Woodlands, hedgerows and trees

Tree Management Guidelines for County Galway.

Rosina Joyce

Hedgerow with hawthorn
Oak leaves
Wood sorrel

In 2023, with the support of the Heritage Council’s Heritage Stewardship Fund, Galway County Council produced a Tree Management Guidelines for Communities. These guidelines provide a step-by-step guide on how to undertake a tree planting project and outline the various aspects that need to be considered and taken into account throughout the lifetime of the project.

Click on the interactive PDF below which will link you to useful existing resources.

Hardcopies of the Tree Management Guidelines poster in English or in Irish are available by contacting the Galway County Council Biodiversity Office. Email biodiversity@galwaycoco.ie

One of the easiest things you can do to enhance your community and make it more attractive to wildlife is to plant a native tree, shrub or hedgerow. There are lots of attractive native trees and shrubs that will look great in your garden or green space.

The key thing is to plant the right tree in the right place, for the right purpose!





It’s hard to imagine today but Ireland was once completely covered with woodland- a rich mix of oak, elm, ash, Scots pine, hazel, birch, yew, rowan, holly, alder and willow. Woodlands tend to be hotspots for biodiversity because trees live for a long time allowing other plants and animals to colonise them (mosses, liverworts, beetles and other bugs) and woodlands provide a range of habitats- up in the canopy, on the tree trunks and down on the forest floor- for other plants and creatures to live and to forage.


Woodlands are wonderful places to walk in and explore. Constantly changing through the seasons, woodlands provide an opportunity to escape and soak up the natural world helping us to relax and unwind. For more information on trees and woodlands in Galway see-


Trees take up carbon throughout their lifetime and convert it to wood, thus helping to mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration. They also greatly enhance our landscapes and gardens providing colour, texture and interest, as well as enhancing biodiversity.

Hedgerows have a huge value for wildlife on the Irish landscape, which has such a low woodland cover, because they are like mini-woodlands crisscrossing the countryside and they provide a source of food, cover and shelter. Numerous countryside birds utilise hedgerows for nesting and foraging. Many of our native mammals also use hedges for moving through the landscape and for foraging.


Hedgerows: Lifelines on Farmland: https://youtu.be/g9MDO_5q25U


This page was added on 23/05/2020.

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