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15. 7. 2024
15. 7. 2024

Minister Noonan launches new book showcasing Donegal’s native woodlands

Minister for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, has today, March 21st launched a book titled “Coillte Dúchasacha Chontae Dhún na nGall, Native Woodlands of County Donegal” at Glenveagh Visitor Centre. This book is written by written by Seán Ó Gaoithín, Foreman and Gardener at Glenveagh National Park, and describes the significance of Donegal’s native woodlands and their context in the Irish landscape.

The book aims to foster an appreciation of Donegal’s woodland biodiversity heritage, in particular the county’s old oak woodlands. The rich narrative on the history of native woodlands is augmented with a colourful selection of photographs celebrating the native woodland biodiversity of the county.  Glenveagh National Park has particularly rich woodland which is reflected in the name, Gleann Bheithe “the Glen of the Birch”. The native woodlands of the Park are a key habitat for biodiversity conservation and restoration.

This book gives fresh insights into the history of woodland cover in the county – how for example, so much of the land was cleared of woodland to make way for agriculture and how, in recent decades the conservation of our native woodland habitats has become an important priority.

Profiles of the common native trees of Donegal are included along with descriptions of some very rare native tree species such as the Rock Whitebeam and Bird Cherry. Twenty-eight woodland locations are featured, with an emphasis on woodlands that are accessible to the public – such as Glenveagh National Park with the Ancient Woodland of Mullangore. County Donegal has several other native woodlands of outstanding quality found in NPWS managed Nature Reserves at Ardnamona, Rathmullan, Ballyarr and Duntally.

The production of the book was supported by the ‘Local Biodiversity Action Fund’ of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, in association with the Heritage Office of Donegal County Council.

Speaking at the launch of the book, Minister Noonan said:

Minister Noonan and Seán Ó Gaoithín
Malcom Noonan T.D. Minister of State for Nature, Heritage & Electoral Reform with Seán Ó Gaoithín, Head Gardener at Glenveagh National Park and author of Native Woodlands of County Donegal

Susan Callaghan, Divisional Manager with National Parks and Wildlife Service said:

“I am delighted that we are celebrating the stunning woodlands of Donegal today in Glenveagh National Park.  Sean O’Gaoithin has written an inspiring and important book that illustrates the importance of native woodlands in our cultural and natural heritage.  NPWS are actively carrying out a number of woodland management projects both in Glenveagh National Park and Ardnamona Woods Nature Reserve and we hope that these projects will be integral steps in the restoration and conservation of our woodland heritage.”

NPWS Team with Minister Noonan

Other pictures from the launch

Donegal County Council Colleagues with Minister Noonan
L-R, Julie Corry Biodiversity Officer, Donegal County Council, Joe Gallagher Heritage Officer, Donegal County Council, Malcom Noonan T.D. Minister of State for Nature, Heritage & Electoral Reform, Seán Ó Gaoithín, Head Gardener Glenveagh National Park

Donegal County Council Colleagues with Minister Noonan
Malcom Noonan T.D. Minister of State for Nature, Heritage & Electoral Reform with management and staff of National Parks & Wildlife Service Northern Division and Glenveagh National Park

Joe Gallagher, Seán Ó Gaoithín and Minister Noonan
L-R Joe Gallagher Heritage Officer, Donegal County Council, Malcom Noonan T.D. Minister of State for Nature, Heritage & Electoral Reform, Seán Ó Gaoithín, Head Gardener Glenveagh National Park
Ralph and Liz Shephard with Seán Ó Gaoithín
L-R, Ralph Shephard & Liz Shephard with Seán Ó Gaoithín, Head Gardener Glenveagh National Park