Ticknock Forest attracts 160,000 visitors each year
Coillte are being urged to convert 2,500 acres of forest in the Dublin Hills into a National Park.
Coillte has decided to halt the felling of trees in Ticknock Forest in Dublin after a number of groups raised concerns.
The Forest was initially planted for commercial purposes but has since become popular with walkers and mountain bikers.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan says we need to look at the recreational value of forests, like Ticknock, around the country.
Ticknock Forest Park attracts 160,000 visitors each year which makes it an idle candidate for a National Park.
The Green Party has today welcomed Coillte’s announcement that they would halt the planned clear felling of 20 acres of trees in Ticknock Forest Park, but they've now called on Coillte to convert their 2,500 acres of forestry in the Dublin Mountains into a National Park.
Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan TD said today "We welcome the fact that Coillte has put a stay on the clear felling of the Ticknock Forest. The trees are worth far more as a part of a forest park as a recreational facility rather than being chopped down for lumber.
"We now want to see this approach extended to all 2,500 acres of Coillte managed forests in the Dublin Mountains. They can be managed as a new National Park, by switching to a 'continuous cover' rather than 'clear felling' form of forestry.
He concluded by saying "Under this approach you take out individual groups of trees to create small clearings within the existing cover.
"This allows older and more valuable trees grow alongside smaller saplings. It is better for sustainability, better for biodiversity, more profitable for Coillte in the long run, better for tourism and better for the people of Dublin city."