Identification of Areas Suitable for Afforestation

Client: Teagasc

Forestry in County Wicklow, photo by Jenni Roche

In 2013, BEC Consultants provided guidance to Teagasc on the identification of plant species and classification of habitats. This project aimed to inform the identification of areas suitable for afforestation, excluding designated sites and other areas of environmental sensitivity. The project involved the following elements:

  1. Preparation of a field guide to common Irish upland and grassland plants, intended for use by foresters and containing descriptions of 142 species including grasses, sedges, clubmosses, bryophytes and lichens;
  2. Leading field visits for Teagasc staff  to typical examples of different upland habitats;
  3. Recording relevé data from typical examples of different upland habitats;
  4. Aerial photograph interpretation of 1,000 randomly generated points, distributed across Ireland, to identify the Fossitt (2000) habitat present. This yielded data on the frequency of Fossitt (2000) habitats at a national scale. To ensure data quality, a sample of these points was ground-truthed by means of field surveys.