TEAGASC, in association with the Forest Service, is holding a nationwide series of information meetings about the newly-announced Forestry Programme 2014-2020.
West Cork meetings are taking place on Monday next, January 26th, at the Teagasc office, Codrum, Macroom, and on Tuesday 27th at the Teagasc office, Coronea, Skibbereen.
These meetings will cover details of the new forestry grant schemes as well as covering key differences compared with the previous schemes. The new afforestation scheme has been well received by landowners and the forest industry alike as significant improvements have been made to the original proposal which was circulated for public consultation back in September 2014.
The new premiums under the afforestation scheme are payable over a 15 year period and are now significantly higher than those in the previous programme when compared year on year. Establishment grants have increased across the board and a number of new pilot schemes are also included in the forestry programme as well as proposed support for forest owner groups.
In recently announcing Government approval for the new forestry programme, Tom Hayes, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, described the programme objective of supporting the establishment of over 43000 hectares of new forests by 2020. This is geared towards meeting the needs of a growing export led timber processing sector as well as helping to maximise the environmental and social benefits that can be delivered by forestry and enjoyed by society. The new programme will consist of 11 separate measures and will involve total new spending of €262 million and a further €220 million in future commitments from 2020, mostly in relation to premium payments.
Support will be made available for the construction of up to 690 kilometres of new forest roads to provide the necessary infrastructure for greater timber mobilisation as well as improving overall access for thinning and other management operations. A further important feature of the new programme is the funding that is being made available to protect and enhance Irish native woodlands.
For further information on the upcoming forestry information meetings or for information on the forestry land use option, log on to www.teagasc.ie/forestry or contact your local Teagasc forestry staff.