A new study by Noteworthy, the investigative journalism platform of the Journal.ie. explores the continued granted licences for conifer plantations on rich biodiversity areas and valuable peat soil across Ireland.
Ireland was once covered in forests consisting of birch, oak and elm. Years of deforestation led to a mass transformation, resulting in Ireland becoming one of the least forested countries in Europe. Today, approximately 11% of the landmass in Ireland is covered in trees, compared to an EU average of over 30%, but Ireland does have some of the highest rates of forestry plantation in the EU and the largest forested area containing introduced tree species, largely Sitka spruce.