In Ireland, we have grown used to a standard way of managing our forests. We plant, maintain, thin the crop at pole stage until it reaches maturity, then we clearfell the forest and begin the cycle all over again. Clear cut is relatively simple. Forecasting volume production and rotation lengths are straightforward. The owners receive a regular income when the crop reaches production stage, culminating with a big payout at clearfell. Then, the owner has to re-invest in the restocking of the next rotation and wait for another 15 to 20 years - depending on species - before the next revenue stream.
But there is another way being proposed by Pro Silva Ireland. This alternative silvicultural approach is known as continuous cover forestry (CCF). Paddy Purser, cofounder of Pro Silva, is an advocate of CCF but says that “it is up to the forest owner to make the decision”.