Focus is on timber production (Grant and Premium Categories 1-8)
Grant and Premium Categories 1-8 (for a description of GPC 1-8, see below) fund the establishment of a ‘conventional’ forest with the main objective to produce commercial timber. There can of course be other additional objectives also.
Both conifer as well as broadleaf tree species can be considered. Initial stocking rates range from 2500 trees/ha for most conifers to 3300 trees/ha for broadleaves.
Careful consideration should be made in matching tree species to site types. It is important that the landowner appreciates the difference between tree species and the different time scales to achieve returns.
The First Grant is available to cover the costs associated with the establishment of the forest and is payable after planting with the balance paid by way of a Second Grant four years after planting following successful establishment. Grant levels are dependent on tree species and soil type.
Annual forestry premium payments are available to compensate landowners for the loss in income earning potential from the afforestation of their land. New entrants are entitled to annual forestry premiums dependent on tree species and soil type. This premium is payable for a period of 15 years in respect of Grant and Premium Categories 1-8.
The maximum grant and premium rates are detailed below. The afforestation grant is a fixed grant to cover the costs incurred in the establishment of a forest and paid exclusive of VAT. It is paid in two instalments as outlined below. An additional allowance for fencing (to the maximum rates detailed below) is payable with the First Grant instalment.
The grant application is made by the forest owner in association with a Registered Forester: List of Registered Foresters (PDF).
Grant Rates (€/ha)
|Grant/Premium Category (GPC)||1st Grant|
|Additional Fencing Allocation (IS436)||Alternative Fencing Allocation |
|Total Available Funding|
|GPC 1 - Unenclosed||1575||525||500||350||2600|
|GPC 2 - Sitka spruce / lodgepole pine||2310||735||500||350||3545|
|GPC 3 - 10% Diverse||2360||790||500||350||3650|
|GPC 4 - Diverse||2625||840||500||350||3965|
|GPC 5 - Broadleaves||3780||1155||500||450||5435|
|GPC 6 - Oak||3990||1260||500||450||5750|
|GPC 7 - Beech||3990||1260||500||450||5750|
|GPC 8 - Alder||2250||840||500||450||3860|
Premium Rates (€/ha)
|Grant/Premium Category (GPC)||Annual premium (€/ha)||Duration (years)|
|GPC 1 - Unenclosed||185||15|
|GPC 2 - Sitka spruce / lodgepole pine||440||15|
|GPC 3 - 10% Diverse||510||15|
|GPC 4 - Diverse||560||15|
|GPC 5 - Broadleaves||575||15|
|GPC 6 - Oak||615||15|
|GPC 7 - Beech||615||15|
|GPC 8 - Alder||575||15|
Description of Grant and Premium Categories 1 to 8:
The plantation must contain a minimum of 15% broadleaves by area. This can comprise: broadleaves planted in broadleaf GPC plots of minimum width; and/or broadleaves planted as part of the 'at least 10% diverse' requirement for GPC 3; and/or additional broadleaves planted for environmental and landscape reasons.
GPC 1 – Unenclosed/Unimproved land
All approved broadleaf and conifer species planted on unenclosed land receive the unenclosed grant and premium rates.
GPC 2 - Sitka spruce / Lodgepole Pine
This plot is comprised of Sitka spruce and/or lodgepole pine only. For landscape purposes, a small number of other species should be incorporated into this plot.
A GPC 2 plot on its own is not eligible for grant or premium payments because it does not comply with plantation rules 1 and 2 and must be a component of a larger afforestation project comprised of other GPC categories.
GPC 3 - 10% diverse mix
This plot is comprised of an intimate mix of Sitka spruce and/or Lodgepole Pine together with a suitable diverse conifer. The diverse conifer content must be at least 10% of the total number of trees planted. This diverse species can be intimately mixed through the forest or planted in groups through the forest, or a combination of both where silviculturally compatible with the main species. In an intimate mix, the diverse conifer species may be substituted by suitable broadleaves, including birch, planted in groups where soils are suitable.
GPC 4 – Diverse
This plot is comprised of an acceptable conifer species, other than Sitka Spruce and Lodgepole Pine.
GPC 5 - Broadleaf (other than Oak/Beech)
This plot is comprised of an acceptable broadleaf species, other than Oak and Beech.
GPC 6 – Oak
This plot is comprised of pure oak. On large sites where additional shelter is required, an appropriate nurse species may be introduced. Other patterns will be considered on case by case basis.
GPC 7 – Beech
This plot is comprised of pure beech. On large sites where additional shelter is required, an appropriate nurse species may be introduced but there must be at least 10 lines of beech between each nurse species. Other patterns will be considered on case by case basis.
GPC8 – Alder
This plot is comprised of pure alder. For species diversity, up to 10% of trees planted may comprise of other species intimately mixed or planted in groups.