Introduction and Objectives
Four native woodland habitat types found in Ireland - alluvial woodland, bog woodland, woodland associated with limestone pavement, and yew woodland - are recognised under the EU Habitats Directive as being critically rare. These woodlands are restricted in their distribution, not just in Ireland, but also across the entire EU. Under Annex I of the Habitats Directive, these woodlands are given "priority" status. Priority woodlands are woods of extremely high nature conservation value and provide habitat, shelter and food to many native plant and animal species. In some cases, these species are now, themselves, extremely rare and rely on priority woodland habitats to survive.
This four year project targets the restoration of 550.8 ha of these priority woodlands, which have been impacted in various ways by human activities in the past. There are nine sites included in this project, all owned and managed by Coillte. These are all designated as special areas of conservation (SAC), within the Natura 2000 network, and are located in nine different counties around Ireland.
The project is jointly funded by Coillte and the European Union LIFE-Nature programme.
This project aims to restore natural woodland habitat by removing non-native trees and invasive exotic shrubs and by reinstating natural water regimes to promote natural regeneration of the priority woodland habitat.
Specific aims are: