Hayes launches Neighbourwood Scheme 2016
In early February Minister Tom Hayes launched the Forest Neighbourwood Scheme 2016
19 February 2016
Highlighting the value of appropriate facilities in which to exercise, Mr. Tom Hayes, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry, recently launched the opening of the NeighbourWood Scheme for 2016.
Commenting at the launch Hayes said “NeighbourWoods deliver a wide range of benefits to local communities and wider society by providing opportunities for exercise, recreation and relaxation, creating important wildlife habitats, mitigating noise pollution, promoting air quality and improving the visual landscape”.
At the launch Hayes highlighted the popularity of the scheme and highlighted that a number of areas throughout the country have already developed facilities under this Scheme in the past, including Belleek Wood, Ballina, Co Mayo and Dún an Rí Forest Park, Kingscourt, Co. Cavan.
“There is an increasing emphasis on the way in which outdoor exercise can enhance health and well-being and I believe that this Scheme provides a number of options to local authorities and local community groups to facilitate and encourage such exercise as suitable projects can vary in size and location, from large forests in the countryside to small woodland areas in and around villages, towns and cities” explained Hayes.
The NeighbourWood (NBR) Scheme is a measure in the Forestry Programme 2014-2020 which is specifically focused on delivering the social benefits of forestry to local communities by providing funding to Local Authorities and local community groups to create and develop ‘close to home’ amenity woodlands for public enjoyment and recreation.
The Scheme, which is administered by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, consists of three components:- ‘NeighbourWood Establishment’ which provides funding towards the creation of new NeighbourWoods on open ‘greenfield’ sites; ‘NeighbourWood Enhancement’ which provides funding towards the silvicultural enhancement and improvement of existingwoodlands which are proposed for development as neighbourwoods; and ‘NeighbourWood Facilities’ which provides funding towards the installation and/or upgrade of appropriate recreational facilities within woodland areas submitted under NBR Establishment or NBR Enhancement.
Further information about the NeighbourWood Scheme is available on the Department’s website. The closing date for receipt of applications under the Scheme is Friday 29th April 2016.