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Tree Felling Licences (TFL) and the Woodland Improvement Scheme (WIS) in Irish Forestry 

Tree Felling Licences (TFL) and the Woodland Improvement Scheme (WIS) in Irish Forestry


Forests, with their majestic trees and diverse ecosystems, are invaluable natural resources that provide numerous ecological, economic, and recreational benefits. In Ireland, forestry plays a pivotal role in sustaining these vital advantages, and at the core of responsible forest management lie tree felling licences and the Woodland Improvement Scheme. These essential components not only promote sustainable forestry practices but also aim to strike a balance between economic interests and environmental conservation.


Tree felling in Ireland is a regulated activity thatrequires a tree felling licence from the Forest Service, which operates underthe Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine. These licences arecritical to ensuring that tree removal occurs in a manner that is ecologicallysound and environmentally responsible. The issuance of these licences is acareful process that aims to protect the country's rich forested landscapes.Let's delve deeper into the intricate process of obtaining a tree felling licenceand its profound significance in Irish forestry.


Obtaining a tree felling licence in Ireland is acomprehensive procedure that involves navigating a series of stringentregulations. Interested parties must submit a thorough application thatoutlines the proposed felling operation's details, such as its location withinthe forest, the tree species involved, and the method of harvesting. Theapplication must also address environmental concerns, particularly thoserelated to the potential impact on protected habitats and species. Furthermore,applicants are bound by the provisions of the following policies:


·        Standards for Felling andReforestation (v. Oct 2019)

·        Felling and Reforestationpolicy (DAFM 2017)

·        Forestry Standards Manual (DAFM2015)

These policies establish specific conditions andrestrictions governing all forestry activities, including felling.



Once the application is submitted, the Forest Service, asthe overseeing authority, conducts a rigorous assessment to determine itsmerits. This assessment process takes into account various factors, includingthe potential impact on biodiversity and water quality. If the applicationaligns with the necessary criteria and does not raise significant environmentalconcerns, a tree felling licence may be issued. However, it is imperative tonote that obtaining a licence does not guarantee approval outright. The ForestService may impose conditions to mitigate any adverse effects, emphasizing thecommitment to responsible forestry.


The purpose of tree felling licences extends beyond mereregulatory oversight. They serve as a cornerstone in ensuring that tree fellingoperations occur with the utmost responsibility, preventing deforestation, andsafeguarding precious forest habitats. Additionally, these licences promotesustainable forest management practices, such as selective harvesting andmeticulous replanting, all of which are essential for preserving the long-termhealth and productivity of Ireland's forests.





Woodland Improvement Scheme (WIS)

In conjunction with tree felling licences, the WoodlandImprovement Scheme provides financial support to forest holders towards thecost of woodland improvement works associated with tending and thinning ofbroadleaf forests. This scheme actively encourages landowners to engage ininitiatives that enhance the overall quality and diversity of their foreststhrough a series of financial incentives. By participating in the program,landowners have the opportunity to significantly enhance the ecological resilienceand productivity of their forested lands.


The Woodland Improvement Scheme extends funding for variousactivities within the realm of forestry management. These activities mayinclude thinning dense forests to allow for more optimal tree growth anderadicating invasive species that threaten the health of the forest. Thesemeasures not only benefit the environment but also contribute to thesustainable production of timber and other essential forest products.


These initiatives are particularly crucial in the fightagainst climate change, as trees play a pivotal role in capturing carbondioxide from the atmosphere. When managed effectively, a forest acts as asignificant carbon sink, aiding Ireland in its efforts to reduce greenhouse gasemissions and promoting a more sustainable future for the nation's forestrysector.


In conclusion, tree felling licences and the WoodlandImprovement Scheme stand as integral pillars within Irish forestry management.These initiatives exemplify Ireland's dedication to nurturing and conservingits forested landscapes, ensuring that they continue to provide invaluableecological, economic, and recreational benefits to society.


Here at Euroforest Ireland we have a dedicated applicationsteam that handle all applications apart from afforestation applications. Pleaseget in contact if you require any further information on applications.



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