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Forest Roads Scheme

This scheme provides funding for the construction of forest roads and associated infrastructure.

A rate of €40 per linear metre to a maximum of 25 metres per hectare is available where 50% or greater of the area is due for harvesting in the next three years. This can be extended to a 5-year period in the case of joint applications. Forests that have received a road grant up to 20m/ha will not be entitled to a top-up.

Special construction works may be funded on environmentally sensitive sites up to a maximum of €5000 per application or 50% of costs, whichever is lower. This provision is primarily aimed at facilitating the construction of forest roads in environmentally sensitive sites to limit any potential adverse impacts from harvesting activities.

Additional funding is available where significant additional stone is required to build a bellmouth where it is at least two metres below the surface of the existing public road. This is an additional equivalent length of 30 metres per entrance.

Forest roads connecting to an existing forest road network in a public, state or private forest may be supported including the portion of the road outside the property where there is an agreement between the owners.

During construction all Forestry and the Environment Guidelines must be strictly adhered to thereby minimising the impact on the local environment.

A Registered Forester (see List of Registered Foresters, PDF) is required to prepare applications where the total road lengths specified in the application is less than 500 metres. A qualified Civil Engineer or Engineering Surveyor must prepare specifications and carry out appropriate works supervision where the road application contains grant aided special construction works, lengths in excess of 500 metres, or sections of roads due to site conditions or difficult constructions design.

A standard management plan must be provided at the time of application for areas of five hectares or greater. This should include an estimate of the proposed timber harvest volume.

Harvest roads should ideally be built well in advance of the first thinning operation to allow the road to dry and so cope better with the extensive wear and tear of harvesting and timber haulage. COFORD has published a Forest Road Manual which outlines the guidelines for the design and construction and maintenance of forest roads.

Grant Rates (€/ha)

The fixed grant rate available for roads is as follows:

CategoryMaximum Rate
€ / linear metre (excl VAT)
Maximum density
Harvesting road 40 25
Special Construction Works 50% of costs up to a maximum of €5,000 per application

Roads and Planning

Please note that Section 17 of the Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2011 stipulates that the creation of an access from the forest road to a public road must be approved by the relevant Planning Authority. As a consequence, applications under the Forest Roads (Grant) Scheme must be accompanied by:

  • written confirmation from the local authority certifying that the development does not require planning permission; or
  • confirmation that planning permission has been obtained, a copy of which must be submitted with the application; or
  • evidence of application for planning permission e.g. planning application number or other confirmation from the local authority that an application has been submitted.

Relevant publication: