Over €3m has been paid out since 2013 under the Reconstitution Scheme for ash dieback, figures from the Department of Agriculture show.

The scheme for Chalara (ash dieback) was introduced in March 2013, to restore forests planted under the Afforestation Scheme which have suffered from or which were associated with plants affected by the disease.

To the end of 2016, 830ha had been cleared of infected and associated ash plantations, with a total of €1.23m paid for site clearance and a further €257,000 was paid in 2016 for first grants, which is for the replanting of some 93ha, figures show.

Applications for the scheme continue to be processed as more recently affected plantations are identified.

Differences between the number of hectares cleared and the number of hectares replanted occur for various reasons.

It may simply be that the area has been cleared, for example in June, but not replanted until sometime in the next planting season, November to April/May.

Also in administering the scheme, documents, site inspections, etc. may not have been completed, delaying the registration of an area that has been replanted, the Department said.

Reconstitution scheme

Ash dieback confirmed in several agri-environment scheme plantings

As of September 30, 2016, there has been three confirmed findings of ash dieback in farm landscaping / agri-environment scheme plantings, the latest data from the Department of Agriculture shows.

Findings of the disease ash dieback, a disease of ash trees caused by a fungus, have been confirmed in a further 140 forestry plantations.

This brings the current total for forestry plantations to 255.

The data shows that 10 of these new forestry findings were in counties where up to the end of 2015 there had previously been no confirmed findings in forestry plantations.

These findings increased the distribution of findings in forestry plantations from 19 to 21 counties.

There were also notable increases in findings in forestry plantations in a number of counties where the disease had previously been detected, particularly counties Clare, Cork, Galway, Laois, Kilkenny, Mayo, Meath, Tipperary, Wexford, and Wicklow.

In the same period there were two new confirmed findings in commercial nurseries and two re-occurrences of the disease in two other nurseries.