A series of nationwide events have been announced to promote the Department of Agriculture's NeighbourWood Scheme, which has grants of up to €8,800/ha available to develop woodland amenities.
The NeighbourWood Scheme provides funding towards the creation of new neighbourwoods on open ‘greenfield’ sites; the silvicultural enhancement and improvement of existing woodlands and funding towards the installation and/or upgrade of recreational facilities within woodland areas submitted under NBR Establishment or NBR Enhancement.
The scheme is subject to a limit of 12ha and offers funding of up to 85pc of eligible costs (exclusive of VAT).
The maximum available grant for NBR Establishment and NBR enhancment is €5,000 / ha (plus an additional fencing allowance, as under the Afforestation Scheme). Furthermore, a maximum grant of €3,800/ha is available for NBR Facilities.
Andrew Doyle Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine (DAFM), has announced that three NeighbourWood Scheme information events are being held on:
· September 27, 2018 in Balla, Co. Mayo,
· October 16, in Dunmore East, Co Waterford,
· Thursday November 15, in Ballyseedy Woods near Tralee, Co. Kerry.
The €1.75m Scheme forms part of DAFM’s Forestry Programme 2014-2020 and provides funding for local communities, local authorities and others to develop these woodland amenities. The aim of establishing up to 20 neighbourwood projects by the end of 2020.
“The neighbourwood projects which we have established already have proved to be hugely successful and I would like to see more of these being developed across the country for local communities to enjoy,” Minister Doyle said.
“The health benefits of spending time outdoors and connecting with nature and the changing seasons cannot be overstated,” he explained.
The NeighbourWood Scheme is available to local authorities and private landowners working in partnership with local communities.
The Minister concluded “I would encourage all those who see potential for developing an amenity woodland in their area to come to one of these information events. “