Sustainable Forestry

June 8, 2015

Sustainable Forestry

The continuing success of the Irish forestry sector is dependent upon sustainable forest management. Sustainable management ensures that forests can meet a growing global demand for timer whilst generating economic, social and environmental benefits for both current and future generations.


Through the careful selection of species, Irish forests provide an important biodiversity resource, acting as an essential habitat for many native species of flora and fauna. Initiatives to increase Ireland’s forest coverage to 17% by 2035 and conserve native woodlands will continue to improve the ecosystems of new and existing forests.

Forests can increase agricultural productivity and conserve water by replacing essential nutrients in the soil and reducing land erosion. Afforestation enables farm owners to diversify the uses of their land, sustaining a competitive agricultural advantage.

Forests mitigate several elements of climate change, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and supplying renewable energy resources such as biomass. Irish forests also help to offset our huge fossil fuel bill, which is estimated at €9 billion per annum.


Irish forestry boosts the economy in numerous ways; creating employment, maximising limited land resources and supporting a growing export sector that was worth over €339 million in 2013. Demand for timber is high, with an annual value of €2.2 billion from 2010-2012.


Forests are an important resource for many communities throughout Ireland.  Over 16,000 people are employed in the industry, mainly in rural areas, in direct and indirect roles.

Both tourism and recreation activities benefit from healthy Irish forests. Forestry is the largest outdoor recreational activity in Ireland, with over 18 million visits to Irish forests per year.

Anyone interested in a career in forestry can avail of a number of training schemes, FETAC accredited courses and third level qualifications. Incorporating a large element of practical skills training, these qualifications equip individuals with sought-after skills to support both the sector and the economy in general.

Forestry Management and Best Practices

The environmental, economic and social benefits of forestry can only be achieved using professional forestry management, scientific knowledge and industry certifications.

FEL is Ireland’s leading forest management company with over 100 years combined experience amongst our foresters.  FEL foresters hold third-level qualifications and are member of the Society of Irish Foresters. As one of Ireland’s leading forestry management services, FEL offers a range of sustainable forestry management services including:

  • Site selection
  • Developing a plantation that fits into and enhances the surrounding landscape
  • Choosing the optimal species for your land
  • Ongoing management
  • Risk assessment and planning
  • Harvest timing.