Thursday, 25 October 2018

Ceisteanna (290)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

290. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the 2018 allocation towards the woodland fund. [44449/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I was pleased to recently launch the pilot Woodland Environmental Fund (WEF). Native woodlands are an important part of Ireland’s natural heritage, history and culture, and are unique in terms of their biodiversity. The objective of the Woodland Environmental Fund (WEF) is to facilitate the planting of more native woodlands within Ireland in light of their proven environmental benefits. In doing so, the fund offers an opportunity for businesses to partner with Government and private landowners in creating these diverse woodland habitats.

WEF funding comprises a once off single top up of €1,000/hectare by the partnered business, following payment of the first grant and premium by the Department under its Native Woodland Establishment Scheme.

My Department's also facilitates contact between foresters and their clients with the Natural Capital Facilitators (NCF). The NCFs will then liaise with the businesses to find projects that best match the businesses' expectations. As the top-up of €1,000/ha is paid for by the businesses involved, my Department's contribution is our payments under the Native Woodland Establishment Scheme. This scheme does not have a specific allocation within the Forestry budget but it remains fully open for applications and will be open next year also.