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Overview of Forestry Grant and Premium Rates

Afforestation Grants and Premium Scheme

The Afforestation Grant and Premium Scheme is available from the Forestry Division, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM). Funding is available under a range of Grant and Premium Categories (GPCs) including:

  • Afforestation (GPCs 1-8)
  • Native Woodland Establishment (GPCs 9-10)
  • Agroforestry (GPC 11)
  • Forestry for Fibre (GPC 12)

The grants available in these schemes generally cover most/all of the costs associated with planting and maintenance. The rate of grant and annual premium available under GPCs depends on land quality, species planted and area planted. Full details of this wide array of GPC options and associated funding are available from your Teagasc Forestry Adviser

The first instalment is then paid after planting subject to adherence to conditions such as ground preparation, drainage, fencing and planting.

The second instalment (the remaining 25%) is paid four years after planting, once the trees have become fully established and are free-growing. This payment covers maintenance works (e.g. vegetation management and replacement of failures).

Preplanting applications are submitted to DAFM and technical approval may be issued following assessment. Establishment operations can begin only once subsequent financial approval has been obtained. The first instalment is then paid after planting subject to adherence to scheme conditions and various environmental guidelines. Preplanting applications must be prepared by a Registered Forester.

The minimum area to be eligible is 0.1 hectare if the land is suitable for broadleaves. The minimum area for conifers is 1 hectare. 

Keep in mind that although the premium is a very welcome payment for the first 15 years, the return from timber is a multiple of all of the forestry premiums put together.

Table 1: Establishment Grant Rates (€/ha) 

Grant and Premium Category (GPC) First Grant(€/ha) Second Grant
(€/ha)
Fencing allocation (IS436)
140m/ha
Alternative fencing allocation (non-IS436)100m/ha Total Grant available
(€/ha)
GPC 1 – Unenclosed 1,605 535 600  350 2,740
GPC 2 – Sitka spruce / Lodgepole pine 2,330 775 600  350 3,705
GPC 3 – 10% Diverse Conifer
e.g. Sitka spruce and 10% broadleaves
2,410 805 600  350 3,815
GPC 4 – Diverse Conifer
e.g. Scots pine, Douglas Fir
2,785 925 600  350 4,310
GPC 5 – Broadleaf
e.g. sycamore
3,960 1,320 600  450 5,880
GPC 6 – Oak 4,215 1,405 600  450 6,220
GPC 7 – Beech 4,215 1,405 600  450 6,220
GPC 8 – Alder and Birch 2,695 900 600  450 4,195
GPC 9 – Native Woodland Establishment
(oak-birch-holly-hazel)
4,215 1,405 600  450 6,220
GPC 10 – Native Woodland Establishment
(alder-oak)
3,960 1,320 600  450 5,880
GPC 11 – Agroforestry 4,215 1,405 600  450 6,220
GPC 12 – Forestry for Fibre 2,410 805 600  450 3,815

Table 2: Establishment Premium Rates (€/ha)

Grant and Premium Category (GPC)

Annual Premium Rate <10ha

(€/ha)

Annual Premium Rate >10ha

(€/ha)

Premium Duration

(years)

GPC 1 – Unenclosed 185 190 15
GPC 2 – Sitka spruce / Lodgepole pine 440 450 15
GPC 3 – 10% Diverse Conifer, e.g. Sitka spruce and 10% broadleaves 510 520 15
GPC 4 – Diverse Conifer, e.g. Scots pine, Douglas Fir 590 600 15
GPC 5 – Broadleaf, e.g. sycamore 605 620 15
GPC 6 – Oak 645 660 15
GPC 7 – Beech 645 660 15
GPC 8 – Alder and Birch 605 620 15
GPC 9 – Native Woodland Establishment (oak-birch-holly-hazel) 665 680 15
GPC 10 – Native Woodland Establishment (alder-oak) 665 680 15
GPC 11 – Agroforestry 645 660 5
GPC 12 – Forestry for Fibre 510 520 15

Brief explanation of Grant and Premium Categories

Categories are determined by the category of land planted, tree species and area planted. Please note: the minimum mandatory broadleaf requirement is 15%.

GPC 1 – Unenclosed/Unimproved land:

Typically comprises of upland sites and marginal soils. The amount of unenclosed land in any application for financial approval cannot exceed 20% of the total area.

GPC 2 – Sitka spruce/Lodgepole pine:

Does not comply with scheme requirements in isolation and can only be approved as a component of a larger project comprising of other GPCs.

GPC 3 – 10% Diverse Conifer/Broadleaf:

Comprises of a mix of Sitka Spruce/Lodgepole pine together with at least 10% Diverse conifer (approved conifer other than Sitka spruce/Lodgepole pine). Broadleaves adjacent to roads and watercourses may also form part of this 10%.

GPC 4 – Diverse Conifer:

Acceptable conifer species, other than Sitka spruce and Lodgepole pine. For instance, Scots pine, Douglas fir and Norway spruce.

GPC 5 – Broadleaf:

Acceptable broadleaf species other than Oak and Beech such as sycamore, maple and wild cherry.

GPC 6 – Oak:

Pure Oak, however nurse species may be planted where additional shelter is required.

GPC 7 – Beech:

Pure Beech, however nurse species may be planted where additional shelter is required.

GPC 8 – Alder/Birch:

Pure Alder or Improved Birch; up to 10% can be of other species for diversity.

GPC 9 and GPC 10 – Native Woodland Establishment:

This category supports the establishment of new native woodlands on 'green field' sites. Its focus is on native species, minimal site disturbance and long-term 'close-to-nature' management. It may present opportunities for planting in various environmentally sensitive areas.

GPC 11 – Agroforestry:

'Silvopastoral agroforestry' is a combination of trees and pasture. Silage and hay production is also permitted.

GPC 12 – Forestry for Fibre:

This scheme supports the growing of fast-growing tree species to produce wood biomass yields in the region of 150-300 m3/ha over 10 to 15 years. This scheme does not fund short rotation coppice, Christmas trees or fast growing trees (cut every nine years).

Relevant publications: