The level of planting in 2018 was at historically low levels despite repeated efforts by Andrew Doyle, the Minister of State in charge of forestry.

There was a 27% drop in forestry planted compared to 2017, with just 9,660ac planted. This will disappoint some in the farming community who see forestry as route to create a larger carbon sink to mitigate Ireland’s emissions.

According to the EPA, agriculture accounts for 33% of the national carbon emissions.

Another worrying figure is the drop-off in farmer planting, with 41% fewer farmers planting in 2018, meaning that farmer and non-farmer planters were on a par at 309 and 315 respectively.

Overall last year, the highest amount of planting occurred in Roscommon (958ac) followed by Kerry (798ac) and Cavan (770ac).

Read more

Listen: Terms of reference of forestry study are ‘weak’

Save Leitrim calls for halt to forestry until study complete