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WIS Element 1 - Thinning and Tending


The Woodland Improvement Scheme (WIS) Element 1 - Thinning and tending provides for a fixed woodland improvement grant towards two thinning interventions.

Thinning operations must have the potential to improve the quality of the timber. The primary purpose is to reduce the number of stems per hectare and allow the development of Potential Crop Trees (PCT). These are the better trees in the forest (in terms of vigour, straightness, quality and freedom from diseases, etc.) that are evenly distributed in the forest so that they will potentially form the final crop of high value trees after a number of thinning operations.

Eligible operations

The first intervention must be carried out before the trees reach a top height of 15 metres while the second intervention must take place four years after the first intervention and before the trees reach a top height of 18 metres.

Operational guidelines as well as the relevant thinning and tending schedules for various tree species can be found on pages 40-44, Annex 2 of Woodland Improvement Scheme 2023-2027 (PDF).

Support will be available for the following operations:

  • Improvement felling of malformed trees
  • Felling of additional trees to release potential crop trees (PCT)
  • Thinning or re-spacing to promote growth
  • Management and re-spacing of natural regeneration
  • Clearing of setbacks around archaeological sites and monuments
  • Removal of damaged, disease or dangerous trees
  • Removal of invasive species such as Rhododendron and Laurel for the approved WIS area

Transitioning to CCF

Forest owners can participate in WIS Element 3 - CCF if they have received one WIS-funded thinning intervention. Those forests can receive two further tranches of funding when transitioning to CCF. A forest owner who has received two WIS-funded thinning interventions is not eligible to enter the CCF scheme.

Grant rates 

Support measure Fixed Grant (€/ha)

WIS Element 1 - Thinning and Tending - First intervention   


WIS Element 1 - Thinning and Tending - Second intervention   

  • Time limit for submission of claims is 12 weeks after completion of works. 
  • All receipts and invoices must be retained for a period of six years. 
  • Applications will be on first come, first served basis up to the budget ceiling. 


Funding will be targeted at the following forest categories: 

  1. All grant-aided broadleaves including broadleaved mixtures.
    Forests that have already received a thinning grant will only be eligible for a second intervention grant after a minimum of four years following the first thinning intervention and once the top height has not exceeded 18 metres (this height rule does not apply to ash forests).
  2. Non grant-aided reforestation sites where broadleaves have been planted post-1983.
  3. All other young, non-grant aided broadleaves / broadleaved mixtures established without grant aid. 


  • 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