Under the provisions of Council Regulation (EC) No 73/2009, land, which was afforested from 2009, is eligible to activate payment entitlements under the Single Payment Scheme and to benefit from payment provided that the following criteria are met by applicants:
- The land to be afforested was declared under the 2008 Single Payment Scheme (SPS).
- The applicant who declared that land was paid under the 2008 Single Payment Scheme and the land was eligible to draw down an SPS payment
- The afforested land meets all the requirements of the Afforestation Grant and Premium Scheme, FEPS or the Native Woodland Establishment Scheme.
- Eligible forestry parcels that are declared on SPS applications to activate entitlements will also be subject to cross-compliance requirements.
The proposals for the Reform of Common Agricultural Policy published by the EU Commission provide for the continuation of the existing provisions in relation to the eligibility of afforested land under the Basic Aid Scheme. The Deputy will be aware that negotiations are ongoing on these proposals and they must be adopted by both the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers before that can enter into force.
The area of eligible afforested land declared by farmers under the 2012 Scheme was 12,380 hectares.