Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has announced a 12% increase in the forestry spending for Budget 2023.
“This will provide €112m to fund the new National Forestry Programme, which is currently being finalised,” he said.
“I’ve secured increased funding for forestry, so that we can build on the ongoing work to reform our forestry system since this Government took office,” said Minister of State with responsibility for land use and biodiversity, Senator Pippa Hackett.
“This work is by no means finished, and we are currently finalising a new forest strategy and a new forestry programme for Ireland, which will see supports for a closer to nature model of forestry.”
A spokesperson for one of the forestry companies said he would only comment on the allocation when he saw the contents of the new Forestry Programme (2023-2027).
“An allocation of €112m would support a much improved afforestation programme, as well as funding past premiums,” said Pat O’Sullivan, technical director of the Society of Irish Foresters.
“However if we are to achieve planting programmes of the magnitude proposed by COFORD – the Department’s forestry advisory body – and Prof Cathal O’Donoghue, NUI Galway, much greater allocations will be required before the current programme expires in 2027,” O’Sullivan added.
“We look forward to discussing these issues including Minister Hackett’s proposals for ‘closer to nature’ forestry at the annual forestry conference in Johnstown House, Enfield on 11 October.”