The last time the Green Party took part in Government was during the period from 2007 to 2011. One of the party’s conditions of coalescing with Fianna Fáil at the time was the delivery of a 10,000ha annual afforestation programme under the guidance of Trevor Sargent, Minister of State up until 2010.

The average annual planting programme during the Green’s time in Government was approximately 7,000ha, including 2,700ha of broadleaves. This was no mean feat considering the savage cuts in public expenditure in the wake of the economic crash. The performance is all the more impressive as this year’s programme will struggle to reach 3,000ha.