Green Gold: Get €1,200/ha to Enhance Your Woodlands!

"New Woodland Improvement Scheme Launched, Offering Grants of up to €1,200/ha for Thinning and Tending"

Woodland Improvement Scheme Offers Grants for Thinning and Tending

The new Woodland Improvement Scheme, which offers grants of up to €1,200 per hectare for thinning and tending, has been launched by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM). This scheme is part of the new Forestry Programme 2023-2027 and is now open for applications. Senator Pippa Hackett, Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity, has encouraged forest owners to apply for the scheme in order to maximize the value of their forests. The DAFM has stated that the scheme brings environmental benefits by supporting forest owners in transitioning from even-aged forest management to closer-to-nature forestry.

The Woodland Improvement Scheme offers five different elements for forest owners to choose from: thinning and tending, agroforestry maintenance, continuous cover forestry (CCF), coppice and coppice with standards, and seed stand management. Forest owners who have previously applied for thinning and tending and CCF first intervention under the previous scheme, but have not yet received approval, will be contacted by the DAFM and given the opportunity to opt-in to the new scheme at the improved rates. Similarly, those with existing approvals under these elements, who have not started the work, will be offered the chance to opt-in to the new scheme and take advantage of the new rates.

The maximum grant levels for each element of the Woodland Improvement Scheme are as follows: €1,200 per hectare for first thinning intervention and subsequent thinning intervention in thinning and tending; €1,200 per hectare for agroforestry maintenance; €1,200 per hectare for each intervention in continuous cover forestry (CCF); €1,200 per hectare for coppice and coppice with standards; and €1,200 per hectare for seed stand management. Forest areas that have already received payment under the Woodland Improvement Scheme for a past thinning operation are eligible to apply again for a second intervention grant.

In addition to the grants, premium payments are also available for certain elements of the scheme. For element 3 CCF, there is a payment of €150 per hectare for ecosystem services, which will be provided for a period of seven years. For element 5 seed stand management, there is a payment of €500 per hectare for ecosystem services, also for a period of seven years.

The DAFM’s website provides full details on how to apply to the Woodland Improvement Scheme, as well as information on grant and premium rates. Minister Hackett expressed her delight in being able to reward timber growers and forest owners through this scheme and emphasized the importance of enhancing existing woodlands through sustainable forest management practices.

Overall, the Woodland Improvement Scheme offers an opportunity for forest owners to receive financial support and contribute to the environmental benefits of closer-to-nature forestry.

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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