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Please note - new contact information for forest service

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Forestry Publications

FITG Load Securing Manual

Growing for the Future

A strategic plan for the development of the forestry sector in Ireland. Read 'Growing for the Future'.

Forestry Programmes 2014-2020

Forest Policy Review - Forests, Products and People - Ireland's Forest Policy - a renewed vision

Forest Recreation in Ireland - A Guide for Forest Owners and Managers

The Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is Ireland's national forest authority. It is responsible for forest policy and the promotion of the forest sector, the administration of forestry grant schemes, forest protection, the control of felling and the promotion and support of forest research. The Forest Service promotes Sustainable Forest Management as a central principle of Irish forest policy, whereby forests are managed to provide economic, social and environmental benefits on a sustainable basis for both current and future generations.

Native Woodland Scheme

The Native Woodland Scheme (NWS) is a grant package for farmers and other landowners, aimed at encouraging the proactive protection and expansion of Ireland's native woodlands and associated biodiversity. The scheme comprises two separate elements: NWS Conservation and NWS Establishment.  NWS Establishment provides support to create new native woodlands on open greenfield sites.  As well as increasing Ireland's native woodland resource, these woodlands can be managed sustainably, using 'close-to-nature' systems, to yield valuable hardwood timber.  Subject to normal restrictions, NWS Establishment may be a suitable option for sites in areas deemed generally sensitive from an environmental, landscape or amenity perspective, including sites near or adjacent to existing designated woodlands and other important habitats.  See the document entitled Native Woodland Scheme - Establishment (August 2011) (below) for further details.

Management Guidelines for Ireland’s Native Woodlands

Management Guidelines for Ireland’s Native Woodlands is a full-colour, 148-page publication aimed at the owners of both existing and potential woodland sites, and at ecologists, foresters and other practitioners involved in native woodland management. It is also aimed at statutory and non-statutory bodies with an interest in native woodlands from the perspective of wider nature conservation, water and soil protection, fisheries, climate change mitigation, rural development, landscape, amenity, and environmental education.

Management Guidelines for Ireland’s Native Woodlands provides two sets of management guidelines, the first addressing a range of specific topics (e.g. ‘Area’, ‘Grazing’, ‘Products’) and the second covering specific native woodland types, such as Oak Woodland, Hazel Woodland and Alluvial Woodland. It will have an obvious application to projects involving the restoration of existing native woodland, the conversion of non-native forest to native woodland, and afforestation with new native woodland, typically (but not exclusively) undertaken with support under the Native Woodland Scheme. However, it is also relevant within the context of non-native woodlands and commercial conifer forests, where the enhancement of biodiversity is an objective.

This publication is a joint initiative between the Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht and the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, and was launched on the 28th September 2017 by Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State for Food, Forestry & Horticulture, Andrew Doyle TD, the Ministers responsible for nature conservation policy and forest policy in Ireland.

Neighbourwood Scheme

The Forest Service Neighbourwood Scheme provides attractive support for the development of new and existing neighbourwoods for public access, recreation and enjoyment on land in or near villages, towns and cities. A separate scheme manual designed for those directly involved in developing applications will accompany this scheme. The manual sets out the scope of each scheme, a step-by-step guide for developing applications, details of standards and criteria, and a template for the required management plan.

Irish Forest Species

The following pages contain useful information on each species, as well as the opportunity to download the leaflet at the bottom of each page.

Species PDF Winzip
Alder 574KB (pdf 573Kb)  Alder Winzip (zip 357Kb)
Ash 548KB (pdf 547Kb)  Ash Winzip (zip 335Kb)
Beech 565KB (pdf 564Kb)   
Birch 576KB (pdf 575Kb)   
Douglas Fir 559KB (pdf 558Kb)  Douglas Fir Winzip (zip 341Kb)
Larch 598KB (pdf 597Kb)  Larch Winzip (zip 372Kb)
Lodgepole Pine 560KB (pdf 559Kb)  Lodgepole Winzip (zip 342Kb)
Montery Pine 567KB (pdf 566Kb)  Montery Pine Winzip (zip 348Kb)
Norway Spruce 560KB (pdf 559Kb)  Norway Spruce Winzip (zip 344Kb)
Oak 588KB (pdf 587Kb)  Oak Winzip (zip 364Kb)
Rowan 581KB (pdf 580Kb)  Rowan Winzip (zip 357Kb)
Scots Pine 550KB (pdf 549Kb)  Scots Pine Winzip (zip 331Kb)
Sitka Spruce 564KB (pdf 563Kb)  Sitka Spruce Winzip (zip 347Kb)
Spanish Chestnut 554KB (pdf 553Kb)  Spanish Chestnut Winzip (zip 337Kb)
Sycamore    
Western Hemlock   Western Hemlock Winzip (zip 323Kb)
Western Red Cedar 567KB (pdf 566Kb)  Western Red Cedar Winzip (zip 347Kb)
Yew 422KB (pdf 422Kb)  Yew Winzip (zip 384Kb)

The Irish National Forest Standard, Code of Best Forest Practice and the environmental guidelines form a framework for the Forest Service's implementation of sustainable forest management (SFM) in Ireland.

Irish National Forest Standard (INFS)

The Irish National Forest Standard outlines the basic criteria and indicators relating to the implementation of Sustainable Forest Management in Ireland (SFM). It lists a series of qualitative and quantitative measures by which progress towards the practice of SFM can be monitored under forest conditions.

The Standard is available in the following seven sections, please note that each file is a zipped ADOBE Acrobat file.

Section 1 (pdf 477Kb) 

Section 2 (pdf 953Kb) 

Section 3 (pdf 564Kb) 

Section 4 (pdf 868Kb) 

Section 5 (pdf 582Kb) 

Section 6 (pdf 403Kb) 

Section 7 (pdf 22Kb) 

Code of Best Forest Practice (C of BFP)

The Code of Best Forest Practice is a listing of all forestry operations and the manner in which the should be carried out to ensure the implementation of SFM in Ireland, as agreed at the Third Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, Lisbon, 1998.

For further information on the Code of Best Forest Practice please click here

Forestry Schemes Manual

The Forestry Schemes Manual details the operational and administrative procedures and standards which must be fulfilled by applicants, forestry contractors and foresters who wish to participate in the various Forest Service schemes, including the Afforestation Grant and Premium Schemes. The procedures and standards set out in this manual are complementary to Ireland's Code of Best Forest Practice and Suite of environmental guidelines.

Forest Schemes Manual 21/12/11 Revised (pdf 2,126Kb) 

Environmental Guidelines

The suite of Guidelines are the mechanisms by which the Forest Service will ensure that the environmental aspects of SFM are implemented. Adherence to the guidelines is a condition of grant aid and the issuing of a felling licence. The penalty for non-compliance is the withholding of approvals for grants and felling licences.

Forestry and Water Quality Guidelines (pdf 1,213Kb)   
Forestry and the Landscape Guidelines (pdf 536Kb)   
Forestry and Archaeology Guidelines (pdf 560Kb)   
Forest Biodiversity Guidelines (pdf 1,562Kb)   
Forest Harvesting and Environmental Guidelines (pdf 1,470Kb)   
Forest Protection Guidelines (pdf 2,031Kb)   

Aerial Fertilisation Requirements

Malone Report on Irish Forestry

Indicative Forest Statement

Kerry Slug and Otter Guidelines

Bats and Forestry

The Forest Roads Scheme

Forest Service Appropriate Assessment Procedure Information Note (March 2012)