Forestry and the environment

 

Sir, – Unfortunately, there are still many misunderstandings about the 21st-century forestry model in Ireland. The modern productive forests we are planting today are not “industrial monocultures” (Letters, July 6th); rather, they contain diverse tree species, broadleaves as well as conifers, and areas set aside for biodiversity. This year’s afforestation programme will contain roughly 40 per cent broadleaves. Every one of our forests is different and provides different habitats. A mature forest is a patchwork of trees of different ages, with varied vegetation along its borders, paths and roadways. Walkers in our mature forests will bear witness to the nature and diversity they see along the way.

Our forests provide diverse benefits to our society, economy and environment – they are providing thousands of rural jobs and reliable farm incomes, and all the while they are absorbing millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and delivering a sustainable building material that locks away carbon for generations.

Successive governments have created a great success story by supporting forestry and the imperative to do so is greater than ever as we seek to create rural jobs, build a new Irish bio-economy, diversify our agriculture and be carbon neutral by 2050. – Yours, etc,

MARK McAULEY,

Director,

Forest Industries Ireland,

Ibec,

Lower Baggot Street,

Dublin 2.