Redesigning afforested western peatlands in Ireland

Dermot Tiernan

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

afforested-western-peatlands-awps, decision-support-system-dss, ecosystem-management-approach, redesign-plans

Tiernan 2008: Redesigning afforested western peatlands in Ireland


This paper outlines two possible future management scenarios for Coillte-owned forests along the western seaboard of Ireland, on Afforestated Western Peatlands (AWPs). These scenarios represent long-term management strategies, where the redesign potential is either maximised (scenario 1), or minimised (scenario 2) over a rotation of 40 years. Both scenarios represent an ecosystem management approach to forest management, where emphasis on environmental and social enhancement is given priority over commercial management. This approach was developed using a custom built Decision Support System (DSS), and operational redesign plans were provided, detailing the areas for individual redesign management options. The DSS currently estimated the redesign potential of AWPs in the Coillte estate to be between 30,619 ha to 64,548 ha over a 40 year period, or between 712 ha and 1501 ha annually.