Sitka plantations are a recipe for destruction

IN HIS letter (June 16), John Jackson says ‘afforestation’ in Ireland needs a massive boost and the “barriers (to) afforestation which have been erected on very dubious scientific grounds” need to be examined.

We in IESS (Irish Environmental and Social Stakeholders) and the WLL (Woodland League), and Forest Friends (Cáirde na Coille) wonder what barriers exactly Mr Jackson is referring to?

Would it perhaps be the fact that virtually all the ‘afforestation’ in Ireland is a single variety, alien species, Sitka Spruce, which can only survive with massive saturation of pesticides. These pesticides are carcinogenic, mutagenic and estrogenic and end up in all of our groundwater?

Or is Mr Jackson really saying, that covering some of the most beautiful parts of Ireland with these blanket, pesticide-soaked plantations that wipe out all native flora and fauna and close rural communities inside dead, poisoned boxes of monoculture plantation, is actually a good idea?

With respect, IESS, the WLL and Forest Friends would argue this is not afforestation, has nothing to do with trees, or people, and everything to do with the continuation of a very dubious business indeed — the destruction of the environmental and social fabric of rural Ireland in exchange for grant aid.

Brendan Kelly

Killaan

Woodlawn

Ballinasloe

Co Galway

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