16 June 2023 latest news

Coillte’s Knockranny Wood Successful at 2023 RDS Forestry Awards

Coillte management team along with Mr Dick Bourke of the Knockranny Residents Association accepting an award from the Minister of State fo Landuse and Biodiversity


Coillte’s Knockranny Wood was voted the winner of the 2023 National RDS Forest and Woodland Awards under the Community Forest category this year.

The RDS Forest and Woodland Awards are Ireland’s national forestry awards.  The Community Woodland Award is designed to encourage and reward projects involving the communal management of forests and woodlands which have been managed in a sustainable way that is beneficial to the local environment.

Knockranny Wood, known locally as Colonel’s Wood is a popular recreation forest in the heart of Westport town County Mayo.  The wood has been developed as a recreational and biodiversity woodland by Coillte in partnership with local people and the Knockranny residents association, for public use and enjoyment.

Dermot Tiernan, manager with Coillte said “We are delighted to see Coillte’s Knockranny Wood win the RDS Community Award this year.  The work here is a fantastic example of a strong collaboration between the local community and Coillte, with a special mention to Dick Bourke, the chairman of the Knockranny residents association for his unwavering commitment and enthusiasm for this project and for all the work he continues to do to enhance the facilities for everyone to enjoy in Westport”.

Knockranny is an old woodland, with permanent tree cover stretching back to at least 1830.  In 2014 Coillte began a programme of planting native tree species increasing the broadleaf tree cover in Colonel’s wood from 46% to 80% to promote local biodiversity.  In partnership with the local community and with funding from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the NeighbourWood Scheme and along with support from Mayo County Council, works were undertaken by Coillte to build a new 2.4 kilometre looped walking trail.  In addition a new entrance and car park were constructed which also creates a new pedestrian access to the popular Western Way walking route.


About Coillte

Coillte, Ireland’s semi-state forestry company, is responsible for managing 440,000 hectares of primarily forested lands. It is the nation’s largest forester and producer of certified wood, a natural, renewable and sustainable resource. Coillte is also the largest provider of outdoor recreation space in Ireland, it enables wind-energy on the estate, processes forestry by-products and undertakes nature rehabilitation projects of scale. Coillte delivers the multiple benefits of forestry, including forests for climate, for nature, for wood and for people. For further information visit www.coillte.ie.


Media contact:

Nuala Buttner

Q4 Public Relations

+353 (0)85 1744275

Email: nuala@q4pr.ie

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