A large primeval oak forest once covered 75% of the land of Ireland.
Here in East Clare, once stood the ancient oak forest known as the Forest of Suidane.
Most of it was cut down from the 1500s onwards.
Some remnants of this ancient forest still exist here in the Lough Grainey Valley, including stands of rare ancient oak trees. But these trees are in great danger of being cut down when land comes into agricultural use or for other kinds of development.
As part of setting up the Lough Grainey Nature Sanctuary, we set out to restore the permanent, non-commercial oak forest by protecting existing trees and planting 1,300 trees on the land to be purchased for the nature sanctuary.