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Change of Ownership

The Forest Service (DAFM) must be notified if there is a change of ownership of a grant-aided forest during the term of the contract (either 15 or 20 years depending on scheme and owner status).

The owner of lands afforested under the Afforestation Grant and Premium Schemes must give advance notice to the Forest Service of any intention to sell or transfer ownership, or if the legal status of that ownership becomes subject to a caution, inhibition, judgement mortgage or enforced sale. Where the death occurs of the owner or joint owner of a grant-aided forest, the Forest Service should be notified as soon as possible.

In every case, payments will be suspended until a new owner signs up to continue the scheme. The Change of Applicant section of the Forest Service will assist in making arrangements to continue payment of grant and premiums to the new owner.

When selling lands on which forestry grant-aid / premia are being paid, forest owners should note that if the buyer does not take over participation in the Scheme, all grants and premiums already paid from the date of planting must be repaid to the Department by the previous owner. Solicitors dealing with the sale or transfer of land should be informed of the terms of the scheme.

There are important differences between the conditions attaching to the new forestry schemes (lands planted since 1 January 2015) and those applicable under older schemes (lands planted up to 31 December 2014).  For instance, if the land was planted since 1 January 2015, the new applicant must submit all necessary documentation no later than one year after the date of the deed of transfer for the land ownership change, or the date that a deceased applicant’s estate is settled.

Relevant publications

Change of Ownership / Applicant Guides:

Please note: all forestry contracts remain subject to the conditions under which they were approved originally (i.e. older contracts do not transform to the new scheme).

Further information

  • Contact your local Forestry Advisory Staff 
  • Change of Applicant Section, Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Johnstown Castle Estate, Wexford, Y35 PN52, Tel. 053 9163400