Brief Overview of Forestry Grant and Premium Rates
The new grant and premium rates as outlined below are applicable to all financial approvals (Form 1(a)) that receive approval from 21 February 2018. Any landowner with an earlier financial approval who has not submitted a Notice of Substantial Commencement (Form 1(b)) yet may withdraw the earlier financial approval and reapply.
Establishment Grant Rates (€/ha)
|Grant and Premium Category (GPC)||First Grant(€/ha)||Second Grant
|Fencing allocation (IS436)
|Alternative fencing allocation (non-IS436)100m/ha||Total Grant available
|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
|GPC 4 – Diverse Conifer
e.g. Scots pine, Douglas Fir
|GPC 5 – Broadleaf
|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
|GPC 10 – Native Woodland Establishment
|GPC 11 – Agroforestry||4,215||1,405||600||450||6,220|
|GPC 12 – Forestry for Fibre||2,410||805||600||450||3,815|
Establishment Premium Rates (€/ha)
|Grant and Premium Category (GPC)||
Annual Premium Rate <10ha
Annual Premium Rate >10ha
|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|
Eligibility - main points
- Applicants must be over 18 years of age and hold a Personal Pubic Service Number (PPSN). Companies must provide their company registration number (CRO).
- All afforestation projects must obtain prior written approval from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine termed ‘Technical Approval’. A separate ‘Financial Approval’ is also required for grant-aided projects before work commences.
- Applicants for technical approval must be the owner, lease holder or joint manager of the land at the time of the application (exceptions where owner is deceased or owner consents in writing).
- An application for technical approval under the Afforestation Scheme must be made by the applicant and a Registered Forester following a site visit and assessment by the Registered Forester.
- Land must remain under forestry and therefore is subject to a replanting obligation for all grant categories outlined above.
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 per site 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 SS/LP). 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.
GPC 5 – Broadleaf:
Acceptable broadleaf species other than Oak and Beech.
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 agro-forestry’; a combination of forestry and pasture. Stocking rate of 400-1000 trees/ha; equally spaced with a minimum plot size of 0.5ha and tree-to-tree width of 20m. Acceptable species include oak, sycamore and cherry (other species considered). 80% of costs is covered. Trees must be protected by tree shelters to allow for grazing by sheep or young domestic stock during spring and summer for the first 6-8 years. Tree shelters can then be replaced with plastic mesh and larger stock can be introduced. Silage and hay production is also permitted.
GPC 12 – Forestry for Fibre:
This scheme supports the growing of tree species to produce wood biomass yields in the region of 150-300 m3/ha over 10-15 years. Eligible species are: Italian Alder, Hybrid Aspen, Eucalyptus and Poplar (preference to improved genetic material). Trees are planted at a minimum of 2,000 plants/ha. This scheme does not fund short rotation coppice, Christmas trees or fast growing trees (cut every 9 years).