The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) issued just 43 forestry licences in the first week of July.

This marks a 42% decrease from the previous week when 74 licences were issued and a 55% drop on the 95 licences granted in the third week of June.

The Social, Economic and Environmental Forestry Association of Ireland (SEEFA) said that “June proved to be another poor month [for licensing], and July looks like it will be even worse”.

“In just a matter of weeks, May’s slightly hopeful performance has been totally wiped out,” it said.

SEEFA said that “continued inconsistency has been a theme all year, making tracking precisely what the department is doing incredibly difficult”.

The government has set an annual target of 8,000ha of new forests to be planted in order to increase the national forestry area to 18%.

“We ask the department for an explanation as to why the new programme has not reached the target licencing pace even once this year, and why licencing numbers continued to remain so inconsistent,” SEEFA said.


The latest forestry dashboard, published by DAFM, shows that 19 licences were issued for private felling, 11 for afforestation, 10 for roads and 3 for Coillte felling in the week ending July 5.

The afforestation licences granted in the first week of July relate to 120ha of new forestry.

In June, the department issued licences for 386ha, which was down from 526ha in May.

The department has received 374 valid afforestation applications so far this year, while 268 licences have been issued for 2,238ha.

The Forestry Licencing Plan 2024 estimates that 1,000 afforestation applications are required to meet planting targets.

The department data shows that 808ha of land had been afforested up to July 5.

The figures for afforestation planted in 2024 only reflect afforestation that has been paid at first grant stage this year to date, including under the Native Area Tree Scheme (NTAS).


487 applications have been submitted for private felling so far this year, with 582 licences issued.

The department has received 814 felling applications for felling from Coillte and has issued 388 licences for felling to the State agency.

The total number of 970 felling licences issued to date this year relates to 11,523ha.

The data also shows that 470 licences have been issued for 172km of forestry roads up to July 5 this year.

488 licences have been granted for the Reconstitution of Ash Dieback Scheme relating to 1,809ha.

There has been 171 Deer Tree Shelter scheme (DTS) licences granted (681ha) and 95 for the Woodland Improvement Scheme (WIS) covering 440ha.

258 licences have been issued for the Native Area Tree Scheme (NTAS) relating to 282ha.