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Heritage Ireland

History of Forestry in Ireland – The Development, Decline & Rejuvenation’


Free of charge




Portumna Castle and Gardens

Exterior of Portumna Castle

Monday 5th June (Bank holiday) is World Environment Day. To mark this, Portumna Castle & Gardens are delighted to have John McLoughlin present his talk 'The History of Forestry in Ireland - The Development, Decline & Rejuvenation' which will take place (Bank Holiday Monday) at 3pm in Portumna Castle Gallery.

John will outline the increase in forest cover after the ice age and the gradual decline since humans arrival. It is estimated that by 1600 there was less than 12% cover. Efforts by the RDS to increase forest cover are outlined together with the demise of the estates following the land acts of the late 19th century. He will then speak on the advent of State forestry at Avondale. State forestry was dominant until the EU grant aid began in the 1980s and by the 1990s private forestry dominated.

He will focus on forest recreation, biodiversity, and environmental considerations. He will speak about the champion trees project.

Finally he will talk about the current forestry programme which has declined over the past few years.

John is a forester and is business editor of the Society of Irish Foresters and past president of the society. He is chairperson of the Tree Register of Ireland. He worked as chief environmental officer with Coillte and was project manager of the People's Millennium Forest project. He is past president of the Tree Council of Ireland and former executive director. He was chairperson of Sculpture in Woodlands and chairperson of ECO - UNESCO. He is a graduate of UCD.

Talk is FREE but booking is required by contacting 09097 41658 or



Co. Galway
H53 YK27

090 974 1658 or 046 9422900

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Portumna town – adjacent to Lough Derg, the River Shannon and Portumna Forest Park.

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