Afforestation of industrial cutaway peatlands in Ireland: problems and principles

Florence Renou-Wilson and Edward P. Farrell

After Wise Use – The Future of Peatlands, Proceedings of the 13th International Peat Congress: Peatland Forestry

afforestation, industrial-cutaway-peatlands, peatland-forestry, site-cultivation, species

Renou-Wilson et al. 2008: Afforestation of industrial cutaway peatlands


In Ireland, industrial cutaway peatlands account for about 80,000 ha, of which 58,000 are currently in production, mainly in the midlands. Amongst other possible after-uses, commercial forestry could be a suitable option on a proportion of this area. At present, this area is estimated by Bord na Móna to be between 16,000 and 20,000 ha. Due to the heterogeneity of these sites and the complexity of the reclamation process, the adoption of a single afforestation blueprint is not appropriate (Renou & Farrell, 2005). This paper attempts to lay down some key components that should be considered in afforesting successfully a range of industrial cutaway peatlands.