The primary objective was to restore 16 woodland communities nationwide. As these woodlands are native in origin they have appreciable conservation and heritage value as a result of the wide variety of plants and animals that inhabit them, and because of their historical context. Many of these woodlands were ‘working’ forests for hundreds of years and were skilfully managed to produce wood on a continuous basis.
As part of the restoration process a tree was planted for every household in the country. Along with the removal of damaging invasive non-native trees and shrubs (such as rhododendron and cherry laurel), natural regeneration of native trees, shrubs and forest floor plants was encouraged. This primarily involved fencing the woods to keep grazing animals such as deer and livestock out. All of these measures were necessary to achieve the Millennium Forests Project primary objective to restore Ireland's native woodlands and manage them for the benefit of people and the environment. View the forest where your tree was planted.
6,000 years ago, forests covered virtually all of Ireland. For centuries since, the trees were cut down to build houses and ships, to heat homes and cook food, and to make furniture and other products. Few of our native woodlands are left. Those that remain are often in danger from overgrazing or from new, non-native invasive trees and shrubs and development activities.
The Millennium Forests project planted over 1.2 million oak, birch, alder, ash and Scots pine and were replanted from native seed collected throughout the country. This project has not only protected these woodlands from the many threats that confront them, but has also enriched them by facilitating other native plants and animals through active management. We can look forward with confidence to the next Millennium safe in the knowledge that these woodlands will flourish. The project was sponsored by the AIB Bank and the Forest Service. It is managed by Coillte in partnership with the Woodlands of Ireland Group. Find out more about our sponsors.
There was a certificate issued to every household telling them where their dedicated woodland is, along with thousands of other trees dedicated to other families. You can go and see the woodland where your dedicated tree is growing.
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