I recently visited Seán Ó Conláin’s forest to learn about his efforts to work with nature while still making the forest economically viable.
Critics often complain that single species plantation forestry, especially conifers, are staid and lifeless areas. However this forest, located in the rolling hills of County Leitrim is wonderful. A towering ancient oak greets you on your approach up the driveway to the house. And behind the house, when you walk through Edergole forest you get a wonderful feeling of being immersed deep in nature. A wide range of plants grow under the canopy of high trees and the birds sing noisily in the background. The original hedgerows and ditches that once separated the original fields are still in situ and are rich with a mosaic of common countryside flora. So how did it get like this?