Head Office: +353 (0)71 9161458 | Email Address: info@westernforestrycoop.ie

Deputy Andrew Doyle - Appointed Minister of State with responsibility for Forestry

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Western Forestry Co-op welcomes appointment of Deputy Andrew Doyle as Minister of State with responsibility for Forestry. 

Deputy Andrew Doyle

Western Forestry Co-op would like to congratulate Minister Andrew Doyle on his appointment as Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Minister Doyle was first elected at the 2007 general election to the Dáil and became the Deputy Spokesperson on Agriculture with special responsibility for Food and Horticulture. In 2010, he was promoted to the opposition frontbench as the spokesperson for Agriculture. Deputy Doyle was re-elected to the Dáil at the 2011 general election and served as the Chairman of the Agriculture Committee.

Minister Doyle is a forest owner himself and hails from Co Wicklow, the most forested county in Ireland. We look forward to working with Minister Doyle during his term as Minister with responsibility for Forestry.

 

 

 

Celebrating 30 Years in Business

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Western Forestry Co-op Staff

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Western Forestry Co-op Board members past and present
Marina Conway CEO; Seamus O’Donohue CEO ICOS; Billy McMahon Board Member Aurivo; Sean Glennon Board Member Lakeland Dairies; Robert Hosey Chairman Western Forestry Co-op and Board Member Aurivo; Ray Gallagher founder and former Manager Western Forestry Co-op; Mary Quinn founding Board member Western Forestry Co-op representing Lakeland Dairies; former Board Member for Aurivo Kevin Cryan and Carmel Feeney, Finance Manager.

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Donal Whelan, Executive Director presenting a gift to celebrate Western Forestry Co-ops 30 Years in Business to Marina Conway, CEO and founder and former manager Ray Gallagher.

Minister Hayes Launches 'Land Availability for Afforestation

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Minister Hayes Launches 'Land Availability for Afforestation - Exploring Opportunities for Expanding Ireland's Forest Resource'

Minister of State for Forestry, Tom Hayes today launched Land Availability for Afforestation, - Exploring opportunities for expanding Ireland’s forest resource. The report has been compiled under the auspices of the Council for Forest Research and Development - COFORD.

Speaking at the launch today Minister Hayes said “I want to thank Dr Nuala Ni Fhlatharta, chair of the COFORD Land Availability Working Group and all the members of the group for compiling this report. It is a really important piece of work and one, I have no doubt, that will help us greatly in terms of land classification for afforestation. I am sure it will help to realise our ambitions to expand the forest land resource of the country. Together with the new Environmental Requirements for Afforestation that are now being finalised by the Department, this new land classification system gives us the tools to push on with our ambitious afforestation programme.”

The report outlines the physical land resource that is potentially available for afforestation and makes a series of recommendations on how to increase the level of planting.

The Minister continued “as part of this process we have secured a Forestry Programme to 2020, which plans to expand forest cover by a further 43,000 hectares. This package includes attractive grant aid and premium payments, to all landowners, over a 15-year period, who afforest a part of their land holding. It is a fantastic investment opportunity and one that has the potential to contribute significantly to landowners’ incomes”.

Quoting from the report the Minister added, “On lands classified as being ‘limited’ for agriculture, representing 1.8 million hectares, there is wider scope for afforestation. These lands have a higher proportion of difficult soils, often economically marginal for agriculture, with forestry presenting a viable alternative land use option.”

The Minister concluded by saying, “the take home message of this report is that there is a land asset in Ireland that is eminently suitable to support an increase in forest cover. By examining and implementing recommendations that the report contains, allied to a collective will and capacity, I am convinced that over the coming years we will go a long way towards completing the task of restoring the national forest resource.”

http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/press/pressreleases/2016/january/title,88485,en.html

Forestry Clearfell Income removed from the Income Tax Net

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There was a very welcome decision in Budget 2015 for forest owners - Forestry clear-felling income is to be tax-free as the “high earners restriction” of €80,000 for active foresters and farmers has been ended.

Simon Coveney, the agriculture minister, said: “Forestry plays a huge role environmentally, economically, and socially in rural areas; and I believe the benefits of this change will be felt long into the future.”
He noted that, in advance of the budget, farmers had sought income averaging over three or five years.  “Instead of that, Revenue has said it is easier to remove the high earners restriction for active forestry farmers, so clear-felling is exempt. That goes beyond the expectations and asks of the forestry sector. We need more forestry, planting, and trees and this will be a big incentive to do that.”

Western Forestry Co-op, IFFPA, the IFA and ICMSA have all welcomed the move to make clear-felling income tax-free as forestry is now recognised as an important economic sector in rural Ireland which has really begun to take off among the latest generation of young farmers who see it as a valuable addition to their farm enterprise as well as a secure pension plan for them and their families.

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Applying for a Forestry Premium Online

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You can now register online and apply for your forest premium in January of each year. Please see links below to a video tutorial of how to apply online and a link to Agfood Online for where to apply.  
You may still apply by application form (Form 4) if you prefer but please note your forest premium will be paid in April not January.

Agfood Online Web Page

agfood

 

Video tutorial on how to apply online for the forest premium
http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/agfoodiehelpvideos/applyingforaforestrypremiumonline/

Link to Department website to register and/or apply online
https://agfood.agriculture.gov.ie/ssoauthagfood/individual.jsp

REPS Income Finished? Unsure about GLAS? – Earn up to €257/acre

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repsIf your REPS payment has finished why not consider additional forestry income. Western Forestry is a Co-op based in the North West that has been serving farmers for 30 years.

Landowners can receive their full Basic Farm Payment (BPS) and forestry premium on the same land.  Forest premiums range from €510/ha (€206/acre) for conifer rate to €635/ha (€257/acre) for native broadleaf woodland, all premiums are payable for 15yrs and are income tax free. This is especially beneficial for retired farmers, part time farmers, people exiting REPS or people who have inherited land, private landowners working full time who prior to 2015 would have been excluded from the high premium rate. As well as the high forest premium rate the forestry scheme also includes an establishment grant so it costs you nothing.

Time to see the Wood from the Trees

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Forestry Premium at its Highest Level

seewoodfromtreesOne of the great benefits of the new Forestry Programme is that everyone who plants land from January 2015 will receive the higher rate of income tax free forest premium, regardless of whether you are farming or not. The forest premiums range from €510/ha (or €206/acre) for the conifer rate to a maximum rate of €635/ha (or €257/acre) for planting native broadleaf woodland, all premiums are payable for 15yrs. This is especially beneficial for retired farmers, part time farmers, people exiting REPS or people who have inherited land who would have been excluded from qualifying for the high rate up until now.

Fire Season - Is Your Forest Insured?

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forestfireThe lovely dry hot weather of the past few days whilst very welcome is also a worry with regard to fire risk, I passed 2 large gorse fires on the way home last week. A few dry days can dry out vegetation very quickly and the risk of forest fires increases dramatically. The main causes of forest fires over the past 5 years has been gorse burning, peatland burning, accidental fires and unfortunately arson. Forest Owners need to be very vigilant and should also make sure their forest is insured as they are required by law to replant their forest if it is burnt and one of the largest costs will be the replanting costs.

Western Forestry Co-op Field Day to Enniscoe House

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enniscoe house 3Western Forestry Co-op hosted a joint field day with the Irish Timber Growers Association (ITGA) at the beautiful Enniscoe Estate on ‘Managing woodlands with environmental conservation, amenity & recreational objectives’ on Friday 10th October.  In excess of 60+ people turned up for the day and the weather was glorious. The Enniscoe Estate has been in the Kellett family since the 1650’s and the House dates from the 1790’s. Around the house there are pastures and woodlands with lakeside walks, pleasure grounds and a carefully restored Victorian Garden. In 2012 works were carried out in the woodlands through the NeighbourWood Scheme which included upgrading and extending the Looped Walk with new paths and signage as well as clearing rhododendrons. The Enniscoe woodlands won the 2013 RDS/Forest Service Forestry Award for bio-diverse woodlands.

Forestry Premium Increase

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Forestry Premium Increase in new scheme

newsWestern Forestry Co-op welcomes the announcement of Forestry Programme 2014 – 2020 which gives certainty to landowners considering forestry. There are significant improvements compared to the original proposal circulated in September 2014, which include:

- Forest Premiums up to max €635/ha (conifer premium now €510/ha or €206/acre) 20% higher when compared year on year (payable for 15yrs)
- Higher forest premium rate for all (farmer rate paid to anyone who plants)
- Full establishment grant (5% increase to cover rising costs)
- Roads increased to €40 per metre
- Special construction works grant (max €5000) for roads in environmentally sensitive sites

Virginia Agricultural Show 2014

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virg showWednesday the 20th of August saw the 73rd Virginia Agricultural show taking place at the showground in Virginia town.

Western Forestry Co-op were delighted to be there with a stand to enjoy the atmosphere as well as inform landowners on the many forestry options available to them.

Co-op Foresters Joseph, Patrick and Victor were all at hand to discuss the potentials of planting forestry as well as harvesting options for existing forest owners.

There was a good interest in forestry from people considering forestry as well as existing forest owners.

Our Location

Western Forestry Coop
ICOS House
Finisklin Road
Sligo
Ireland

Contact Details

Telephone: +353 (0)71 9161458

Email: info@westernforestrycoop.ie