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Forests on Public Lands

Forest Type 3 (FT3)

The aim of Forest Type 3 – Forests on Public Lands is to encourage public bodies (e.g. government departments, state sponsored organisations, higher education authorities, local authorities,… ) to establish new native forests on suitable land under their ownership and control.

FT3 provides funding which are capable of delivering various ecosystem services:

  • The restoration of lost native woodland habitats, rich in biodiversity and cultural significance.
  • The formation of corridors with and between other semi-natural habitats within the surrounding landscape.
  • Carbon sequestration arising from woodlands that will exist in perpetuity.
  • The protection and enhancement of water quality and associated aquatic ecosystems.
  • The improvement of air quality in urban and peri-urban areas.
  • Soil protection and the reclamation of former landfill and brownfield sites.

Native Forest Framework

The Native Forest Framework 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, with cultivation largely limited to scrap or inverted mounding.

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

Once land is converted, it will be classified as forest land and the provisions of forest legislation will apply.

Former landfill sites

Certain former landfill sites or 'brownfield' sites may be suitable for native forest establishment. In such cases, a further 'Derelict Site Grant' of up to €500/ha may be payable to undertake specific operations necessitated by the site's status as a former landfill or brownfield site.

Recreational facilities

In addition, funding is also available to support the installation of recreational facilities that will enable access to, and enjoyment of, the woodland by the local and wider community:

  • Facilities eligible under Recreation Element 1 include new walking trails, seating and signage, such as information boards, interpretive aids and way markers.
  • Facilities eligible under Recreation Element 2 include playground equipment and fitness training equipment appropriate to the forest setting.

If funding is sought to develop the (optional) Recreation Elements 1 and 2, then a clearly identified and significant 'user group' needs to be in place regarding existing or future amenity use.

Projects involving entrance fees or any other economic activity are not allowed.

Grant rates


Forest Type

Grant Rates
(excluding fencing)

Annual Premium Payments

Number of Premiums for Non-FarmersNumber of Premiums for


Forests on Public Lands 

€10,544 €1,103 15 n/a 
  • Additional Derelict Site Grant: Up to €500/ha
  • (Optional) Recreation Element 1 (Trails, Seats and Signage): Up to €3,800/ha, capped at €45,600 per application.
  • (Optional) Recreation Element 2 (Forest Playground Equipment): Up to €10,000 per application.

Additional support measures

  • 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