Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) national farm forestry chair Jason Fleming has said that the IFA’s meeting with the ash dieback review group on Tuesday was an opportunity to highlight the critical concerns and needs of forest owners affected by ash dieback.
“Our message to the ash dieback review group is the same communication we have repeatedly delivered to the Department of Agriculture - a new scheme is required that fully compensates those affected by the disease.”
Fleming has said that without addressing ash dieback, confidence in the sector will not be rebuilt.
In June 2023, Minister of State with responsibility for forestry Senator Pippa Hackett announced the establishment of an independent review of the ash dieback support scheme.
The IFA is seeking the following changes to the scheme:
Roadside ash dieback
The introduction of a financial support scheme is needed to address roadside ash trees, Fleming added.
"A new scheme to provide grants to support farmers to hire relevant professionals to safely fell roadside trees affected by ash dieback is also badly needed," he concluded.