A total of €26.1m is being issued to almost 5,000 forest owners who applied online for their 2019 Forestry Premium payment.

Landowners will receive an average payment of €5,200.

“Premium payments will continue to be issued on a weekly basis throughout the year and I would encourage all participants under the scheme to consider applying online if they wish to avail of the earlier payment,” Minister of State Andrew Doyle said.

“Today’s payment is a reminder of the opportunity which the forestry schemes offer for diversifying farm income, with a guaranteed payment for 15 years. The schemes can offer grants to cover the cost of establishing forests and woodlands and annual premiums of up to €680 per hectare for 15 years.

"A total of €103.5m has been made available by the Government for the continued development of Ireland’s forest resource and forestry sector in 2019.”

The Forestry Programme 2014–2020 sets out a plan to increase Ireland’s forest resource. The Afforestation Grant and Premium Scheme provides grants to cover the cost of planting and forest maintenance, along with annual forestry premiums for 15 years.

Minimum area

Eligible broadleaf woodlands can be as small as 0.10ha, while the minimum area of eligible conifer forests is 1.00ha. There is an obligation for newly planted forests to include at least 15% broadleaves and higher grants are available for broadleaf planting.

Forests and woodlands planted for commercial, environmental, aesthetic and amenity purposes are eligible for support under the scheme.

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