“It’s a massive community issue because people do not choose to live in forestry. Sitka spruce is just tall green deserts and that’s it.

“In the 50s when plantation came in, local people got jobs to help plant it. But now the employment is not there, it’s one person with a digger and a couple of people to plant and that’s it.

“But 15 years of premiums goes very fast and those premiums in the majority of cases are now not even being spent in the community.

“The money is being spent on foreign investment companies and none of that taxpayer’s money is actually being spent here.

“If a farmer plants land it’s usually just a bit of bad land and he uses the money he gets to improve another area of his farm, but investment companies planting is a completely different ball game, and it’s definitely going to depopulate our region.”

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Forestry: friend or foe?

‘Trying to farm bad land is a waste of time’