Increase in forest road grant welcomed
A 20% increase in the forest road grant secured under the mid-term review of the Forestry Programme 2014-2020 has been welcomed by the IFA national farm forestry chairman, Pat Collins. The length of road eligible for the grant has been increased from 20 metres/ha to 25 metres/ha.
Collins said: “This is a very important increase; the additional support is needed to support farmers to construct essential infrastructure to access and mobilise timber.
“The first step to a farmer realising the economic potential is to construct a forest road to access and harvest the crop.
"The level of construction of forest roads needs to increase significantly if the timber production targets are to be achieved.
Forecasts project a doubling of timber production from 4m sq metres to nearly 8m sq metres by 2035, with almost all the increase coming from privately owned, grant-aided forests.
The increased grant aid is available to existing applications that have approval for a length of a forest road greater than or equal to 25 metres/ha, with a completion date of on or after 21 February 2018. Farmers must re-apply to the forest service to get of the additional grant aid.
The Forest Road scheme grants up to 100% of eligible construction costs subject to a maximum payment of €40/metre.
In addition there is an allowance of up to 20 metre or €800 per application where a new forest road entrance to the public road is being created or modified.