Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed that Garryduff Woods is fully open to the public again. This followed a series of works by the wood’s manager, An Coillte. It was agreed earlier this year with the local community that the next step was to replant the area with broadleafs. The programme of works already completed included hedge cutting, tree surgery and road maintenance prior to the felling, the felling itself, ground cultivation and timber haulage.
The site is now prepared for planting which is planned to take place in quarter one of 2021 when plants are available.
The site does not need to be closed for this operation as it is manual work only and no heavy machinery will be required. The replanting will consist of the following species – Oak (2 hectares), Birch (2 hectares), Scots Pine (1.4 hectare), Norway Spruce (1 hectare). The Oak, Birch and Scots Pine will be planted, mixed at a ‘stocking rate’ of 3,300 stems per hectare for the oak and birch and 2,500 stems per hectare for the Scots Pine. Norway Spruce to be planted in small groups throughout the site at 2,500 stems per hectare.
This site will be managed primarily for biodiversity values and a critical element of this is will be future interventions that will form part of the overall biodiversity management plan. Such interventions are necessary for the maintenance and enhancement of the biodiversity values for e.g. light thinnings to favour Oak, which will be done manually.
The Norway Spruce cones are favoured by red squirrels due to the soft cones that it produces. The cones produced by the Scots Pine will also add to the diversity of food source for red squirrels on site. This new replanting will also allow for the staggering of age-classes should help the red squirrel and the biodiversity value of the site.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “Since the boundary extension last year, Cork City has inherited this very beautiful 26-hectare forest amenity managed by An Coillte. It is a site I am rediscovering over the past year especially from a historical perspective of the Old Court estate and the Civil War Battle of Douglas in 1922, which was held across the woods. Plus I have been vocal many times in the Council Chamber that the City Council needs an effective urban forestry management strategy within the city area. Such a strategy should also connect to other entities such as An Coillte for cross collaborative work”.