Landscape planning and design for Irish forestry: Approach and model proposed.

  • Art G. McCormack University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4.
  • Tomas N. O'Leary University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4.
  • John J. Gardiner University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4.
Keywords: Forest landscape planning and design, forestry guidelines and strategies, landscape assessment, forestry capabilities, landscape aesthetic character enhancement potential, landscape values with sensitivities and constraints.


The afforestation programme in Ireland over the next 30 years is aimed at increasing forest cover from approximately 9% to 17%. Given the frequency of adverse impacts upon the landscape arising from forestry, particularly large-scale commercial plantations, measures such as planning and design guidelines and strategies which ensure overall positive results and avoidance of damage, are urgently required. Focusing upon landscape issues, this paper outlines the complexity of forestry problems in Ireland, identifying the need for an approach to forest landscape planning and design. A detailed literature review is used as a basis to develop such an approach, emphasising the importance of landscape assessment based upon landscape character typology. Arising from this, a 2-part model is proposed, the first part concerning guidelines developed for nationally generic landscape types, and the second concerning strategies for specific landscape character areas applied to counties. The three main components of this model are examined: forestry capabilities; landscape aesthetic character enhancement potential; and landscape values with their sensitivities. The first two components provide the basis for a proactive approach to forestry, and the third introduces the constraining or qualifying influence. As far as landscape is concerned, forests can be a major force in landscape enhancement and a medium for the aesthetic experience of nature. It is very important to rise to the challenge by developing forestry in Ireland in a way which is decisively proactive.
How to Cite
McCormack, A. G., O’Leary, T. N. and Gardiner, J. J. (1998) “Landscape planning and design for Irish forestry: Approach and model proposed.”, Irish Forestry. Available at: (Accessed: 18April2024).