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Forest Friends Ireland was founded in May 2000, by John Haughton, William Maher and Stephen Coyne, who were extremely frustrated by the failure of all those involved with forests in Ireland to provide an alternative to a rampant monoculture forestry policy.

Both the public agencies and a small number of the Environmental Non Governmental Organisations must shoulder the blame for this continued debacle.

FFI are at pains to show that it has already been demonstrated by best practice that the arguments against the economic viability of broadleaves are now largely invalid, with short, medium and long-term profit possible with native hardwood species mix.

John Haughton is a Town Planner and Social Scientist, who worked for many years as a Senior Executive Planner in the then Dublin Corporation, specialising in Community Planning, which was ecologically based, with strong emphasis on the environmental heritage.

John's work has concentrated on marginalised communities in Dublin City. The first of these was the ‘Finglas Enlivenment Project‘. This project recieved the Irish Planning Institute’s ‘Planning Achievement Award‘. It was promoted as representing best practice by the European Union and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Debelopment, and by an official report carried out on behalf of the City of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Ballyfermot Renewal Project followed closely the model of the Finglas Enlivenment Project, with similar results. John set up the first Irish Community Tree Nursery, namely, The Finglas Community Tree Nursery, in 1990.

John has played a lead role in many of the projects outlined in our web site. He promotes environmental awareness in his weekly hour-long radio programme, ‘Enviro‘ which goes out on the Dublin Community Radio Station NEAR FM 101.6 (North-East Access Radio).

Stephen Coyne has, for many years, been a community activist, working with local communities and has been involved with many campaigns, both local and national, to create a better environment.