Mar 23, 2010

Sustainable forestry talk led by visiting head of Slovenian Forest Service

An excellent opportunity to listen to some leading experts in European Sustainable forestry. Pro Silva Ireland has requested Dr Jurij Diaci, Head of Slovenian Forest Service, to talk to Irish audience about how Slovenia has a thriving economically viable, biodiverse forestry service, that is not reliant on short-term rotations - clear-felling forestry is illegal in Slovenia. Slovenia leads Europe in Sustainable Forestry and chaired global talks on Forestry in Copenhagen at the recent UN talks.

Pro Silva Ireland eNewsletter

No. 3, Spring 2010

Pro Silva Ireland Public Lecture by Jurij Diaci (Slovenia), Leading European authority in Close-to-Nature Forest Management Parkview Hotel, Newtownmountkennedy, Co. Wicklow Friday 23 April, 7.30 - 8.30 PM

Welcome to the Spring Pro Silva eNewsletter for 2010!

Pro Silva Ireland is delighted to announce the following lecture to coincide with our Wicklow Open Forest Day. All are welcome to attend.

'Foresters who introduced principles of close-to-nature management centuries ago, when nature was not considered endangered, were indeed farsighted and brave in their pioneering efforts.'

So says Dr. Jurij Diaci, Director of the Slovenian Forest Service, in his introduction in the excellent little booklet "Forest Management by Mimicking Nature, - How to conserve forests by using them" published by the Slovenian Forest Service". He goes on to say 'Well preserved and biologically diverse Slovenian forests are the pride of Slovenian forestry as well as a challenge to foresters to continue a good work of their predecessors.'

And what predecessors the Slovenian foresters have, including Prof. Dr. Dusan Mlinsek who was a founding member and in many ways the inspiration for Pro Silva Europe, which was founded twenty years ago in Slovenia.

It is from this background that Prof. Dr. Jurjj Diaci comes and Pro Silva Ireland are indeed fortunate that Dr. Diaci has accepted our invitation to speak to us on 23rd April, the evening before our forest visit to Cloragh Farm, Co. Wicklow.

Dr. Diaci is current Chairman of Pro Silva Slovenia and is Head of Chair for Silviculture for the Slovenian Department for Forestry. He was an adviser for sustainable, close-to-nature forestry for the Ministry for Environment during the Slovenian presidency of the EU and he has recently edited the publication, 'Nature based Forestry in Central Europe - Alternatives to Industrial Forestry and Strict Preservation'.

While giving a broad outline of the reasons that Close-to-Nature Silviculture is practiced in all Slovenian forests, Dr. Diaci will concentrate on the Economics of Close-to-Nature forestry. For those interested in learning more about how to sustainably manage forests for profit, this is an essential event.

The Parkview Hotel is on the main street in Newtownmountkennedy, Co. Wicklow, which is signposted from and just off the N11.

There is no charge for attendance at this event.

Pro Silva Ireland Wicklow Field Day Cloragh Farm, Nun's Cross, Ashford, Co. Wicklow Saturday 24 April, 11 am - 4 pm with Dr Jurij Diaci, Director of the Slovenian Forest Service & Prof. Dr. Jurgen Hüss Professor of Silviculture at Uni. of Freiburg

Dr Jurij Diaci isDirector of the Slovenian Forest Service, Chairman of Pro Silva Slovenia & Head of Silviculture at the Slovenian Department of Forestry and Prof. Dr. Jurgen Hüss is well known to Irish forestry as an external examiner in UCD and through regular silvicultural assignments in Ireland. He is also co- author of the COFORD publication "Growing Broadleaves: Silvicultural Guidelines for Ash, Sycamore, Wild Cherry, Beech and Oak in Ireland". In Germany, amongst many silvicultural appointments, he was Professor of Silviculture at University of Freiburg.

Cloragh Farm Forest

Cloragh farm has just under 200 hectares of forestry. There is a large range of forest types, including native woodland in the Devil's Glen National Heritage Area and commercially operated mixed woodlands of Douglas fir, spruce, other broadleaves & conifers. There are also a number of new grant aided plantations.

There is a long history of active forest management on the property and the woods are currently being transformed to continuous cover using close to nature management systems.

There has been an annual programme of progressive transformative thinnings across the farm over the last approximately 10 years.
This transformation is now at a critical stage as natural regeneration starts to occur and must find its way through competing vegetation and past herds of sika and fallow deer. In the meantime the stability and profitability of all stands must be maintained.

Cloragh Farm is located near the village of Ashford, just off the N11 in Co. Wicklow. From Ashford Village take the Roundwood road and follow the Pro Silva signs from there.

As usual with Pro Silva Ireland field days, a voluntary collection of €20 will be sought from attendees to help cover the cost of our guests from Slovenia & Germany

Pro Silva Ireland is very grateful to Geoffrey and Lucy Tottenham and family for hosting us on their farm.

Members: Forest Student Competition Prize - Win a Trip to Hungary

There is a Pro Silva Ireland sponsored competition for a student to win a trip for upcoming Pro Silva Ireland visit to Hungary.

The competition is to enter the best written report of the Wicklow Pro Silva 2010 Forest Open day (see above). Students do not have to be in formal study.

Please alert any students or young foresters that you may know..
For more info: please contact Thomas Baker at

About Pro Silva Ireland

Pro Silva Ireland was founded in June 2000. Membership is made up of forest owners, foresters, students and others who wish to practice and learn more about Pro Silva Close to Nature, Continuous Cover forestry practice. Pro Silva Ireland recognises and values the unique history of Irish forestry and its past, current and potential contribution at local, regional and national levels. Members are convinced of the need in Ireland for a greater range of management skills amongst foresters and forest owners. The organisation was founded in order to develop and promote Pro Silva Principles as an alternative to clear felling in Irish forestry. Pro Silva Ireland is a non-profit organisation and is a member of the European umbrella organisation Pro Silva Europe (, which was founded in Slovenia in 1989, of which 27 European countries are now members.

Pro Silva Ireland is an all-Ireland organisation, embracing membership from both Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. Pro Silva Ireland is a Registered Charity (Number CHY 16703). Annual membership is €40, with a €10 joining fee (students €10), please see

With over 100 members throughout Ireland, in both the North and South, knowledge and skills about permanent Close to Nature, Continuous Cover forestry management is steadily growing.

Pro Silva Ireland organises annually two open Forest days with visiting European Pro Silva foresters, an annual overseas study trip, and produces publications. The Pro Silva Ireland committee decided a quarterly enewsletter will serve to connect and serve the growing membership.

Members are also encouraged to join the private members online network where members can freely connect with others across the country; to share notes, questions, skills/interests, photos, videos; please email to to join the network. It's a great way to share information and keep in touch with other members across the country. For instance, recent photo's and notes from the Holland and Slovenian trips are on the site, as well as the new PSI publication

Members, please also feel welcome to send short news items to Cathy Fitzgerald, Pro Silva Communications Officer at

Contact us

Pro Silva Ireland
36 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2, Ireland
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