Rinville Park - Woodlands Management Plan
Galway County Council manages Rinville Park, Rinville West, Oranmore, on behalf of Galway City and County Councils and it has been in the ownership of the Councils’ since 1986. The Park is home to amenity grasslands, meadows, a small lake, woodland trails, a playground and an outdoor gym, as well as a rich built heritage with a Tower House style Castle, Gate lodge and the ruins of Rinville House. Rinville Park is also a designated stop on the Wild Atlantic Way. In response to an increasing number of windblown conifer trees each winter in the Park, Galway County Council commissioned the Rinville Park Habitat Survey and Management Plan and the Rinville Park Woodland Management Plan. The objectives of these Plans is to ensure the long-term conservation of the woodland by managing the conversion from a mixed woodlands (broadleaf and conifers) to a native and semi-native woodland and making it safe for park users. The woodland (c.18hectacres) is composed of Broadleaves (c. 13.32 ha/c. or 74 percent) and section of Sitka Spruce (conifers) which comprise about 4.69ha/c or 26 percent. The Rinville Woodland Plan sets out an annual work programme for the period 2015-2024. The Plan divides the Woodlands into a series of plots and sub-plots with an estimate of the broadleaves and conifers in each plot. The work programme addresses the risk posed by dying and over mature conifers and will involve the replacement of these Sitka Spruce with sapling native and non-native Broadleaf trees. The achievement of goals in the Plan will represent a significant step towards sustaining the woodlands for future generations and is an exciting investment in this much loved Park.
Clearfelling—this will take place in 3 out of 13 plots. This is necessary to remove standing deadwood and damaged Sitka Spruce which are posing a risk. It may look unsightly with stumps remaining, but light to the understorey will facilitate the rapid growth of remaining vegetation and allow the replanting to take hold. The timber in these plots only will be sold to cover the costs of the work and any income over costs will fund replanting. Thinning—this is selective felling of Sitka Spruce among pockets of broadleaf trees and is undertaken by a specialist tree harvester. Thinned trees are usually left on site where they fall and while they may look unsightly at first, they add value to the bio-diversity and general nutrient cycle. This work improves the quality of remaining trees. Cleaning—this is the annual management of competing vegetation so that the young replacement saplings can thrive.
All work on site will be strictly controlled. We work to best practice Health and Safety and Bio-Diversity Standards. All felling works are carried out under a Licence issued from the Forest Service.
The work programme is overseen by the Corporate Services Section in Galway County Council who manage the Park for the joint owners (City Council and County Councils). Advance notice of all works will be given and official information and safety signage will be clearly displayed in the Park. Staff will continue to be available to residents or adjoining landowners and to respond to all public queries.
How can I keep up to date on the Plan?
Please email corpserv@galwaycoco stating that you would like to be included in our email updates on the Rinville Woodlands Management Plan.
Please call Corporate Services, Galway County Council, 091-509225, and confirm that you would like to receive our updates in the post.