In March this year, my Department received a batch application of some 1,800 licences from Coillte. These applications were for their clear fell programme for 2022 and 2023.
Coillte has now received nearly 90% of their licensing requirement for 2022 and I understand they recently held their contract event, where sawmills received half of their supply of logs from the company for 2022.
To 10th December 2021, a total of 2,782 tree felling licences at a volume of 7.9 million cubic metres have issued. The Coillte/private tree felling breakdown is 1,477 Coillte and 1,305 private. This is 60% higher than last year and the highest volume ever licensed in a single year. This increased supply of licences to industry over the past 12 months has allowed processors to rebuild their inventories, putting them in a much better position to respond to fluctuating demand from customers.
We are committed to sustaining and building on this momentum in 2022 and to continue supporting the sawmilling and timber processing sector which is such an important part of our rural economy.