Thursday, 5 December 2019

Questions (298)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

298. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the amount allocated and expended on the woodland improvement scheme in each year since it was established; and if a new woodland improvement environmental enhancement scheme has been introduced to date. [50705/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The current Woodland Improvement Scheme (WIS) – Element 1, Thinning and Tending has been in place since 2010. The Scheme is available to forest owners to thin and tend their broadleaf or broadleaf mixed forest. The Scheme provides two thinning interventions for these types of forestry, regardless of whether they are grant aided.

The scheme facilitates the enhancement of the environment associated with thinning. Thinning stimulates investment through improvement, protection and development of broadleaf woodlands for a range of functions, including: healthy tree growth, landscape improvement, biodiversity enhancement, soil protection and water protection.

These aims will be achieved through improvement felling of malformed trees; felling of additional trees to release potential crop trees (PCT); pruning to improve stem quality; thinning or re-spacing to promote growth and management and re-spacing of natural regeneration. Tending also benefits biodiversity by increasing light levels which contributes to the development of shrub and ground flora.

Following the mid-term review of the Forestry Programme, my Department made available a second element to WIS, Continuous Cover Forestry, in March 2019. This element of the Woodland Improvement Scheme (WIS) will provide funding for conversion of existing forests to Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF) over a 12-year transitional period. No other element of WIS has been introduced.

It should be noted that the amount allocated each year is part of the overall allocation to the Forestry Programme.

Woodland Improvement Scheme payments (2007 – 2009) including shaping and pruning

2007

€ paid

Woodland Improvement

€390,104.70

Shaping

€52,152.81

Pruning

€130,222.20

2008

Woodland Improvement

€233,471.48

Shaping

€56,517.75

Pruning

€188,562.38

2009

Woodland Improvement

€373,770.78

Shaping

€83,380.02

Pruning

€453,699.51

Total Paid

€1,961,881.63

Woodland Improvement Scheme payments (2010 – date) including Element 1, Thinning and Tending

2019 is amounts paid to 22 November, 2019.

2010

Woodland Improvement

€248,169.67

WI Thinning & Tending

€610,339.50

2011

Woodland Improvement

€163,613.58

WI Thinning & Tending

€750,192.50

2012

Woodland Improvement

€70,006.85

WI Thinning & Tending

€971,412.50

2013

Woodland Improvement

€64,841.50

WI Thinning & Tending

€864,411.99

2014

Woodland Improvement

€76,117.62

WI Thinning & Tending

€665,570.00

2015

Woodland Improvement

€27,593.03

WI Thinning & Tending

€469,500.00

2016

Woodland Improvement

€21,654.22

WI Thinning & Tending

€593,339.15

2017

Woodland Improvement

€29,153.44

WI Thinning & Tending

€603,117.50

2018

Woodland Improvement

€17,451.45

WI Thinning & Tending

€440,920.00

2019

Woodland Improvement

€603,628.51

Total paid

€7,291,033.01