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Afforestation Licences


Last week sees fewest afforestation licences ofany week this year          

Last week the Department of Agriculture, Foodand the Marine issued the fewest afforestation licences of any single week thisyear, according to the Social, Economic, Environmental Forestry Association(SEEFA).

According to the latest forestry dashboard, forthe week ending last Friday (April 5), the department issued only fiveafforestation licences.

Throughout last month, the week-ending figuresfor afforestation licences issued for each week (for which there were five, aslast month had five Fridays) were as low as six and as high as 11.

Commenting on these figures, SEEFA criticisedthe department and the low number of afforestation licences issued.

“The department reduces the issuance ofafforestation licences with impunity, holding no accountability anddemonstrating no clear plan on how to resolve these issues,” the group said.

“Landowners no longer see forestry as a viableuse of their land, foresters are struggling to stay afloat, and the people ofIreland are losing valuable economic and environmental value as afforestationtargets are far from met,” a SEEFA statement added.

The five afforestation licences issued lastweek were accompanied by seven licences for forest roads construction(accounting for 1km of roads), 21 licences for private felling, and sevenlicences issued for Coillte felling (the total of 28 licences for fellingincludes three for thinning and 28 for clear felling).

The number of afforestation licences issued inApril so far are nonetheless an improvement on the same month of 2023, whenzero afforestation licenses were issued.

As of last Friday, 128 afforestation licenceshave been issued so far this year, out of 183 valid applications. The approvedlicences equate to 961ha of forest, which is already ahead of the total figurefor all of 2023.

There have also been 305 licences issued forprivate felling, 219 for Coillte felling, and 260 licences issued for forestroads construction in the year to date. This brings the total number offorestry licences – across all licence types – issued this year to 912.

There have also been 118 approved applicationsto the Native Tree Area Scheme so far this year, accounting for 122ha.


In terms of other forestry related schemes,there have been, in the year-to-date, 290 approved applications to theReconstitution of Ash Dieback Scheme (accounting for 1,086ha); 55 approvedapplications for the Deer Tree Shelter Scheme (accounting for 218ha); and 24approved applications to the Woodland Improvement Scheme (accounting for141ha).

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