Planting grant increased in new €125m forestry scheme

There has been a strong interest among farmers for forestry.
There has been a strong interest among farmers for forestry.
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

There has been strong interest among farmers in forestry, with €125m set to be paid out in planting grants over the new six year forestry programme.

An Agriculture Department spokesman said the restructured forestry scheme has seen the planting grant increased by 5pc across all categories.

It is expected that farmers with forestry plantations will benefit under new tax break measures in the Budget to encourage more planting. The Department has been working to make forestry more attractive and to create 'carbon sinks' for emissions.

It is expected that a measure will be announced to allow forestry owners average their income over five years as currently some owners may face hefty tax bills after waiting 35 years to fell trees.

Minister of State Tom Hayes said across the lifetime of the forestry programme from 2014 to 2020 there would be €482m invested with 44,000ha of new forests and 700km of new woodland roads. He said there was huge potential for expansion in the forestry sector which is worth €2.3bn.

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