A small business providing services to protect and replace woodland habitat of huge environmental and cultural importance.
Coillte Sláintiúil is a start-up enterprise providing a range of woodland conservation solutions such as containing invasive species and disease. Invasive species are a major threat to woodland biodiversity loss and the need to preserve Ireland’s woodlands is both a local and national issue. This project assisted the next phase of development of emerging business Coillte Sláintiúil through providing grant support for equipment purchase. This has resulted in building Coillte Sláintiúil’s reputation, networks and capacity to take on more complex conservation projects. This business services unmet, important environmental needs in the woodland context.
The results of this project link to three pillars of sustainable development, with current and future expected economic, social and environmental benefits.
The business has sustained employment of a team of three employees who already worked with Neil Vaughan Tree Services and Coillte Sláintiúil. Within the next year Coillte Sláintiúil plans to build a dedicated new, additional crew of two full-time employees. Since acquiring the new equipment, Coillte Sláintiúil has up-scaled its operations with at least a 40% increase in output. Coillte Sláintiúil has secured 3 new projects since acquiring the new equipment that would not be possible without it.
Restoring, preserving and enhancing ecosystems is an EU Rural Development policy priority. In 2018, Coillte Sláintiúil safeguarded approximately 35-40 acres of woodland focusing on control of invasive species. Future results will also emerge where native plants are revived because of the removal of invasive species.
Future expected impacts supporting environmental education
In the next five years, Coillte Sláintiúil plans to develop a corporate retreat around woodland conservation. This will be focused on environmental education, such as native species planting demos or what citizens can do to ensure invasive species don’t come into their local area.
Supporting wider EU policy
More broadly, Coillte Sláintiúil supports a number of EU policies. For example, by providing services to remove invasive species and preserve habitats, it supports the EU Biodiversity Strategy. In 2014, the European Council adopted a Regulation (1143/2014) on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species. No specific funding measures support this Regulation, but EU financing mechanisms such as rural development funds can support its implementation, as this project does.
For more information, read the full case study on Coillte Sláintiúil.
This project was supported as part of the LEADER Programme 2014-2020 under Theme 1 ‘Economic Development, Enterprise Development and Job Creation’ and Sub Theme ‘Enterprise Development’. The Local Action Group is Cork South LCDC and Implementing Partner is Údarás na Gaeltachta.