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Deer Tree Shelters and Deer/Hare Fencing Scheme

This scheme provides financial assistance to landowners growing broadleaves in areas where there is a risk of deer/hare damage.


A fixed grant for deer tree shelters is available under this scheme as well as access to the deer fencing scheme when deer damage has occurred after establishment.

All three species of deer in Ireland (red deer, fallow deer, sika deer) are capable of inflicting serious damage to trees (in particular broadleaves):

  • Browsing which is the grazing of foliage of young trees. Browsing may lead to tree death, misshapen trees and delayed crop establishment.
  • Bark stripping is the gnawing of bark, which may result in stem breakage, death or infection and seriously reduces the quality of the timber.
  • Fraying damage to trees is caused when deer rub their antlers against the bark in order to remove the “velvet” from their antlers, or to mark territory.
  • Damage to the drainage system by trampling drains thereby impeding the flow of water.

Deer tree shelters

Funding is capped at €600/ha. The maximum area for the additional deer tree shelter grant is usually two hectares.

The minimum stocking where trees are in deer tree shelters is 625 trees / hectare. This is achieved at an average stocking of four metres by four metres. Apart from the reduced stocking level, all other requirements remain the same.

Support for deer tree shelters is also available in existing forests where more than 40% deer damage has occurred.

For full details, see the relevant publication below.

Deer fencing

Existing, broadleaved sites must have greater than 40% deer damage on the areas proposed for enclosure by deer fencing.

All fencing material must be in accordance with fencing specifications as set out in the Forestry Standards Manual. Alternative construction types for deer fencing will be considered on a case-by-case basis, e.g. ‘A’-frame deer fencing. 

 Fence typeRate/metreFencing allocationGrant
 New deer fence


 IS436 @ 140m/ha  €2,275/ha
  Upgrade deer fence   €8/m  IS436 @ 140m/ha €1,120/ha

For full details, see the relevant publication below.


A contribution of €2.50/m for a hare fence up to a maximum of 140m/ha (€350/ha) may be available for forests that have been subject to hare damage. Eligible forests must have 30% hare damage.

For full details, see the relevant publication below.

Relevant publication: