Thursday, 15 July 2021
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Cratloe Woods in Co Clare is owned and managed by Coillte and as such is its day-to-day management is an operational matter for the company. In view of the question raised, I have however made enquiries with Coillte on the matter.
They advise that the wood in Cratloe is approximately 356 hectares in size and, although it may have had a history of being once a large and vibrant oak woodland, the canopy cover for oak today is around 5%. Coillte acknowledge the importance of the remaining stems of oak on the site and have put measures in place to retain and protect such veteran trees on their operational plans. They are also looking to enhance areas where strong indicators of oak woodland habitat are present and are currently reviewing same on their biodiversity plans for the area and area seeking public consultation for their five-year management plan.
An information note has been erected at Cratloe Forest which allows the public to engage with Coillte directly. I am advised that Coillte are open to discussing any aspect of their forest management at Cratloe Woods with the public or any other interested Community groups.
In accordance with the European Union Guidelines for State aid in the agricultural and forestry sectors and in rural areas 2014 to 2020, Coillte are eligible to receive grant aid from the Department for approved applications under forestry support schemes aiming at improving the resilience and environmental value of forest ecosystems, such as the Native Woodland Conservation Scheme and the NeighbourWood Scheme. If such an application is received and provided that it complies with our scheme conditions, the Department would provide funding in accordance with EU rules.