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Forestry Sector

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 25 November 2021

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Questions (378)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

378. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he regards the GLAS as having been proven to complement his Department's afforestation scheme; if he will provide the metrics in relation to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58234/21]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The table below indicates the number of farmer/non-farmer applicants that chose to establish forestry in the years 2015 to 2020. The table shows the overall number of newly established forestry sites has been in decline recently.

There could be many reasons for this as farmers have many options open to them to manage their land, including the lease or sale of lands.

Non-farmer applicants may also be a relative of a deceased farmer, who have chosen to plant inherited land instead of continuing to farm.

It was open to applicants of GLAS to choose some land parcels for that Scheme, while at the same time, joining the Afforestation Grant and Premium Scheme on other parcels. The GLAS terms and conditions outline that afforestation is fully compatible with GLAS and is recognised as contributing to the creation of a valuable landscape mosaic at farm-level.

The Scheme also had the “Planting a Grove of Native Trees” action which has been chosen by over 3,600 farmers and resulted in the planting of over 1.5 million trees.

I am anxious that farmers re-engage with forestry and acknowledge that current licensing difficulties are likely a contributory factor in terms of reduced interest. This is a priority issue for me and my Department and is being dealt under Project Woodland.

Furthermore, the Department is working to ensure that there is integration between Agri-Environment schemes in CAP and the new Forestry Programme. It is intended that tree planting measures will form part of the new Agri-Environment schemes. The transitional REAP scheme (a results-based payment approach for grasslands) has, for instance, complementary tree-planting actions.

Year

Farmer

Non-farmer

Total

2015

852

130

982

2016

652

357

1,009

2017

536

353

889

2018

309

315

624

2019

206

293

499

2020

100

261

361

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