Some 2,000 native Irish Scots pine trees have been planted by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in the upper glen of Glenveagh National Park, Co Donegal. The park is one of the State’s six national parks.

The planted trees are of native Irish origin, sourced from a nursery grower in Co Galway, who collected the pine seed in the Burren National Park, under licence from the NPWS.

The planting location, in a 1.6ha field next to the stalking hut in the upper glen, has been carefully chosen to ensure the trees will grow well, produce good seed and be safe from grazing deer.

Favourable conditions

The conservation programme in Glenveagh National Park will focus on the long-term vision of creating favourable conditions for natural woodland habitat within the park.

Ongoing measures to curb invasive species, deer management and the creation of a tree nursery in the park are also part of this conservation effort.

Minister of State for heritage and electoral reform Malcolm Noonan has said that “woodland is home to a wealth of wildlife and supports other plants, birds and insects in these ecosystems”.

Until recently, it was thought that all Scots pine in Ireland was non-native. However, ecological data in recent years have led experts to assume that indigenous "relict" Scots pine woods had persisted in the Irish landscape.

The stumps of ancient 'bog fir' found in the wet and acidic conditions of blanket bogs are a reminder that expansive woodlands of native Scots pine dominated the Donegal landscape 4,000 to 6,000 years ago.