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Landowners & Interest Groups


Forestry can impact on rivers in a number of ways including: sediment losses during harvesting or planting operations; changes to flow regimes and physical character through drainage works; nutrient losses associated with decomposition of brash, fertilisation operations or ammonia losses from planted peatlands.

Forestry projects

In relation to forestry activities, the project will aim to implement best management practices to mitigate the impacts of forestry on water quality and to demonstrate how the creation of new native woodlands used in combination with undisturbed water setbacks can be used to form permanent semi-natural features to enhance biodiversity and protect water quality. The project will also deal with the especially challenging issue of the need for long-term restructuring of historical forestry plantation in those parts of the catchment where there is a high potential impact on water status from historical forestry practices.

As part of the ‘Waters of LIFE’, a full review of projects and literature related to forestry impacts and their mitigation in high status objective water bodies will be carried out. This will help identify appropriate measures which can be further developed, refined and trialed in consultation with forestry owners within the demonstration catchments.  In particular, the project will draw from and build on the Draft Plan for Forests and Freshwater Pearl Mussels in Ireland as these are a species that require the cleanest of rivers.

Useful information

More information on the effects of forestry on water quality can be found at and a map of water bodies where forestry is a significant pressure can be found at EPA maps.

For information on planning and policy, including measures see the current River Basin Management Plan which may be found on the Department of Housing Local Government and Heritage website.