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Forests for Water

Forest Type 2 (FT2)

The aim of Forest Type 2 – Forests for Water is to create new native forests in strategic locations where this land use change would deliver specific ecosystem services regarding the protection of water and aquatic ecosystems or would reinforce and expand areas of alluvial forests.


Applications must meet one of the following targeted objectives in order to be considered eligible:

  • Plant in areas identified as Rank 1-3 on the EPA Pollution Impact Potential (PIP) Maps for phosphorus to break the pathway and protect the delivery point to the receiving aquatic zone.
  • Plant in areas identified by the Local Authorities Waters Programme (LAWPRO) or Agricultural Sustainability Support and Advice Programme (ASSAP), for Native Forest creation as a mitigation.
  • Plant in areas identified by Irish Water or the National Federation of Group Water Schemes for drinking water source protection.
  • Plant in areas suitable for Natural Water Retention Measures. Such areas are in the process of being identified by the Office of Public Works (OPW).  
  • Plant in areas identified by Inland Fisheries Ireland for improvement of fisheries habitat and stream ecology.
  • Plant to facilitate the expansion of the Habitats Directive Annex I Habitat: Alluvial Woodland 91EO.

Native Forest Framework 

Planting details are dictated by the Native Forest Framework (and in particular Scenario 6 – Alluvial Forest), which identifies the most appropriate native forest type, based principally on soil and vegetation. Species planted are restricted to those that are native to Ireland. The use of native provenance tree stock during establishment is prioritised.

Establishment must be achieved with minimal inputs. All species must be planted at a stocking rate of 2,500 stems / ha and at a spacing of 2 x 2 metres.

FT2 plots can be planted alongside other FT types within the same overall afforestation project.

Grant rates


Forest Type

Grant Rates
(excluding fencing)

Annual Premium

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


Forests for Water *

€6,744 €1,142 15 20 
 * FT2 – Forests for Water attract a further payment of €1,000/ha, to be paid as an additional once-off single payment.

Additional support measures

Relevant publication

Further information