CCF has the potential to deliver economic, environmental and social benefits like no other form of sustainable forestry. The science of CCF is rapidly developing to provide  foresters and woodland owners with the information required for best practice. As a management approach CCF is very hands-on and tangible, and there is great personal fulfilment from working in harmony with nature.

On the right site, established spruce plantations can present an opportunity to convert to CCF systems, transforming over time to become the diverse and resilient woodlands we need for the ongoing provision of timber and other ecosystem services.

One of the things that I personally got from the Pro Silva Ireland Continuous Cover Forestry training day was a strong sense of the necessity of engagement with the forest on an on-going basis, over its, and our, lifetimes. This is proper resource management, ‘future-proofing’ both an income stream and a vigorous ecosystem. I also suspect that people living in proximity to a plantation where CCF is practised will result in happier neighbours, in the longer term, than those living near sites destined for clear-felling.