Coillte: Dublin Mountains Makeover update

The Dublin Mountains Makeover is continuing with new native woodland areas being planted in several areas this winter. To make way for more native woodland, an area is being cleared at Carrickgollogan starting the week of November 29. CCF thinnings are also taking place at Barnaslingan, see below for more details.

Please take care when visiting by watching out for machinery and following any safety signage and instructions from staff.

New Native Woodlands at Carrickgollogan

At Carrickgollogan Coillte are converting an area of pine and spruce forest that was burnt in the forest fires of 2018 into native woodland. Please take care and watch out for harvesting machines which are removing the burned and blown over trees.

Replanting this area with new native woodland will enhance the biodiversity, enrich the forest’s recreational appeal and bring more autumn colour to the hills.

CCF Management at Barnaslingan

At Barnaslingan Coillte is managing this mixed woodland through Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF) with thinning operations taking place over the coming weeks. Watch out for harvesting machinery thinning out the mature pine, fir, larch and beech. Please follow any safety signage and instructions from staff on the ground.

With CCF management we keep maintain a permanent forest cover but gradually, over time, the forest is thinned regularly to develop into a more diverse, multi-structural and multi-aged forest that will last into the future.

About the Dublin Mountains Makeover

Coillte owns and manages around half of the forests in the Dublin Mountains, with the remainder managed by private forest owners. When this land was first planted with trees between the early 1940s and late 1960s, Dublin was a much smaller city and nobody thought much about outdoor recreation in forests. Today, these forests are among the most important recreational sites for a growing urban population seeking fresh air and green space: Coillte’s most popular forest, Ticknock, has had on average over 1,000 visits per day in 2021!

Until now, we have managed these areas primarily for timber production. But because of their popularity and proximity to the city, it’s now time to put the needs of people and nature much higher on the agenda.

Through the Dublin Mountains Makeover, an area of over 900 hectares across nine Coillte forests will transition away from the clearfell and replanting cycle towards a different model. Multi-generational forests managed under ‘Continuous Cover Forestry’ (CCF) principles will maintain their green canopy on a permanent basis. In other areas, Sitka spruce and lodgepole pine trees will be removed and replanted (R&R) with native species such as Scots pine, birch, rowan, oak, holly and willow to provide habitat for nature and bring autumn colours to the hills.

Work started on the Dublin Mountains Makeover in June 2020 and will continue for many years, possibly decades. It will be a slow and careful process, conducted in a way that minimises disruption to local residents and visitors, while locking in benefits for nature, recreation and the landscape that will be enjoyed by generations to come.