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Native Forests

Forest Type 1 (FT1)


The aim of Forest Type 1 – Native Forests is to create new native forests focusing on the planting of native tree species, minimal site disturbance and long-term ‘close-to-nature’ management.

The establishment of native forests provide opportunities to protect and expand Ireland’s native woodland resource and associated biodiversity.

It also supports a wide range of other benefits and functions arising from native woodlands, relating to reversing wider habitat fragmentation, the protection and enhancement of water quality, landscape, cultural heritage, wood and non-wood products and services, the practice of traditional woodland management techniques, environmental education, and carbon sequestration.

Areas planted under FT1 can be managed for wood production using continuous cover forestry practices, where compatible with onsite biodiversity.

FT1 plots can be planted alongside other FT types within the same overall afforestation project.

Native Forest Framework

The Native Forest Framework identifies the most appropriate native forest type for each particular plot, based principally on soil and vegetation. It contains six different scenarios, together representing the main native forest types found in Ireland, together with their associated soil types. 

Native tree species

Species planted are restricted to those that are native to Ireland. The use of native provenance tree stock during establishment is prioritised. Establishment must also be achieved with minimal inputs, with cultivation largely limited to scrap or inverted mounding. 

The following native species can be considered depending on the native forest type(s) identified:

  • Common alder (Alnus glutinosa)
  • Downy birch (Betula pubescens)
  • Silver birch (B. pendula)
  • Wild cherry (Prunus avium)
  • Pedunculate oak (Quercus robur)
  • Sessile oak (Q. petraea)
  • Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)
  • Hazel (Corylus avellana)
  • Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
  • Grey Willow (Salix cinerea)
  • Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris)
  • Holly (Ilex aquifolium)

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

Grant rates


Forest Type

Grant Rates
(excluding fencing)

Annual Premium

Number of Premiums
for Non-Farmers

Number of Premiums
for Farmers


Native Forests





Additional support measures

Relevant publication

Further information