Pro Silva Ireland

Upcoming ProSilva Ireland field day at Knockrath Forest, Co. Wicklow – Sat 3 Oct 2015

August 31, 2015

Pro Silva Ireland’s next Forest Open day is in Knockrath Forest, Co. Wicklow – Sat 3 Oct 2015 with guest German ProSilva forester Hinrich Joost Bärwald. All Welcome!

The focus of the day will be discussions on the progress of conversion of forest stands to Continuous Cover Forestry management over the last decade at Knockrath Forest.

Day starts at 11.00 AM – 4.30 PM

Please bring a packed lunch, suitable walking shoes and rain gear.

There is a suggested donation of €20  per person to cover the costs associated with running the day.


Knockrath Forest

unnamed  unnamed2

Knockrath Forest is owned by the Brabazon family and is located in the beautiful Vale of Clara between Laragh and Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow.  There is a long history of forest management at Knockrath with a wide range of conifer and broadleaved species both as pure stands and in mixtures.  Knockrath forest is in the process of conversion to Continuous Cover Forest Management.  On the field day we will discuss the reasons behind this conversion and we will be reviewing the progress made to date.  Pro Silva Ireland visited Knockrath forest on our field day in May 2005.  This was in the early days of Pro Silva Ireland and about the time the Brabazon family decided to convert to CCF.  Ten years later we will be able to see successes and failures along the way.

unnamed3  unnamed4

The Vale of Clara is a sensitive area, adjacent to the Wicklow Mountains National Park, the Vale of Clara nature reserve, the Avonmore river (    a recovering salmonid habitat) and is in an important scenic and recreational area visited by international tourists and day trippers.  Forest management at Knockrath has to be cognisant of this while ensuring the commercial function of the forest is maintained.

In 2012, An AFI research and demonstration stand was installed at Knockrath in which the CCF management process and results are recorded in detail.  We will be visiting this as part of the field day.

We will also be visiting recently thinned stands and discussing the many management challenges associated with retaining forest capital, viable regeneration, transforming young stands and deer management in areas of high deer densities.

Knockrath forest is managed by forester Paddy Purser with contracting by Larry Byrne and Sons on behalf of the Brabazon family to whom we are most grateful for hosting this field day.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 09.04.34Our Guest forester from Germany who will lead the day – Hinrich Joost Bärwald

Hinrich manages 6.000 ha private owned forest in the north of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (Germany) with an annual harvesting rate of ca. 30.000 fm. He is Chairman of forestry association Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania , chairman of ANW (nature based forest management) – Country group Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania ( and board member of ANW (Germany). Hinrich is also managing director the local forest management cooperatives Behrenwalde Bad Doberan


From Rathdrum (Co. Wicklow) – Take the Laragh / Glendalough road for about 5 km and follow Pro Silva Ireland signs to parking area.

From Laragh (Co. Wicklow) – Take the Rathdrum road following Pro Silva Ireland signs to parking area (approx.. 4 km)

Share this post:

Related Posts:

2018 Pro Silva Ireland study trip to France in September: now fully booked! Pro Silva Ireland has been delighted with the growing interest in our annual study trips. This year's trip planned for September is now fully subscribed and 24 members will be participating in examining Close-to-Nature managed forests in Eastern France.
Rodney was one of the original founding members of Pro Silva, a signatory of the declaration of Robanov Kot (1989), the Pro Silva founding document. It is his championing of Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF), a term he was instrumental in defining and promoting, that will stand perhaps as his greatest legacy. He was the first chairman of the Continuous Cover Forestry Group (CCFG) and was responsible for establishing a formal association with ProSilva.
The focus of the Pro Silva Ireland Autumn field day will be early management of 1st generation oak plantation. We will be joined on the day by the Head Cooper from Irish Distillers in Middleton Co. Cork. Ger is a 5th generation cooper who has spent his life working with oak and knows the quality requirements of oak for coopering better than anyone. In recent years, Irish Distillers have been working with Pro Silva Ireland members to sustainably source high quality oak for coopering.
Phil Morgan, President of ProSilva Europe and known to many ProSilva Ireland members recently wrote an article on "The Case for Continuous Cover Forestry". The Forestry & Timber News Journal has kindly allowed us to re-publish the article here.