Edible Landscape Project

Benefits of an Edible Landscape

An Edible Landscape or forest garden is a land management system where trees, shrubs and perennial plants are planted in such a way as to mimic the structure of a natural temperate woodland. This layered style of planting which we are using in many of our planting workshops, is very suitable to temperate climates although it is still quite experimental on the Western seaboard of Ireland where rainfall levels are high. Ultimately edible landscapes/ forest gardens result in the formation of a very sustainable and stable ecosystem requiring low maintenance.

This ancient type of planting is one of several design systems which comprise AGROFORESTRY.


As the Edible Landscape Project adopts the chemical free ethos of both the organic and agroforestry movements, no pesticides, herbicides or fungicides are required therefore there is little or no resource wastage. Other notable resource efficiencies related to our edible landscape are:

  • Soil is not disturbed annually for cultivation allowing for ORGANIC MATTER BUILD-UP
  • Protection against CLIMATE CHANGE: Carbon is stored in the undisturbed soil as perennial shrubs and trees are used instead of annuals
  • Reduced MAINTENANCE by planting perennials
  • Where possible we use local and/or heritage tree and shrub varieties supporting LOCAL ENTERPRISES. These varieties tend to be locally cultivated and therefore survive much better in local west of Ireland climatic conditions. They also support higher levels of BIODIVERSITY than non-native species


  • Supporters & Volunteers

    Support for the Edible Landscape Project from local community groups has surpassed expectations. As a result we've run a number of projects on Westport Town Greenway and one in Newport. A selection of those involved in our projects include: Mayo County Council, South West Mayo LEADER TUS and RSS Schemes, Westport Men's Shed, Westport GIY, Westport Tidy Towns, Westport Civic Trust, Local schools, Westport College of Further Education, Newport Tidy Towns, NADDCo , Andy Wilson at www.fruitand nut.ie, Cleo DeVito at The Good Life Network…
Paula Halpin
Paula Halpin

Paula Halpin is a native of Westport, where she lives with her husband and two sons. Passionate about local issues and community development projects, she is engaged on a voluntary basis with various organisations, including the Westport Family and Community Resource Centre. Since graduating from University College Dublin in 1990 with an honours Degree in Landscape Design, Paula has had a wide range of working experiences including lecturing third level horticultural students in the National Botanic Gardens and engaging special needs adults with Horticultural Therapy. Paula set up her own business, Ceres Landscape Design in 1998.

Caithriona McCarthy

Caithriona McCarthy spent a number of years working freelance advising small Irish development organisations on sustainable business development. This led her into the area of Adult Education and she now spends her time working both on sustainability based projects and teaching Sustainable Horticulture and Entrepreneurship at Westport College of Further Education (WCFE) in Co Mayo.
Caithriona holds a BA from University College Dublin (UCD) and a PG Dip. in Business Studies from The Michael Smurfit School of Business (UCD). In 2014 Caithriona graduated with an MSc. in Organic Farming from the University of Glasgow and in 2015 she completed a Permaculture Design Certificate with Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Institute.