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NeighbourWood Scheme

Supporting the development of attractive close-to-home woodland amenities (or ‘neighbourwoods’) for public use and enjoyment.

The scheme is available to both public and private landowners, working in partnership with local communities. Applications from other landowners may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Funding is available under three separate elements:

  • NeighbourWood (NBR) Establishment funds the establishment of new neighbourwood on open ‘greenfield’ sites.
  • NBR Enhancement funds the silvicultural enhancement of existing woodland already used as neighbourwood, or proposed for development as neighbourwood.
  • NBR Facilities funds the installation and upgrade of appropriate recreational facilities within an area submitted under NBR Establishment or NBR Enhancement, or within an existing woodland suitable for recreation but not submitted under NBR
    Enhancement. This element can also be combined with Native Woodland Conservation works.

Grant Rates (€/ha)

The NeighbourWood Scheme offers funding of up to 85% of eligible costs (exclusive of VAT) under three separate elements: NBR Establishment, NBR Enhancement and NBR Facilities.

Applications are made by submitting a NeighbourWood Scheme Form 1 and accompanying plan and documentation. A Registered Forester (see List of Registered Foresters, PDF) is required to complete the application in partnership with the landowner. 

The maximum available grant under each element – payable as a single instalment – is set out as follows:

  • NBR Establishment: €5,000/ha (plus an additional fencing allowance, as under the Afforestation Scheme)
  • NBR Enhancement: €5,000/ha
  • NBR Facilities: €3,800/ha

Individual applications can comprise a combination of NBR Establishment and NBR Enhancement subject to a limit of 12 ha in total, plus NBR Facilities subject to a limit of 12 ha.

Once all works are completed, the Register Forester on behalf of the applicant submits a NeighbourWood Scheme Form 2, detailing the eligible costs (exclusive of VAT and supported by invoices) incurred under each element. The actual payable grant under each element is then calculated, based on 85% of the eligible costs (exclusive of VAT) detailed for that element in the Form 2, or the maximum grant available under that element, whichever is the lesser amount.

Relevant publications