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Woodland Improvement Scheme 2023-2027


The Woodland Improvement Scheme (WIS) gives forest owners a wide range of financial support options to sustainably manage their forests to fulfil current and future demands for wood and non-wood products while in tandem delivering on the provision of ecosystem services such as biodiversity, soil and water protection.

This Scheme supports sustainable forest management that can bring environmental and climate benefits. It protects biodiversity by supporting forest owners to transition from even-aged forest management to closer-to-nature forestry.

Forest owners can choose from five different elements in the Woodland Improvement Scheme: 

  1. WIS Element 1 - Thinning and Tending
    This Element provides two thinning interventions for all broadleaf and broadleaf/conifer mixed forests regardless of whether or not they are grant aided, where the trees have been planted post-1983. 

  2. WIS Element 2 - Agroforestry Maintenance
    This element provides funding for the maintenance of grant-aided existing agroforests.

  3. WIS Element 3 - Continuous Cover Forestry
    This element provides funding for the conversion of existing forests to Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF) over a 12-year transitional period. In addition, applicants may also be eligible for a new annual Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) premium.

  4. WIS Element 4 - Coppice and Coppice with Standards
    This element provides funding for conversion of existing forests to coppice and coppice with standards. Successful applicants are eligible for a WIS payment.

  5. WIS Element 5 - Seed Stand Management
    This element supports the sustainable use and conservation of Ireland’s forest genetic resource, by improving the management and conservation of registered broadleaf and conifer Seed Stands so as to increase the frequency, quality and volume of commercial seed production and collection. In addition, applicants may also be eligible for a new annual Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) premium. 

Overview of grant rates

Support measure Fixed Grant (€/ha)Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES)
(€/ha/year, payable for 7 years)
WIS Element 1 - Thinning and Tending (two interventions)     €1,200/intervention       n/a 
WIS Element 2 - Agroforestry Maintenance  €1,200    n/a 
WIS Element 3 - Continuous Cover Forestry (three interventions €1,200/intervention    €150
WIS Element 4 - Coppice and Coppice with Standards  €1,200    n/a 
WIS Element 5 - Seed Stand Management  €1,200    €500


  • Individuals must be over 18 years of age and hold a Personal Public Service Number (PPSN). Companies must provide their company registration details (CRO number).
  • Applicants for technical approval must be the owner, leaseholder or joint manager of the land at the time of the application. Exceptions to this rule will only apply where:
    • the owner is deceased, and their legal representative submits the application; or
    • the owner consents in writing to the submission of the application in the name of a designated third party.
  • In order to qualify for payment of woodland improvement grants, the applicant must own, lease or be in joint management of the lands proposed for improvement. Applicants must provide documentary evidence of ownership and of leasing or joint management where relevant if requested.
  • It is not permitted to apply for more than one Element on the same plot. 

Application procedure

The applicant and a Registered Forester (List of Registered Foresters, PDF) must complete the application form following a site visit and detailed field assessment by the Registered Forester.

Only one element can be selected per application form. Approval is only valid up to and including the expiry date specified in the letter of approval.

Relevant publication

Further information 

Contact your local Teagasc Forestry Adviser