Coillte-supported fund snaps up 5,000 hectares of lush forestry!

"Coillte-backed Irish Strategic Forestry Fund Acquires Over 5,000ha of Land, with 750ha in Sale Agreed Status"

The Irish Strategic Forestry Fund (ISFF), supported by Coillte, has successfully acquired over 5,000 hectares of forestry, as per the most recent data available. Additionally, an additional 750 hectares spanning 30 properties are currently in the process of being sold. By the end of last year, it was reported that there were more than 4,500 hectares under management, surpassing the ISFF’s initial targets.

This initiative, spearheaded by Coillte in collaboration with the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and UK-listed asset management company Gresham House, was met with some criticism last year. The main objective of the ISFF, according to Gresham House, is to provide up to €200 million in capital to facilitate the establishment of new forests in Ireland. The goal is to plant approximately 3,500 hectares of new forest over a five-year period. Moreover, the fund aims to acquire existing forest assets, ultimately amassing a portfolio of around 12,000 hectares of new and existing forests.

Coillte, a semi-state company, pledged not to sell any publicly-owned forests to the fund, nor would it attempt to purchase other public lands on behalf of the ISFF. Gresham House clarified that their role is that of a fund manager, not an investor, and they will not have ownership of the land. In its 2023 annual report, Coillte emphasized that the ISFF is actively seeking land for afforestation and will play a crucial role in achieving the national target of establishing 100,000 hectares of new forests by 2050.

“This is a long-term goal that will require a variety of initiatives to be successful,” Coillte stated in its latest annual report. “We are focusing on three key strategies, including utilizing public lands in partnership with Bord na Móna, leveraging Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investments through the Nature Trust to plant new native woodlands, and creating mixed woodlands through the Irish Strategic Forestry Fund.”

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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