The new Woodland Improvement Scheme, which offers financial support for sustainable forest management, was announced by Minister of State with responsibility for land use and biodiversity Pippa Hackett.

Forest owners can receive a maximum grant of €1,200/ha to undertake an element of the scheme.

The five different elements are thinning and tending, agroforestry maintenance, continuous cover forestry (CCF), coppice and coppice with standards and seed stand management.

This is the latest element of the new forestry programme to open to applications.

Improved rates

Those who applied for thinning and tending (element one) and CCF first intervention (element three) under the previous Woodland Improvement Scheme - and who have not yet received approval - are being written to by the Department of Agriculture.

They have the opportunity to opt into the new scheme at the improved rates.

Likewise, those with existing approvals under these elements and who have not commenced work will be offered the opportunity to opt into the new scheme and avail of the new rates.

Launching the scheme, Minister Hackett said forests bring big benefits for our climate, environment and nature.

“Through the forestry programme, this new scheme supports forest owners to deliver these benefits. The grants are generous. For instance, owners can benefit up to €1,200 per hectare to thin and tend their forest.

“I’m delighted that we can reward timber growers and forest owners in this way and that we can enhance our existing woodlands through sustainable forest management practices.”

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