Friday, 6 September 2019

Ceisteanna (1407)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

1407. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to make grants available to persons to replant land on which trees have been felled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35603/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

My Department provides generous grants and premiums for the establishment of new forests under the Forestry Programme 2014 - 2020. The full cost of establishment is covered and 15 annual premium payments are made to the landowner. Total payments under the afforestation scheme for a native woodland forest, for example, can amount to over €16,000 per hectare.

The proceeds of a landowner's timber asset at clearfell more than covers the cost of reforestation. According to the Department's "Felling Decision Support Tool", the value of a crop of Sitka spruce, yield class 20, felled at year 43 and thinned on three occasions is over €30,000 per hectare whereas replanting costs are considerably lower than this. In any case, the clearfell proceeds are tax-free for the landowner which is part of national forestry policy, part of which is intended to cover the cost of reforestation.