DAFM’s Innovative ‘Forest Finder’ Map Reveals Ireland’s Untapped Green Potential!

"DAFM Commits to Transparent Forestry Planning with Release of Composite Map Highlighting Constraints"

The Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (DAFM) has expressed its commitment to publishing a composite map that will outline the areas where there are constraints on new forestry planting and where there are none. Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, stated that his department has already created “environmental considerations map layers” to assist registered foresters in identifying opportunities for further planning. These maps, which are accessible online, also highlight areas where new forest planting can take place, even in environmentally sensitive locations such as breeding wader hotspots or high nature value farmland areas.

Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on agriculture, Claire Kerrane, has called on Minister McConalogue to release the composite map promptly to clarify which parts of the country are no longer eligible for planting under the rules of the new €1.3 billion Forestry Programme. Deputy Kerrane has expressed concerns that significant portions of land are now excluded from forestry due to the eligibility criteria outlined in the programme. She believes it is crucial to have visibility on the available land for planting. While various map layers have been provided to demonstrate the different aspects that must be considered for afforestation eligibility, a comprehensive overview is currently lacking. Deputy Kerrane sought clarification from the minister and was informed that the department intends to publish a composite map, although it is not yet available. She stressed the importance of making this map accessible as soon as possible.

Deputy Kerrane, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on agriculture, has engaged with farmers and forestry owners who have expressed concerns about potentially wasting money on land surveys for forestry projects that may ultimately be deemed ineligible. She urges the minister to promptly release a composite map to clearly indicate which areas can and cannot be planted. By doing so, a more comprehensive understanding of the current situation can be obtained, and adjustments can be made to ensure the new Forestry Programme is as accessible and attractive as possible.

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons is the founder of Forestry & Carbon. Matt has over 25 years as a forestry consultant and is invoilved in numerous carbon credit offset projects.

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