Minister of State for land use and biodiversity, Pippa Hackett, is urging farmers and landowners to consider adding forestry to their land on National Tree Day. Hackett highlights the grant and premium payments available through Ireland’s new Forestry Programme as an attractive incentive for landowners. By applying for one of the well-funded options under the programme, farmers and landowners can benefit from annual premium payments and tax-free revenue from timber sales. Hackett emphasizes the importance of forests for public access, education, recreation, and health and well-being for both rural and urban communities. The NeighbourWood Scheme, which supports the creation and enhancement of public amenity forests, will be expanded under the new Forestry Programme. Additionally, public bodies will be encouraged to create native woodlands on their existing land to align with environmental objectives such as water quality, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration. The €1.3 billion Forestry Programme aims to expand, protect, and develop Ireland’s forests and the forestry sector, delivering multiple benefits for climate, nature, water quality, wood production, rural communities, and the wider economy.
National Tree Day, celebrated on October 5th, focuses on the hazel tree this year under the theme ‘Nuts about Nature’. The Forestry Programme allows farmers and landowners to plant forests of various species, with the program covering 100% of the costs. In addition to the initial funding, landowners and farmers will receive annual payments for the next 15 or 20 years. These rates represent a significant increase of up to 66% compared to the previous Forestry Programme 2014-2022.
In conclusion, Minister Hackett encourages farmers and landowners to seize the opportunity presented by National Tree Day and the new Forestry Programme. By planting trees, they can benefit from financial support and contribute to the expansion, protection, and development of Ireland’s forests. The programme not only offers economic advantages but also promotes public access to forests, education, recreation, and the overall well-being of communities. It aligns with environmental objectives and addresses the public’s desire for more trees and forests that meet society’s needs. The Forestry Programme is a significant milestone that will have positive impacts on climate, nature, water quality, wood production, rural communities, and the wider economy.