CALLS have been made for Oldcourt Forest near Douglas to be decommissioned and handed over to Cork City Council.
It comes as Coillte has plans to widen a section of an existing road in the woods, known locally as Garryduff Woods, to run for 360 metres within the forestry.
Fianna Fáil Councillors Mary Rose Desmond and Terry Shannon called for a suspension of standing orders to discuss the issue at last night's meeting of Cork City Council, as the deadline for public submissions on the proposal is June 26.
They called for agreement to seek for the woods to be decommissioned and handed over to the local authority.
They also called for the Forest Road Licence and the planned Clear Felling to be stopped while the proposal to decommission the woods is developed.
In the interim, Green Party Councillor Lorna Bogue also asked for an amendment to the proposal to say that Cork City Council would write to Coillte to ask that Garryduff woods be included in the Coillte nature programme and to copy the Minister of Agriculture in the correspondence.
Fine Gael Councillor Shane O’Callaghan said that following correspondence with his party colleague Councillor Deirdre Forde, Coillte were looking to engage with local residents, who had raised concerns about the proposals.
Councillors Desmond and Shannon said they were making the calls for the woods to be taken in charge by the council for a number of reasons including its unique location and the enjoyment people get from the amenity.
The Forest is 26 hectares and the councillors say Coillte are planning to fell 6 hectares of that.
“The last large felling 12 years ago were not replanted satisfactorily and the impact is still very evident,” they said in a joint submission.
They also highlighted the importance of the wildlife in the area, and the potential loss of a number of species from the area in question.
They add that: “The woods also have an historic link to the Battle of Douglas in 1922 and a last-ditch effort by republican forces to prevent or at least delay the Free State soldiers in their attempt to take Cork city.”