The Society of Irish Foresters in association with The National Botanic Gardens presents
The Annual Augustine Henry Forestry Lecture
Urban Forestry in Ireland – Planting an Idea
by Dr Mark Johnston Independent Scholar, Arboriculture, Landscape and Urban Forestry

The National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin
Thursday, 7 March 2024 at 3.00 pm
All are welcome to this free public lecture

The concept of urban forestry emerged in North America in the late 1960s as a radical new approach to urban tree management. It emphasises the importance of a planned, systematic and integrated approach to managing the urban forest, all the trees and woodlands in and around a town or city. Urban forestry aims to maximise the environmental, economic and social benefits of urban trees for the benefit of everyone who lives and works in urban areas. Its multidisciplinary approach also stresses the importance of engaging with local communities and the private sector.

Interest in urban forestry in Ireland began in the 1990s with some exciting initiatives both north and south of the border. These included the Forest of Belfast Project, Crann sa Chathair in Dublin, Forest of Limerick and Trees in the City in Derry. Ireland’s first Urban Forestry Conference was held in Dublin in 1991, organised by the Tree Council of Ireland in association with the Forest Service. Two further conferences were held in Limerick in 1996 and Galway in 1998. These early initiatives generated much interest from government agencies, local authorities and voluntary organisations and led to many more initiatives. With the new millennium, Ireland’s urban forestry movement began to dissipate as its ideas and practices became increasingly accepted into the mainstream of urban tree management. The lecture will conclude with a summary of some encouraging recent developments.

Dr Mark Johnston has been closely involved with the development of urban forestry in Ireland and internationally. His contribution to trees and the urban environment has been acknowledged with several prestigious national and international awards. While he has published extensively on this subject, this lecture will include plenty of additional information and some revealing insights from a personal perspective.

This event is worth 15 CPD points to those registered on the CPD Programme.