Transition Monaghan members Liam Murtagh and Dermot McNally recently attended a Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF) field day in Navan, Co Meath, Ireland. CCF, also known as Close to Nature Forestry is rightly hailed as the panacea to the ecological pitfalls of conventional forestry which is dominated by even aged monocultures managed by clear fell.
The event, organised by the North East Forestry Group (covering Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath) enabled woodland owners to see and understand the concept as it applies in a working forest. The methods and advantages were explained in simple layman’s terms by Forestry Consultant, Pádraig O’ Tuama, formerly of Coilte, who has vast experience in this type of forest management.
However CCF can be challenging to implement in some circumstances – fast growing Sitka Spruce plantations can be problematic. And in some cases natural regeneration may need to be supplemented with underplanting of desired crops. O’Tuama argued that CCF offers more resilience to wind damage than traditional methods. Anyone interested in learning more about the CCF system should look online at the ProSilva Ireland website where a comprehensive book is available for €10. ProSilva is a pan European organisation dedicated to promoting better forestry management that is both ecologically and economically sound. They run regular field trips in Ireland and abroad.