Western Forestry Co-op welcomes the announcement of increased measures in the forestry programme for both farmers, landowners and forest owners. Minister Andrew Doyle TD, stated “The changes recommended by the conclusions of the Midterm Review are primarily aimed at enhancing the environmental benefits of forestry while at the same time addressing the shortfall in key target areas. The higher premium rates introduced under the Midterm Review will make it even more attractive for farmers to plant trees. Farm forestry presents a real opportunity for landowners to increase their income while continuing to farm. Planting part of a farm, perhaps the more remote or more difficult land with trees can introduce a new source of income while allowing landowners to maintain their existing output.” Please see summary of measures below, for more information or how these measures can benefit you please call your local co-op forester CLICK HERE or Head Office on 071-9161458.
Summary of changes following adoption of midterm review proposals – Forestry Programme 2014 – 2020
Measure 1: Afforestation and creation of woodlands
Forest premium increases
• 5% increase in all broadleaves and diverse conifer premium categories i.e. GPC 4 to GPC 10
• 2% in premium rate for all plantations greater than 10 hectares
• The minimum mandatory requirement per site is increased to 15% broadleaves.
GPC = Grant and Premium Category
Forest Fencing and Tree Shelter Scheme
• Additional Fencing: IS436 increased to maximum grant of €600 (140m/ha)
• New deer fencing provision of 140 m/ha
• Upgrade to deer fencing scheme
• A contribution of up to €300/ha for tree shelters aimed mainly, but not exclusively, at protecting broadleaves in the category “Additional Broadleaves, ADB”
• A contribution of €2.5/m up to a maximum of 140m per ha for forests that have been subject to hare damage
Forestry for fibre
• Number of premiums increased from 10 to 15
• Grant per hectare increased to match that of GPC 3 (from €2,450 to €3,815)
• Premium rate per hectare increased to equal GPC3 (from €180 to €510)
• Premium rate per hectare increased to equal GPC6 (from €260 to €645)
• Grant per hectare increased to match that of GPC 3 (from €4,450 to €6,220)
• Eligible for grants under Woodland Improvement Scheme (WIS) for thinning, tending and pruning
Measure 2: Neighbourwoods
• The scheme now open to applications throughout the year
• Increased coordination and promotion of this scheme
• Increased allocation will be made available to reflect the scale of works being undertaken within individual projects under this scheme
Measure 3: Forest Roads
• Road density increased from 20m/ha to 25m/ha
Measure 5: Woodland Improvement Scheme (WIS)
• The WIS scheme will now be opened up to non grant aided broadleaf forests and all broadleaved mixtures that meet the required eligibility criteria.
• Furthermore, all broadleaved forests, including mixtures will be eligible for 2nd thinning grants of €500/ha.
Support for Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF)
This element of WIS is now open to conifer, mixed and broadleaf forests; successful applicants are eligible for three WIS payments (€750) for three separate interventions under the WIS scheme over a period of 12 years, once the work is in line with the approved transformation to CCF plan
Measure 6: Native Woodland Conservation
• Increased grant available under the Public High Forest category to match that of the Private High Forest.
• Access now allowed to forest fencing and tree shelter scheme.
• Fencing allowances available under the Afforestation Grant & Premium Scheme now also apply to Native Woodland Scheme (Conservation)
Measure 7: Knowledge Transfer and Information Actions
Introduction of a national scheme for Forestry Knowledge Transfer Groups (KTG) focusing on the mobilisation of timber and biomass
Measure 10: Forest Genetic Reproductive Material
• Seed Stand & Seed Orchard Scheme open for applications all year round.
• Seed Stand Element
o grant aid/ha increased to €750/ha (€600 first instalment and €150 for second instalment). Objectives changed to reflect lower expectations for Seed stands and 2-3 seed orchards each year for the remaining time of the programme.
o Additional fencing grant allowance. For areas susceptible to deer damage and where deemed appropriate by the Forest Service, additional support for deer fencing will be provided to protect the stand. This will be paid in accordance with the rates and densities per hectare as described in the revised Afforestation Scheme document. However, if additional deer fencing is required, this will be considered on a case by case basis.
o Applications for Douglas fir, Scots pine, Western red cedar, and western hemlock will be considered
Measure 11: Forest Management Plans
A new Forest Management Plan and Certification Scheme is proposed which will support certification of privately owned forests.