Time to consider your options
Summer is the ideal time to apply for forestry grants as it ensures approval can be in place ahead of the next planting season
WITH the ever growing list of summer chores, probably the last thing on your mind is making a forestry grant application.
Forestry is an excellent land use option on suitable land complementing other farming activities. It has the capacity to enhance family farm income, improve the farm environment and contribute significantly to the local economy.
As it takes time for the application to be assessed, summer is a great time to consider your options ensuring that planting approval is in place by the time the planting season starts next winter. It is a good idea to have all the trees planted by the end of March.
On the contrary, if you apply over the winter, approval may come through very late in the planting season. This in turn will lead to very late planting and is a high risk strategy leading to high tree mortality.
So, where do you start? Well, your first port of call is your local Forestry Adviser.
He or she will be able to indicate if your land is likely to be eligible for forestry grant aid, guide you through the maze of options, their pros and cons, the effect on other farm schemes, explain the various steps in the process and how to ensure that the job gets done right first time.
Once you understand what is involved and the implications, the next step is to choose a 'Registered Forester'.
This is an important decision as the Registered Forester will act as your agent and make the grant application on your behalf.