IFA Welcomes Review Of Forestry Planting Application Process

IFA Farm Forestry Chair, Vincent Nally has welcomed Minister Doyle’s appointment of Jim Mackinnon, former chief planner with the Scottish Government to undertake a review of the forestry planting application process.

 

He said that the level of red tape associated with planting and managing small family forests is excessive and is a major deterrent to achieving planting targets set out in the Climate Action Plan.

 

“The average size of forests is less than 9 hectares, the level of administration associated with planting and managing must be appropriate to their scale and not place excessive costs on farmers,” said Mr. Nally.

 

Mr. Nally said that if farmers are to re-engage with forestry at the scale required to achieve an 8,000 hectare planting programme then the schemes must be more accessible and the land available to plant mixed forests must be increased.

 

“Forestry is a very regulated sector and the level of regulation has increased significantly in recent years, which has increased the cost associated with planting forests in addition to reducing the productive area,” said Mr. Nally.

 

The announcement of the review follows a stakeholder information meeting hosted by IFA with the Department in late June to highlight forest owners’ frustrations with the delays in the administration process for both planting and felling licence applications.

 

“IFA is looking forward to the opportunity to discuss the issues with Mr. Mackinnon and propose solutions to ensure that the schemes and the administration process are workable for farmers that want to plant,” said Mr. Nally.

 

Forests and wood-based products have a significant role to play in the Climate Action Plan, not only do they play an integral part in the carbon cycle, they regulate ecosystems, protect biodiversity, support livelihoods, and can drive sustainable growth in rural Ireland.

 

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