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Forestry programme revisions to be explained in Skibbereen

March 14th, 2018 6:05 AM

By Southern Star Team

Teagasc forestry specialist John Casey.

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SKIBBEREEN’S Teagasc office is the venue next Wednesday evening for an information meeting about the government’s new enhanced forest establishment and support grants programme. 

These revisions, arising from the mid-term review of the government’s current Forestry Programme 2014-2020, provide attractive changes to the already wide range of forestry grant establishment and support schemes, providing enhanced incentives for afforestation and promoting active forest management and timber harvesting. 

The focus of this review is to make the planting of broadleaf trees more attractive to farmers. For instance, there is a 5% premium increase for broadleaves and diverse conifers. Especially the agroforestry element has been much enhanced: it combines the growing of quality trees with an agricultural enterprise in the same field. The annual payment has been increased from €260/ha/year to €645/ha/year for the first five years.

Teagasc, in association with the Forest Service (DAFM), will provide details of these scheme revisions on Wednesday, March 14th, at 7.30pm in the Teagasc office, Coronea, Skibbereen. This meeting will provide an excellent opportunity to hear first-hand of the scheme changes and will be of interest to farmers and landowners considering the multiple benefits of forestry as well as current forest owners seeking to optimise their on-farm resource. Topics will include the revised afforestation grant and premium rates, improved rates for a range of support schemes for existing forests and interaction with other agricultural schemes.

John Casey, forestry adviser with Teagasc, said: ‘Forestry continues to be a highly-attractive land-use option, making your marginal land work for you. This information meeting on revisions of the Forestry Programme will allow those considering forestry to make objective and informed decisions.’

He added: ‘Forests take many years to mature, gradually delivering more and more ecosystem goods and services such as timber production, carbon sequestration, recreation and air quality improvement. To achieve this, pro-active management is essential. The recently announced revised support grant measures will assist forest owners to do just that.’

Teagasc encourages anyone considering establishing a forest, or who has a forest, to attend as important, attractive changes to the forestry grant structure have been introduced.

All are welcome. Visit www.teagasc.ie/forestry for further details or contact John Casey on 087-2242283.

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