Case Study – Republic of Ireland

Republic of Ireland

We aim to assess the resilience of key ecosystem services delivered by the Irish Forest Estate to catastrophic wind disturbance. Specifically of: 

  • Softwood timber production 
  • Carbon sequestration 
  • Biodiversity 

Quick overview

Area: 808,848 ha

Value chain: Small scale wood industry

Biogeografical area: Atlantic 

Species composition

In short

Case Study - Republic of Ireland




Ecosystem Services

Wood & biomass production

Carbon sequestration & storage

Outdoor recreation

Biodiversity conservation

Case study Q&A

How does the value chain look like: supply, demand, timber market?
Large industry dominates, multiple types of wood processing, export oriented (UK dominated exports).

Forest cover by county and major timber processors. Source: Forest Industries Ireland (FII)

Volume of exports and paper products 1995-2020 (DAFM 2022)

What are the silvicultural measures applied – if any?

  • No-thin regime in windthrow-prone areas
  • Restriction of planting to lower elevations
  • Early thinning in moderate/stable sites
  • Reduce harvest age in windthrow-prone areas

What is the amount of the wood harvested?
Answer: In 2021 4.33 million m3 of roundwood was removed from Ireland’s forests for processing (excluding firewood) in the Republic of Ireland, a 31% increase compared to 2015 production (DAFM 2022). Since 2006 the private forest estate (see in red in the chart) is increasingly contributing to the total harvested volume, currently approximately 48% of the output.

Roundwood harvest, excluding firewood and hardwoods – 1955-2021 (DAFM 2022)

Roundwood harvest, excluding firewood and hardwoods – 1955-2021 (DAFM 2022)

Case study partners

Agriculture And Food Development Authority