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WIS Element 3 - Continuous Cover Forestry


The Woodland Improvement Scheme (WIS) Element 3 - Continuous Cover Forestry provides for a fixed Continuous Cover Forestry grant enabling the forest owner to draw up and implement a CCF Conversion Management Plan.

Operations supported under this scheme must have the potential to improve the quality of the timber and be carried out at the recommended basal area.

Eligible operations

Support will be available for the following operations:

  • Preparation of a site-specific CCF management plan (see below)
  • Improvement felling of malformed trees
  • Tree marking for thinning
  • High pruning
  • Felling of additional trees to release frame trees
  • Thinning or re-spacing to promote growth
  • Management and re-spacing of natural regeneration
  • Deer management and deer management plan
  • Enrichment planting where it is necessary in lieu of natural regeneration
  • Ground preparation, where appropriate (e.g. light scarification to facilitate natural regeneration) at an appropriate time of the year to create a good seed bed
  • Forest protection (fencing, tree guards and other measures)
  • Clearance of invasive species such as laurel and rhododendron
  • Costs associated with non-commercial tree felling where appropriate (e.g. tree felling on highly sensitive parts of the site, where alternative, non-conventional techniques are required, including manual felling in water setbacks)
  • Woodland rejuvenation (including understorey and coupe planting, vegetation management)
  • Woodland edge management
  • Maintenance of open spaces, rides and glades
  • Direct seeding
  • Ring barking and chemical thinning of trees

Please note: a site-specific CCF Management Plan must be submitted in support of the application by a CCF forester. A template can be found on pages 47-49, Annex 4 of Woodland Improvement Scheme 2023-2027 (PDF).

Grant rates 

Support measure 

Fixed Grant (€/ha)  

WIS Element 3 - Continuous Cover Forestry - First intervention


WIS Element 3 - Continuous Cover Forestry - Second intervention 


WIS Element 3 - Continuous Cover Forestry - Third intervention 

  • Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES): €150/ha/year, payable for 7 years (see below)   
  • 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. 


The forest owner will be required to draw up and implement a CCF Conversion Management Plan that will run for a period of 12 years with three instalments of €1,200/ha.

The first instalment will be at year 1 with the final payment issuing within 12 years from the date of payment of the first intervention. The middle payment can be paid at any stage during the intervening period.

Please note: forest owners who have already received one WIS grant can apply for two CCF instalments (the first instalment at year 1 and second and last instalment up to year 12). The application to enter the CCF Scheme can only be made four years post first thinning.

Schedule of payments and timing of these interventions are to be described within the Conversion Management Plan.

The maximum eligible area is 20 hectares.

Funding will be targeted at all grant-aided conifer, broadleaf and mixed forests.

Free draining mineral soils are best suited to CCF. Peats, waterlogged sites and gleys are not eligible, but some shallow peats and gleys may be acceptable on a case-by-case basis. Sites not capable of growing Sitka Spruce to yield class 14 are not eligible.

Sites subject to severe and persistent threats that could undermine the long-term sustainability of the project may not be accepted (e.g. sites within a locality of heavily infested rhododendron or within a deer 'hotspot').

Elevations above 300 metres are not eligible as the risk of windthrow increases significantly.

Payment for Ecosystem Services

An annual Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) of €150/ha/year, payable for seven years encourages forest owners of productive forests to maximise various ecosystem services.

These ecosystem services include carbon sequestration, fuelwood, the protection of water and soil, forest genetic resource, pest and disease resilience, climate change regulation, the control of floodwaters, pollination, recreation, tourism, education and cultural heritage.

In addition, existing forests transforming to Continuous Cover Forestry require continued management to be able to provide the maximum range of ecosystem services.


  • 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