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New Forestry Programme 2014-2020 – joint Teagasc / Forest Service Information Meetings

A nationwide series of information meetings on the new Forestry Programme 2014-2020 will take place from 19 to 30 January. The new Forestry Programme provides new opportunities to landowners including attractive forest establishment and support grants.

The new programme will consist of 11 separate measures and will involve total new spending of €262 million and a further €220 million in future commitments from 2020, mostly in relation to premium payments.

These meetings are organised by Teagasc in association with the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. At these meetings, the new forestry grant schemes will be discussed as well as key differences with the previous schemes.

Nuala Ni Fhlatharta, Head of the Forestry Development Department with Teagasc explains “Key differences include that a single premium rate has been introduced. This means that no distinction is being made between farmers and non-farmers. The new forestry premiums will also now be paid for a period of 15 years instead of 20.”

She added “A new forest road construction scheme will also be available with improved grant rates. There is also a significant budget increase and focus for native woodland conservation and establishment.”

Tom Hayes, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry, welcomed the Government’s approval of the Forestry Programme. The Minister commented that “the approval of the new programme is an important milestone for the future development of the sector and a vote of confidence in an industry which contributed €2.3 billion to GDP in 2012.”

The objective of the programme is to support the planting of over 43,000 hectares of new forests as well as support for the construction of up to 690 kilometres of new forest roads. Another important feature of the new programme is substantial funding towards protecting and enhancing Irish native woodlands. Under the Native Woodlands Conservation Scheme, almost 2,000 hectares of these forests will be eligible for support.

Teagasc encourages anyone considering establishing a forest or who has a forest to attend as important changes to the forestry grant structure has been introduced.

Don’t miss your chance to get answers to your forestry questions!

For further information, contact your local Teagasc Forestry Adviser. You can also visit www.teagasc.ie/forestry where you can find further detailed forestry grants information.