European Rewilding Network

Green Sod Ireland

An Fóidín Glas - the Irish land trust

Green Sod Ireland's mission is to protect land for its own sake and for the sake of the species that live on it.
Mark Lawson
Green Sod Ireland has been gifted more than 100 acres of land across Ireland by visionary individuals and communities.
Jason Murphy
Green Sod Ireland works with local communities and encourages them to live in harmony with nature.
Wynand van Poortvliet
Land gifted to GSI is managed with steadily decreasing intervention and thereby allowed to rewild naturally.
Robert V. Ruggiero

Founded in 2007, Green Sod Ireland (GSI) is an Irish land trust with charitable status, that works to protect land and its biodiversity for the sake of nature and people, knowing that all life is interconnected and interdependent.  Land gifted to GSI is managed with steadily decreasing intervention and thereby allowed to rewild naturally.

Green Sod Ireland is a nationwide land trust with gifted land in its care, establishing Wild Acres across Ireland, with a systemic approach, encouraging pro-active rewilding through the care of gifted land and ecological education as part of the solution to the global biodiversity and climate emergency. Whilst Wild Acres are set aside for the sake of the species who live on them, huge benefits accrue to local human populations too.  These sites provide data on wild colonization, in how habitats respond to climate change and in how every habitat is a connected world. In more local terms, they will act as a reservoir and source of oxygenating land plants, pollinating insects and pest-controlling bats and birds, all the while serving as a visible example, symbol and nucleus of habitat conservation and rewilding all across Ireland.

Project: Green Sod Ireland
Region: Ireland
Type of project: Increasing interest in the wild through communications, Magnification of rewilding impact and practices, Supporting wildlife comeback
Aim and vision: To establish Wild Acres (rewilding land) specifically and explicitly for the conservation of habitats and wild species, in every county in Ireland. To encourage the rewilding of nature through ecological education across all sectors, to strengthen links with local communities and key stakeholders and to network with agencies who can provide support and funding.
A truly wild Ireland!
Uniqueness of the project: Green Sod Ireland’s rewilding project is entirely unique in its care of the microcosm. Rewilding is about letting nature take care of itself, enabling natural processes to shape land, repair damaged ecosystems and degraded landscapes. Without interference or footfall GSI’s land is recovering. GSI has yet to engage in reintroducing key native species, however, it is hoped that with collaboration this is something that will benefit species in decline with the support of a healthy microcosm.
Other activities: Community involved, Education, High-impact communications, Research, Sale of sustainable products
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: In 10 years we aim to maximise the biodiversity value of the lands that GSI hold. To engage the local communities around each GSI site and to instill a sense of pride and ownership in their local landscape, reconnecting people with nature. Establishment of a Natural Capital Account of the GSI lands to assess the true value of biodiversity.
Results so far: Assessment of all GSI lands and a baseline upon which to build the knowledge of each site and to optimize the management plans with the end goal leading to passive management.
Education programmes for school and community groups within each area, promoting rewilding and enhancement of biodiversity while linking this knowledge with the climate emergency.
Creation of a baseline set of habitat maps upon which to build a set of Natural Capital Accounts
Inspirational value: GSI oversees ecological education programmes in a number of counties across Ireland, promoting rewilding, biodiversity enhancement and a stronger connection with nature to both children and adults. It is also cooperating with various stakeholders in Ireland with the aim of significantly expanding and promoting rewilding in the country.
Experience you would like to share: Promotion of the intrinsic value of nature. Organisational complexity as a means of operating a successful organisation. We have invaluable experience of working from the bottom up with nothing but determination to care for and enhance wild Ireland. When we started the organisation, people were riding recklessly on the back of the Celtic Tiger... we know what it is to open people's eyes, one person at a time. The evidence is there in the 'gifting' of land. Our approach "together we hold this land in trust" works. That story, that experience of Green Sod's Foundation is unique. As EF Schumacher says, "small is beautiful" and as Margaret Mead says "never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thinking that ever has".

Green Sod Ireland has developed the organisation based on volunteers, on a person by person basis, without whose skills and experience the organisation would not be where it is today. We regard the members of the organisation to be a big asset and regard their expertise in the Irish context to be of significant value to the ERN. Green Sod Ireland is in a unique position to understand the nature of land ownership in Ireland and has developed links with many organisations from governmental to other NGOs down to grass roots organisations and communities. This would aid significantly in expanding Rewilding in Ireland.
Experience you would like to gain: To be able to organize exchange visits with other members (when all this Covid is in the past).<br /> To be surprised!<br />
Map
Country
Ireland
Start year
2007
Size (ha)
75
Area type
Forest-grassland mosaic, Mixed forests with heath and sandy areas, Temperate deciduous forest, Wetlands
Natural process
Natural grazing
Green Sod Ireland
Green Sod Ireland's mission is to protect land for its own sake and for the sake of the species that live on it.
Mark Lawson
Green Sod Ireland has been gifted more than 100 acres of land across Ireland by visionary individuals and communities.
Jason Murphy
Green Sod Ireland works with local communities and encourages them to live in harmony with nature.
Wynand van Poortvliet
Land gifted to GSI is managed with steadily decreasing intervention and thereby allowed to rewild naturally.
Robert V. Ruggiero

Founded in 2007, Green Sod Ireland (GSI) is an Irish land trust with charitable status, that works to protect land and its biodiversity for the sake of nature and people, knowing that all life is interconnected and interdependent.  Land gifted to GSI is managed with steadily decreasing intervention and thereby allowed to rewild naturally.

Green Sod Ireland is a nationwide land trust with gifted land in its care, establishing Wild Acres across Ireland, with a systemic approach, encouraging pro-active rewilding through the care of gifted land and ecological education as part of the solution to the global biodiversity and climate emergency. Whilst Wild Acres are set aside for the sake of the species who live on them, huge benefits accrue to local human populations too.  These sites provide data on wild colonization, in how habitats respond to climate change and in how every habitat is a connected world. In more local terms, they will act as a reservoir and source of oxygenating land plants, pollinating insects and pest-controlling bats and birds, all the while serving as a visible example, symbol and nucleus of habitat conservation and rewilding all across Ireland.

Map
Country
Ireland
Start year
2007
Size (ha)
75
Area type
Forest-grassland mosaic, Mixed forests with heath and sandy areas, Temperate deciduous forest, Wetlands
Natural process
Natural grazing
Specification
Project: Green Sod Ireland
Region: Ireland
Description
Type of project: Increasing interest in the wild through communications, Magnification of rewilding impact and practices, Supporting wildlife comeback
Aim and vision: To establish Wild Acres (rewilding land) specifically and explicitly for the conservation of habitats and wild species, in every county in Ireland. To encourage the rewilding of nature through ecological education across all sectors, to strengthen links with local communities and key stakeholders and to network with agencies who can provide support and funding.
A truly wild Ireland!
Uniqueness of the project: Green Sod Ireland’s rewilding project is entirely unique in its care of the microcosm. Rewilding is about letting nature take care of itself, enabling natural processes to shape land, repair damaged ecosystems and degraded landscapes. Without interference or footfall GSI’s land is recovering. GSI has yet to engage in reintroducing key native species, however, it is hoped that with collaboration this is something that will benefit species in decline with the support of a healthy microcosm.
Other activities: Community involved, Education, High-impact communications, Research, Sale of sustainable products
Achievements
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: In 10 years we aim to maximise the biodiversity value of the lands that GSI hold. To engage the local communities around each GSI site and to instill a sense of pride and ownership in their local landscape, reconnecting people with nature. Establishment of a Natural Capital Account of the GSI lands to assess the true value of biodiversity.
Results so far: Assessment of all GSI lands and a baseline upon which to build the knowledge of each site and to optimize the management plans with the end goal leading to passive management.
Education programmes for school and community groups within each area, promoting rewilding and enhancement of biodiversity while linking this knowledge with the climate emergency.
Creation of a baseline set of habitat maps upon which to build a set of Natural Capital Accounts
Exchange
Inspirational value: GSI oversees ecological education programmes in a number of counties across Ireland, promoting rewilding, biodiversity enhancement and a stronger connection with nature to both children and adults. It is also cooperating with various stakeholders in Ireland with the aim of significantly expanding and promoting rewilding in the country.
Experience you would like to share: Promotion of the intrinsic value of nature. Organisational complexity as a means of operating a successful organisation. We have invaluable experience of working from the bottom up with nothing but determination to care for and enhance wild Ireland. When we started the organisation, people were riding recklessly on the back of the Celtic Tiger... we know what it is to open people's eyes, one person at a time. The evidence is there in the 'gifting' of land. Our approach "together we hold this land in trust" works. That story, that experience of Green Sod's Foundation is unique. As EF Schumacher says, "small is beautiful" and as Margaret Mead says "never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thinking that ever has". <br /> <br /> Green Sod Ireland has developed the organisation based on volunteers, on a person by person basis, without whose skills and experience the organisation would not be where it is today. We regard the members of the organisation to be a big asset and regard their expertise in the Irish context to be of significant value to the ERN. Green Sod Ireland is in a unique position to understand the nature of land ownership in Ireland and has developed links with many organisations from governmental to other NGOs down to grass roots organisations and communities. This would aid significantly in expanding Rewilding in Ireland.
Experience you would like to gain: To be able to organize exchange visits with other members (when all this Covid is in the past).<br /> To be surprised!<br />
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