Farmers, private landowners and companies planting forestry can avail of an €18/m payment to fence off forestry to prevent damage from deer from this month.

The payment, under the Forestry Programme, has been expanded to forest types (FT) 1-7, and can be drawn down prior to the second installment payment where there is evidence of deer damage greater than 40% of previously planted areas.

The first seven forest types, for which the payment will be available, are as follows:

  • FT 1 – Native forests;
  • FT 2 – Forests for water;
  • FT 3 – Forests on public land;
  • FT 4 – Amenity woodlands for local communities (‘NeighbourWoods’);
  • FT 5 – Emergent forests;
  • FT 6 – Pure broadleaves (oak or beech);
  • FT 7 -Other broadleaves.

However, this means the payment won’t be available for agroforestry (FT 8).

The €18/m payment will apply to Irish Standard 436 (IS436) fencing materials at 160m/ha, for a maximum payment of €2,880/ha for new deer fencing.

IS436 materials must meet certain standards in relation to permitted timber species; post sizes and diameters; timber preservatives; pre-treatment drying requirements; and labelling and traceability of the end product.

There is also payment available for non-IS436 materials, at a rate of €14/m, at 150m/ha, for a maximum payment of €2,100/ha.

A separate payment is also available for upgrades to existing deer fencing at a rate of €9/m at 160m/ha for a maximum payment of €1,440/ha for IS436; and at €8/m at 120m/ha for a maximum payment of €960/ha for non-IS436.

All fencing materials used must be in accordance with the Forestry Standards Manual, which outlines the specifications and standards for various forestry schemes.

Fencing upgrades and new fencing must also be clearly shown on a fencing map, and must show the total length in metres.

Forests are ineligible to enter this scheme after the second instalment grant, with the exception of where the reconstitution of ash is taking place.

Payment is also available for fencing-off forested areas from hares.

A contribution of €4/m up to a maximum of 160m/ha (for a maximum payment of €640/ha) is available for forests that have been subject to hare damage up to approval for the second instalment grant.

Eligible forests must have 30% hare damage.

Forests are ineligible to enter the payment for hare fencing after the second instalment grant with the exception of where the reconstitution of ash is taking place.