March 1st 2017
State-owned forestry company Coillte has postponed the felling of trees in Dublin’s Ticknock forest as calls for its preservation for recreational use arise.
Ticknock forest was originally planted to be harvested, but since its planting 40 years ago it has become a popular spot for families, walkers, hikers and mountain bikers, with over 160,000 people visiting it last year.
Green party leader Eamon Ryan has said that they are really glad that the forest has been saved but ‘we think we need to go further.’
Twenty seven acres of mature Sitka Spruce were set to be clear felled at Ticknock this year along with other sites in the Dublin mountains. Now there are calls for 2500 acres to be turned into a national park.
‘I think all those Coillte forests in the Dublin hills [should be treated] as a single national park.’ said Mr. Ryan. ‘Treat them as what they are; a huge resource for the people of the city. That’s what they’re most valuable for and that’s what we’re calling on Coillte to do now.’
Coillte has agreed to postpone any felling till next year as other options for the forest are considered. A system of ‘continuous cover’ could be implemented instead, whereby individual trees would be gradually removed and replaced so that there would be new growth alongside the old trees. This method could be used instead of the originally proposed ‘clear felling’ which would see all the old trees felled over the space of a few weeks. In this way it would be hoped that the site could remain an area of beauty for recreational users and for future generations.
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