Stopping by Woods: a Guide to the Forests and Woodlands of Ireland


Stopping by Woods is a fascinating guide to 340 forests and woodlands open to the public throughout Ireland. Donal Magner writes with a rare insight about forests he has worked in and visited over the years as a forester and journalist. The book is the first of its kind ever produced in Ireland and Europe, it is packed with information not only about forests and tree species, but their associated flora and fauna, history and heritage.

The book features all the forests featured in the State's open forest policy now enshrined by Coillte, the Forest Service Northern Ireland and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. In his six-year journey the author has explored all our native and naturalized woodlands, and the State forests established since the beginning of the last century. Stopping by Woods is a celebration and record of this remarkable civic amenity.

This book will provide readers including students, specialist groups, historians and the general public with a deep understanding of Irish forests and their heritage. It is a book for our times, for people who care about our tree culture and about sustainable development.

DONAL MAGNERbegan his career as a forester with the Irish Forest Service in 1970 before joining Coillte in 1989 and forming Magner Communications in 1993. He holds a master's degree in forestry from University College Dublin. He is secretary of the Wood Marketing Federation and editor of the Forestry and Timber Yearbook (1996-2010) for the Irish Timber Growers Association.

He has edited and produced a number of publications including Irish Forestry the Journal of the Society of Irish Foresters (2002-4), Devil's Glen: Sculpture in Woodland (2004), Glimpses of Irish Forestry (2006), Ecologies of Distance (2007) and Woodspec: A Guide to Designing, Detailing and Specifying Timber in Ireland (2007). He has explored forests in Ireland, Europe, especially Eastern Europe, Canada, United States and South Africa. He has played an important role in developing Irish forest policy especially as chairman of the forestry group within the Irish Business and Employers Confederation – IBEC. He writes a weekly column on forestry for the Irish Farmers Journal. A native of Castletownroche, Co. Cork, he now lives in Wicklow with his family.

Michael Viney from the Irish Times speaks about the book here

'Forester Donal Magner has produced a marvellous gazetteer of Ireland's countryside. More than this, however, he has encapsulated an illustrated history of Irish forestry, the story of our woodlands and how they began, how they were managed or neglected, expanded or reduced. Whether the subject is archaeology or climate, botany, topography or conservation, he always reveals something of visual or historical significance and manages to make a link beyond the subject itself. – Mary Leland, Irish Examiner

'His book explores 340 forests and woods across the island, most with historical roots in the community. After five years of criss-crossing the island, the walks Donal Magner describes must make up the widest field experience of any forester on the island.' – Michael Viney, Irish Times

'For those of you who are fond of walking and those of you who like getting into the woods and the forests deeper and deeper, this is the book for you. The feeling you get when reading it, is that you want to get out to those woods immediately and walk down their forest tracks.' – Gay Byrne, RTE Lyric FM

'Donal Magner's magisterial survey of Irish woodlands, Stopping by Woods… has detailed directions for walks in every stretch of woodland in the country.' – Arminta Wallace, Irish Times

'This is the book that we have all been waiting for. The book is the first of its kind produced in Ireland and Europe, and is packed with information not only about forest and tree species, but their associated flora and fauna, history and heritage.' – Eanna Ni Lamhna, RTE Radio 1

'A monumental work, which should be read by everyone with an interest in trees and forests including students and teachers.' – Mairead Lavery, Irish Farmers Journal

'It is essentially a guide to walks in the forests and woodlands of Ireland north and south, but is also a history of forestry and a natural field guide to the trees of Ireland and the wildlife associated with them.' – Shirley Kelly, Books Ireland

'All the popular recreation forests are featured but his epic journey in discovering and writing about the lesser-known woodlands makes for spellbinding reading. What he has produced is both a travel guide and history of Irish forestry.' – Pat O'Sullivan, Irish Forestry

Weight 1.5 kg
publication date

November 2010


250 x 160mm, 544pp