Coillte Set to Revamp Peatland Forests with New Design Options

Coillte to Collaborate with Stakeholders on Peatland Forest Redesign Plans

Coillte, the semi-state body, has announced its intention to collaborate with stakeholders, including Galway County Council, to explore potential avenues for achieving its goal of redesigning 30,000 hectares of peatland forests by 2050. This decision comes in the wake of Galway County Council’s recent rejection of Coillte’s proposal to rehabilitate peatland in Derryclare Co. Galway. The project sought a decade-long planning permission to restore 281 hectares of Atlantic blanket bog and heathland currently occupied by lodgepole pine and Sitka spruce forests. Additionally, Coillte planned to convert 62 hectares of forestry into native woodland.

In a statement provided to Agriland, Coillte reiterated its unwavering commitment to the ambitious plan of redesigning 30,000 hectares of peatland forests by 2050, emphasizing the associated climate and ecological benefits. The organization expressed its willingness to engage with key stakeholders, such as Galway County Council, to explore viable strategies for realizing this vision moving forward.

While the specific site that Coillte sought planning permission for does not possess any official designations, it is situated in close proximity to the Twelve Bens/Garraun Complex Special Area of Conservation (SAC). In its ruling, Galway County Council highlighted the potential “adverse impacts” on the integrity of the SAC, Connemara Bog Complex SAC, and other European sites, leading to the rejection of the application. This decision has been met with disappointment by Vivienne Jupp, Coillte’s newly appointed chair designate, who expressed the need to reassess the situation and explore avenues for engagement with county councils.

Jupp addressed the issue before the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food, and the Marine, acknowledging the setback and stressing the importance of collaborating with county councils to navigate similar challenges in the future. She emphasized the significance of obtaining the necessary approvals to advance projects of this nature.

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons is the founder of Forestry & Carbon. Matt has over 25 years as a forestry consultant and is invoilved in numerous carbon credit offset projects.

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