SLM Partners is the manager of a sustainable Irish forestry fund, the SLM Silva Fund. The fund was established in 2018 with backing from the European Investment Bank, Irish investors and other European institutional investors.
The fund will acquire existing forest plantations in Ireland. Where possible, the fund will transition from a management regime based on clear-felling to an alternative, sustainable form of forest management known as Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF) or ‘close to nature’ forestry. Under CCF, forest cover and woodland conditions are maintained permanently. Trees are felled individually or in small groups every few years, making way for natural regeneration. The increment in growth is removed as ‘income’, preserving the ‘capital’ of the standing forest.
Positive environmental impacts
Forests managed under Continuous Cover Forestry have higher biodiversity and amenity value, and they can be more resilient to pests, diseases and windthrow. This management approach also avoids the negative impacts on soil and water resources that can be caused by clearfell events. We will be measuring and monitoring these environmental impacts over the lifetime of the fund.
Forest management partners
SLM Partners has entered into a partnership with an Irish forestry company, Purser Tarleton Russell Limited (PTR). Established in 1996 by three Irish foresters, PTR is a leading forestry management, consultancy and research firm with deep experience in Continuous Cover Forestry. The PTR team will be responsible for managing the forest properties after acquisition.
The Irish forest sector
Because of its mild climate, Ireland has some of the best biological growth rates for trees in the world. The country has a well-developed timber processing industry, which exports to the UK and other parts of Europe, and a growing bioenergy market. The Irish forest sector is a success story. Our fund will contribute to its further development by demonstrating the economic and environmental benefits of sustainable forest management.