Minister of State for land use and biodiversity Pippa Hackett is marking National Tree Day today (Thursday, October 5) by encouraging people to explore the grant and premium payments on offer for planting trees through Ireland’s new Forestry Programme.

She said: “This National Tree Day is an ideal time for farmers and landowners to consider adding forestry to their land by applying for one of the many well-funded options under the new Forestry Programme.

“Annual premium payments and revenue from any timber sales are free from income tax, making forestry an attractive investment now and for the future.

“We all know the wonderful benefits of a walk in the woods, which is why my department is expanding the NeighbourWood Scheme under the new Forestry Programme to support the creation of new public amenity forests and the enhancement of existing forests for public access, education, recreation and health and well-being for rural and urban communities.”

The minister said that the programme will also encourage public bodies to create native woodlands on land already owned by them as part of their own environmental objectives around water quality, biodiversity and carbon sequestration.

“The new €1.3 billion Forestry Programme is all about expanding, protecting, and developing Ireland’s forests and the forestry sector,” she continued.

“It is a significant milestone and reflects the public’s desire for more trees to be planted, and for forests that meet society’s recreational, economic and environmental needs.

“The Forestry Programme will deliver multiple benefits for climate, nature, water quality, wood production, rural communities and the wider economy.”

National Tree Day

This National Tree Day celebrates the hazel tree through the theme ‘Nuts about Nature’.

Farmers and landowners can plant forests of many different species through the Forestry Programme.

The programme covers the 100% of the costs for landowners and farmers to plant on their land and offers annual payments for the following 15 or 20 years according to the minister.

The new rates in the programme represent increases of up to 66% on the previous Forestry Programme 2014-2022.