I propose to take Questions Nos 416 to 418, inclusive, together.
The term "unenclosed lands" describes land that was never improved or enclosed by man-made boundaries for agricultural use other than extensive grazing. In the context of afforestation in Ireland, these lands tend, in general, to be the most unproductive being peat lands or lands located on the exposed slopes of upland areas.
As the land covered by the classification "unenclosed lands" is not a homogenous entity, and includes an array of soil types and locations, it is necessary to closely examine all proposals for afforestation on these lands on their merits. This would also apply to such lands in the mid and east Kerry areas. Any application for planting in these areas must be carefully examined to determine any potential environmental impact of that planting. It must also have regard to the range of national and European environmental Directives, legislation and regulations that are designed to protect the unique characteristics of, and habitats within, these areas. Where applications for afforestation come within areas designated for protection under such Directives or legislation, my Department must consult with other statutory bodies before deciding on the applications.
As regards the number of hectares of unenclosed land in the east and mid Kerry areas for which applications have been received and approved it is not possible to give the information in the format requested by the Deputy. My Department would need to know the specific Townlands or District Electoral Divisions in respect of which the Deputy requires the information and also the relevant timeframes.