Green Light: 240+ Planting Approvals Granted for Small-Scale Projects

"DAFM Grants 244 Approvals for Small-Scale Planting of Native Trees in Ireland"

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has approved 244 applications for small-scale planting covering a total of 266 hectares under the Native Tree Area Scheme (NTAS) in the current year. This scheme enables farmers to plant up to 1 hectare of native woodland without the need for a licence, with the option to extend to 2 hectares if they have a suitable watercourse for planting.

Alongside the approvals granted under the NTAS, DAFM has also given the green light for the planting of 1,939 hectares up to the week ending on Friday, June 14. Among these, 209 hectares were approved for afforestation within the past two weeks, as reported in the latest Forestry Licensing Dashboard. A total of 613 hectares have been planted in 2024, reflecting afforestation that has received initial grant payment this year, including projects under the NTAS.

In terms of licensing activities, the past week saw DAFM issue 15 afforestation licences, eight forest road licences, along with 22 private felling licences and 27 felling licences for Coillte. The Social, Economic, Environmental Forestry Association (SEEFA) has raised concerns about the pace of afforestation, road construction, and felling licences, noting that the targets have yet to be met in a single week this year.

According to DAFM’s Forestry Licensing Plan for 2024, the goal is to issue 4,200 forestry licences, including 1,000 afforestation licences, 650 road licences, 1,250 private felling licences, and 1,300 Coillte felling licences. SEEFA highlighted that despite the low benchmark set last year, the felling licence numbers for 2023 have not been surpassed in any month so far this year. This trend is expected to continue in June, with only 918 hectares of licences issued to date.

The below-par figures in felling licensing pose various risks to the industry, including decreased revenue for logging firms, potential job losses in traditional forestry roles, and a potential rise in wood product prices due to reduced supply, as outlined by SEEFA.

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.

Leave a Replay

Scroll to Top