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Agroforestry

Forest Type 8 (FT8)

The aim of Forest Type 8 – Agroforestry is to provide support for agroforestry and food forests. This will facilitate landowners in planting land with trees and continuing to produce food through agriculture.

Eligibility

To be eligible, the plot must meet the following criteria: 

  • Minimum plot size is 0.5 hectares
  • Minimum plot width is 20 metres (measured tree to tree)  
  • Stocking rate of at least 400 trees/ha at equal planting spacing
  • Maximum distance of 10 metres between rows 
  • Minimum distance of 3 metres between trees within a row 
  • All trees must have two stakes and a shelter to protect from browsing, rubbing or fraying.
  • Acceptable tree species include oak, sycamore and cherry. Other species (including conifers) may be considered on a site-by-site basis.

Once land is converted to agroforestry, it will be classified as forest land and the provisions of forest legislation will apply. For further details, see Forestry Act 2014

Eligible agroforestry systems

Silvopastoral agroforestry

Silvopastoral agroforestry combines the grazing by sheep or young domestic stock with trees. Trees must be protected and tree shelters checked regularly. 

Animals can be grazed during the spring and summer months for the first six to eight years, depending on tree growth. Thereafter, when tree shelters are replaced with plastic mesh, larger animals may be introduced.

Silage and hay production is permitted. Appropriate machinery must be used when cutting silage and/or hay so that the trees are not inadvertently damaged.

Silvoarable agroforestry

Silvoarable agroforestry combines the growing of cereals, fruit and vegetables with trees. Fruit and nut trees can account for 20% of species planted. The crops will be grown amongst single trees, rows or groups of trees.

No tree shelters are required as there will be no grazing. In some cases, rabbit protection or deer fencing may be required. Headlands for machinery will be required to allow for machines to turn at the end of each row. 

Forest gardening

The objective is to provide robust, small-scale forests that provide a source of organic forest food (e.g. poultry). Fruit and nut trees can account for up to 40% of species planted. A design plan needs to be submitted with the application. 

Applications are limited to one hectare per landowner. 

Grant rates

 

Forest Type

Agroforestry

Grant Rates
(excluding fencing)
€/ha

Annual Premium
Payments
€/ha

Number of Premiums
for Non-Farmers
Number of Premiums
for Farmers

FT8

Silvopastoral systems

€8,555 €975 10 10 

FT8

Silvoarable systems

€6,000 €829 10 10

FT8

Forest gardening

€6,000 €829 10 10

Additional support measures

  • A Fencing Grant ensures that newly established forests are fully protected from browsing animals.
  • An Environment Report Grant will be paid if a report from an ecologist or archaeologist is submitted.

Relevant publication

Further information