The establishment and successful development of a priority woodland will take many years and this process will outlive the lifetime of this project. However, through the restoration techniques, conditions were put in place to encourage natural regeneration of native trees and plants leading to the successful restoration of these woodlands.
To this end ecological monitoring was carried out on selected quadrats before and after the restoration works to observe changes in the natural vegetation community. These quadrats are fixed monitoring plots, marked with GPS and metal posts, and are used to record the different plant communities, namely, bryophyte layer, herb layer, understorey and canopy layer. The objective of monitoring is to record vegetation change over the course of the project and provide a baseline for future study. This monitoring was carried out by the project ecologist, Ian Herbert.
Photographic records of the quadrats themselves along with aerial photographs of the sites were used to interpret the results.
Fixed Point 5 Photos from Site 1, Clonbur, woodland associated with limestone pavement taken in 2006, 07, 08, 09
Fixed Point 3 Photos from Site 8, Aghnaguig, bog woodland taken in 2006, 07, 08, 09
Quadrat Photos 2c from Site 4, Durrow, alluvial woodland showing natural regeneration of native species, taken 2006, 07, 08, 09
Photos from Site 6, Cahir Park, Yew Woodland
One of the project aims was to restore natural water regimes at the alluvial and bog woodland sites. To achieve this objective, old forest drains created during forest establishment, were blocked as necessary. Before drain blocking occured, and to understand the water regimes on site, hydrological monitoring using dipwells was carried out. Data collected from this monitoring was used to observe changes in soil water levels, before and after forest drains were blocked.