Green Light for Growth: Coillte Set to Transform 61ha into Lush Forest by 2023!

Coillte Granted Permission to Afforest 61ha in 2023, Aiming for 100,000ha by 2050: Minister for Agriculture Reveals

Coillte, the semi-state forestry company in Ireland, has been granted permission to afforest just over 61 hectares in 2023, according to recent figures. This is in line with Coillte’s Forest Estate Strategic Land Use Plan 2023-2050, which aims to create 100,000 hectares of forest over the lifetime of the plan. The information on the afforestation figures for 2023 was provided by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue in response to a question from Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice. The breakdown of the number of hectares Coillte received permission to plant in 2023, by county, is as follows:

County: No. of applications / Hectares
Tipperary: 134.91
Cork: 118.32
Roscommon: 11.5
Galway: 16.93
Total: 461.66

The Minister confirmed that Coillte, along with other public landowners, is now eligible for grants and premiums under the new Afforestation Scheme 2023-2027, which opened on September 6, 2023. Minister McConalogue has stated that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) is prepared to issue enough afforestation licenses to meet the annual target of planting 8,000 hectares of forestry. In 2023, a total of 288 applications for 1,750 hectares were approved under the Interim Afforestation Scheme. In January, Minister McConalogue announced that since the new scheme opened in September, 1,599 hectares have been approved for afforestation.

In other news, Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity, Pippa Hackett, has launched the new Native Woodland Conservation (NWC) Scheme. This scheme aims to support the restoration and conservation of existing native woodlands in partnership with Woodlands of Ireland, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), the Heritage Council, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), and other native woodland stakeholders. The NWC Scheme will provide support to woodland owners by addressing the “under-management” of native woodlands through restoration measures. These measures will be identified through assessments conducted by ecologists and registered foresters. Under the new scheme, private high forest owners will receive a grant rate of €6,000 per hectare, while public forest owners will receive €3,000 per hectare. Additionally, there will be an ecosystems services premium payment of €500 per hectare per year for seven years.

These developments in afforestation and native woodland conservation demonstrate Ireland’s commitment to sustainable forestry practices and the preservation of its natural resources. The efforts of Coillte and the government are crucial in achieving these goals and ensuring a greener future for the country.

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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