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Joe Barry: If policy-makers want farmers to plant broadleaf forests, then they need to pay us properly

Deciduous trees have huge environmental benefits but there is little financial reward in them, so farmers need to be incentivised with an appropriate lifetime annual premium

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Labour of love: ‘Under the current schemes, he said, no farmer in their right mind would plant broadleaves if they wanted a financial return’

Labour of love: ‘Under the current schemes, he said, no farmer in their right mind would plant broadleaves if they wanted a financial return’

‘When it comes to a financial return, the only trees that are commercially viable are conifers’

‘When it comes to a financial return, the only trees that are commercially viable are conifers’

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Labour of love: ‘Under the current schemes, he said, no farmer in their right mind would plant broadleaves if they wanted a financial return’

In the 1950s and ’60s, many Dutch and German farmers moved to Ireland, attracted by the low price of land and the availability of top-quality properties, especially in Meath and Kildare.

Some also bought peaty land and set up plant nurseries, successfully specialising in horticulture, something the Dutch have excelled at for generations.


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