlands, and more ref :https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/press-centre/press-releases/20190329-oireachtas-joint-committee-on-climate-action-publishes-final-report/
 
The McCarthy report on state assets in 2010 found that 500,000 acres of the Coillte public forest estate was not commercially viable. You can download here
 
Swiss TV piece on the Woodland League, Save Ireland’s Forests campaign http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSJZu6PdJzs

About Us

The Woodland League is a not-for-profit, independent, community-based organisation. Our aim is to restore the relationship between people and their native woodlands and ensure their restoration and conservation. visit www.woodlandleague.org to discover more about our work.

Latest Signatures
2,502 Trevor J. Jun 20, 2021
2,501 maurice h. Jun 18, 2021
2,500 Becca F. Jun 12, 2021
Latest Signatures
2,502 Trevor J. Jun 20, 2021
2,501 maurice h. Jun 18, 2021
2,500 Becca F. Jun 12, 2021

About Us

The Woodland League is a not-for-profit, independent, community-based organisation. Our aim is to restore the relationship between people and their native woodlands and ensure their restoration and conservation. visit www.woodlandleague.org to discover more about our work.