Methods

We used quantitative, qualitative and spatial resources to give a descriptive and explanatory account of forest management practices, mapping them with cultural orientations toward woodlands/trees in contemporary Ireland.

Quantitative Methods

Our Quantitative data on land use came from the UNEP (United Nations Environmental Program) database (UNEP (2016)).  We downloaded all the years of national data for Total Forest Extent, Forest Area, and Harvest Rate in Excel, and then isolated the data for Ireland by deleting all the other countries.  We used a mix of Excel and Google Sheets to create line graphs displaying the data for these three data sets individually.

Qualitative Methods

Our Qualitative data on land use came from the websites of the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), and COFORD.  We analyzed the documents Forests, products and people: Ireland’s forest policy – a renewed vision (DAFM (2014)), Irish Forests and Recreation (COFORD (2014)) and Irish Forests and the Economy (COFORD (2014)).  We determined that these documents together would provide a good basis for understanding Irish Forestry and Ireland’s cultural priorities in terms of the land.

We also decided to analyze, read and understand the significance of heritage trees in relation to total forest extent, forest area, harvest rates and current forests in Ireland to see if their was any connection between the locations and meanings of heritage trees and Ireland’s current forest and proposed forest plans for the future. To do so, we read several different sites and online book PDF’s that ranged from data from the Tree Council of Ireland, Crann Trees for Ireland, Heritage Trees of Ireland by Aubrey Fennell and government websites with metadata on proposed heritage tree lands (present and future) that were on graphs.

Spatial Analysis

Data from multiple sources were downloaded and assembled in QGIS software. The following data were acquired:

From the National Parks and Wildlife Service: Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Areas (SPA), Natural Heritage Areas (NHA) and proposed Natural Heritage Areas (pNHA)

Data.gov.ie: Ancient and Long-Established Woodland Inventory (2010)

Afforestation Statistics were found. Attempts were made to find spatial data or records of forestry practices, but they required a special data request process. With time constraints, our research group has decided not to incorporate forestry data into our maps. Mapping forestry data (afforestation and existing forestry lands) along with wildlife protection areas (NHAs and pNHAs) would be an exciting future improvement on this project.

Bibliography

Crann Trees for Ireland. “Heritage Tree Hunt Survey.” www.crann.ie/heritage_tree_hunt_survey-objectid-1061-recordid-62-z-project.htm.

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. 2014. Forests, products and people. Ireland’s forest policy – a renewed vision. Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, Dublin.

Fennell, Aubrey. 2013. “Heritage Trees of Ireland.” The Collins Press (1): 1-308.

Forestry Focus. “Heritage Trees.”  Society of Irish Foresters.  http://www.forestryfocus.ie/social-environmental-aspects/cultural-heritage/trees-and-folklore/heritage-trees/

Forest Sector Development/COFORD Division of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (2014). Irish Forests and the Economy. COFORD. http://www.coford.ie/.

Forest Sector Development/COFORD Division of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (2014). Irish Forests and Recreation. COFORD. http://www.coford.ie/.

O’Neill, Barry. 2016. “Heritage Trees of Ireland.” National Biodiversity Data Centre. https://data.gov.ie/dataset/heritage-trees-of-ireland.

Liam. 2014. “Ireland Natural Royalty: The Heritage Trees of Ireland.” Irish Fireside Podcast & Blog. irishfiresideblog.com/2014/03/20/heritage-trees-ireland/. 

Tree Council of Ireland. “Heritage Trees of Ireland.” treecouncil.ie/?s=irish+heritage+trees.

UNEP (2016): The UNEP Environmental Data Explorer, as compiled from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) – Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) 2010 . United Nations Environment Programme. http://ede.grid.unep.ch.

UNEP (2016): The UNEP Environmental Data Explorer, as compiled from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) – FAOStat . United Nations Environment Programme. http://ede.grid.unep.ch.