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Farmer waiting more than two years to thin his award-winning oak forest

Forking out €1,500 for a Natura Impact Statement will skip the long queue

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‘Fed up’: Martin Oakes in Balgeeth Woods, Co Meath, where he is prohibited from cutting his trees. On the right are oaks and on the left are nurse trees which need to be removed to allow the oaks to thrive. Photo: Frank McGrath

‘Fed up’: Martin Oakes in Balgeeth Woods, Co Meath, where he is prohibited from cutting his trees. On the right are oaks and on the left are nurse trees which need to be removed to allow the oaks to thrive. Photo: Frank McGrath

Guidance: Martin Oakes with his two-year-old grandson Tadhg Conway. Photo: Frank McGrath

Guidance: Martin Oakes with his two-year-old grandson Tadhg Conway. Photo: Frank McGrath

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‘Fed up’: Martin Oakes in Balgeeth Woods, Co Meath, where he is prohibited from cutting his trees. On the right are oaks and on the left are nurse trees which need to be removed to allow the oaks to thrive. Photo: Frank McGrath

Private forest owners can fast-track their way to the top of the forestry licence backlog if they are willing to fork out €1,500 for a Natura Impact Statement (NIS), it has emerged.

The North East Forestry Group (NEFG), representing 90 private forest owners in Louth, Meath, Cavan and Monaghan, has been made aware that the Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Service is urging those whose applications are jammed in the system, to submit an NIS — at their own expense — to “speed up” approvals for thinning and felling.


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