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Coillte launches charter of commitment to millennium forests

Projects are to be delivered by the end of 2022

The People’s Millennium Forests is an all-Ireland initiative and is the largest-ever project aimed at restoring and managing Ireland’s native forests.


Sports & Parks

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9 May 2018

The launch event took place at Ballygannon Millennium Forest, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow on May 1, as part of a conference about Native Woodlands, which is being organised by Woodlands of Ireland, a not-for-profit Charity established in 1998 to focus attention on Ireland’s native woodland resource through the Millennium Woodland Project.

The People’s Millennium Forests is an all-Ireland initiative and is the largest-ever project aimed at restoring and managing Ireland’s native forests. Twelve of the sixteen Peoples’ Millennium Forests around the country are owned and managed by Coillte.

Speaking ahead of the launch, managing director of Coillte Forest, Gerard Murphy said: “This Charter of Commitment underpins Coillte’s ongoing recognition of the Peoples’ Millennium Forests. We will continue, in partnership, with Woodlands of Ireland to ensure that these Forests are protected and enhanced for the benefit of the public over many generations to come.”

Dr Declan Little, project manager, at Woodlands of Ireland said: “This visionary project is an excellent example of how woodland stakeholders can work in partnership to achieve real progress in native woodland management for the benefit of citizens and the environment.”

Ballygannon Wood forms part of The Vale of Clara, one of the most important native oak forests in Ireland. In 2000, Coillte restored Ballygannon as a native forest: a 1960s conifer plantation forest was removed, and more than 40,000 young trees of oak, birch, holly, rowan and Scots pine were planted. The young trees were grown by Coillte from seeds collected in Co Wicklow.

Senior Ecologist at Coillte Aileen O’Sullivan said; “Almost 20 years on, the young planted trees have developed to form a vibrant native forest that is rich in both plant and animal life. The forest will continue to grow for hundreds more years, developing into an ecologically mature forest.”

All of the Peoples’ Millennium Forests are open to the public. Find out more at

About The Millennium Forests

Over 607 hectares, fifteen hundred acres, of native Irish woodland were restored and designated in the creation of 16 Millennium Forests, which are dedicated in perpetuity to the people of Ireland.

There are two types of Millennium forests, new and mature native woodlands. The new forests were naturally regenerated and planted using native Irish seed. The mature woodlands are at least 200 years old and most are almost certainly much older.

A native tree was planted on behalf of every household in Ireland as part of the restoration of these native woodland communities, which are valuable remnants of our once vast native forest resource. The forests form a legacy for all to enjoy and include woodland walks, nature trails, interpretative and recreational facilities.

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