Bord na Móna has applied for an afforestation licence to plant trees on former cutaway bog in the Littleton Bog Complex, which is mostly situated in Tipperary but some of the land is in Kilkenny.

It is the first such licence it has applied for in some years and the application has been made in conjunction with Coillte as part of the Coillte- Bord na Móna Midlands Native Woodland Project.

Currently around 4,700ha of Bord na Móna land is planted with conifer trees, the vast majority of which was planted in the 1980s and 1990s by Coillte on cutaway bog. All the trees planted under this new licence will be broadleaves.

“The current afforestation licence is for a number of sites in the Littleton bog group that is mostly situated in Co Tipperary,” a spokesperson for Bord na Móna told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“The majority of this peatland was re-wetted between 2018 and 2021 by Bord na Móna.

“The Bord na Móna-Coillte Midlands Native Woodland project focuses on a small proportion of cutaway that cannot be re-wetted. These areas were likely to eventually develop woodland.

“The main objective of this proposed afforestation project is to speed up this process to bring additional ecosystem service benefits like provision of new woodland habitat.”