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More than 3,600 new forestry licenses issued this year to date

Forestry licencing output is 34% higher this year than in the same period last year

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Horticulture

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20 October 2022 | 0

Forestry licencing output is 34% higher this year than in the same period last year. By the end of September, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine had issued 3,629 licences, which is 92% of the target for this point in the year as set out in the Forestry Licensing Plan 2022.

The updated figures were contained in the Forestry Licensing Plan 2022 – Quarter 3 Update. The turnaround in forestry licencing shows that the 56% increase in new forestry licences last year will be further increased this year. The most recent increase in afforestation licences is a 47% rise compared against the same period in 2021.

The number of applications received year-to-date is 2,658, which means that licenses issued are 40% higher than applications received. On afforestation, figures from the quarterly update show that there are currently 933 approved afforestation licences with just under 7,000 hectares ready for planting.

“There is currently almost 7,000 hectares of land, approved and ready to plant,” said Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity Pippa Hackett. “The backlog in licence applications continues to drop, with faster turnaround times for new applicants.”

A new Forestry Programme for the period 2023-2027 is in the final stages of development, and the department is engaging intensively with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to finalise grant and premium rates for the new Programme, subject to State Aid approval from the European Commission. Minister Hackett commented:

“I am acutely aware of the need to announce grant and premium rates for the next Forestry Programme subject to Commission approval and Department of Public Expenditure and Reform sanction as soon as possible, and I hope to be in a position to do so in the coming weeks.”

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