Ms. Mary Wallace T.D., Minister of State at the Department
of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with responsibility for
forestry, has announced an increase in the grant levels for
certain elements of the NeighbourWood Scheme and the
Native Woodland Scheme.
Commenting on the NeighbourWood Scheme, Minister of
State Wallace said - "The NeighbourWood
Scheme grant package is all about bringing communities and
woodlands together, by helping local authorities and others
to create 'close-to-home' woodland amenities in partnership
with communities - for local people to use and enjoy. These
woodlands can provide other benefits - including habitats
for wildlife, biodiversity and improving the landscape - while
also providing a place for people to get closer to the natural
The Minister announced that two elements of the NeighbourWood
Scheme were being increased - the Enhancement Grant is being
increased to €5,000 per hectare, while the grant rate
for the Facilities element is being increased to €4,500
per hectare for the first 10 hectares of forest area submitted
and €3,000 per hectare for all subsequent area submitted,
up to a maximum of 40 hectares.
Turning to the Native Woodland Scheme, Minister Wallace
commented - "Native
woodlands are a key part of Ireland's biodiversity and represent
diverse vibrant ecosystems that are significant at a national,
European and international level.
"The Native Woodland
Scheme aims to provide landowners with the resources needed
to enable them to protect and enhance existing native woodlands
and to develop new native woodlands."
The grant for the Conservation of Existing Native Woodland
element of this scheme is being increased to €5,000 per
hectare, while the Native Woodland Conservation Premium is
being increased to €350 per hectare per annum and will
be payable for a period of seven years.
The Minister added that, having announced the reopening of
these schemes in December 2007, she was delighted now to be
able to announce these significant increases in the grant
rates available for these community and society orientated
Concluding, Minister Wallace said - "it
should be noted that my Department is providing support for
innovative and life-enhancing schemes, as well as focusing
on the commercial aspects of timber production. Forests have
benefits for everyone in our society - right from the farmer
to local authorities and communities developing facilities
for their town or city."
For more information on the Native Woodland Scheme