New Forest Owners – Small-Scale Forestry and Changes in Forest Ownership

  • Áine Ní Dhubháin
Part of the World Forests book series (WFSE, volume 9)


Families and individuals own 82% of the European private forest area (data derived from 11 countries). These forests are typically small in scale and are increasing in number as a result of fragmentation. Coincident with these developments is a change in the ownership structure. In the past owners were typically farmers who lived close to their forest, and who relied on their forests for income. In recent decades, the number of non-farmer owners has increased and many now live in urban areas. The new owners tend not to be economically dependent on their forests, nor have timber production as a primary goal, and are instead likely to hold amenity and conservation objectives. This trend, coupled with the increasing fragmentation of small-scale forests, is likely to have negative consequences for timber supply and the sustainable management of these forests. The changing objectives of owners may, on the other hand, have positive impacts on landscape, nature conservation and recreation. However, these may be counteracted by increasing fragmentation.


Forest Owner Timber Production Private Forest Total Forest Area Private Forest Owner 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V.  2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agriculture and Food Science Centre, School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary MedicineUCD DublinDublin 4Ireland

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