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Sandra and Lasse Jorgensen

Sandra and Lasse’s forest is located in Wicklow and was planted as a Sitka spruce plantation with some Douglas fir, Sycamore and Larch in 1996. The 11-ha forest is part of a sheep farm enterprise at an elevation of 250 m on free-draining brown earth.

Sandra explains the reasons behind choosing to opt for CCF management, "I always loved rambling the local woods when I was a child which gave me great appreciation for nature and the local environment. Also, the land is on a hill so the 11 hectares of woods have created invaluable shelter on the one side with the remaining 11 hectares being used for sheep. It’s a small sheep flock which is run as organically as possible and I have built up a private customer base for the lambs that are slaughtered by a local butcher."

She added, "The continuous cover nature will mean that the hill remains sheltered and that we always have the woodland amenity. With wood extraction every few years, the average annual timber income already exceeds the income that the sheep enterprise could provide."

To date, a forest road has been constructed. Three thinnings have been carried out with increasing timber value each time. This is due to progressive tree size increases and is a direct consequence of regular selective thinning.

The following table shows the outturn from the forest over the first three thinnings:

Operation Year Age Area treated (ha)Total volume harvested (m3)Volume harvested (m3/ha) Pulp Stake Pallet Note
First thin 2011  15  6.0 247 41 63%  14%  23%  All first thinnings.
Second thin


18  7.8 326  41 36%  0%  64%  Largely second thinnings. A small additional area of first thinning was carried out.
Third thin


23  10.3  586  57 40%  0%  60%  Largely third thinnings. A small area of second thinnings and an additional area of first thinnings was carried out.

The next thinning is planned in three to four years’ time. Some sawlog is expected to be harvested at that time which will further enhance timber returns.

The forest is managed by forester Paddy Purser while forest harvesting has been carried out by Larry Byrne and Sons.

Sandra and Lasse have also engaged in recent years with a research project to test a range of different thinning treatments in their forest and test their effect on the transformation of the spruce plantation under CCF management. This project started under the Low Impact Silvicultural Systems (LISS) Project in 2011 and is now continuing under the TranSSFor research project. This project is funded by Teagasc and jointly managed with UCD and will complete in 2021.