Forestry in Northern Ireland facing uncertain future

By Richard Halleron
AgriLand Ireland
July 7, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: International

John Hetherington

All the support schemes available to forestry in Northern Ireland have been ended. That’s according to John Hetherington, the managing director of Premier Woodlands. The measures include the: Forestry Expansion Scheme (FES); the Small Woodland Grant Scheme (SWGS); and the Woodland Improvement Grant (replanting). “The private forestry sector is now left in limbo, not knowing what the future holds,” Hetherington told Agriland. …Northern Ireland has the lowest levels of forest and woodland cover in Europe. The figure stands at around 8% of the available land area. …Hetherington said that he is now very concerned that Northern Ireland’s tree cover figure could start to decline. …The years since Brexit have seen Northern Ireland’s private forestry sector surviving on an almost hand-to-mouth basis, according to the forestry company director said. …Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s agriculture minister, Andrew Muir has confirmed his commitment to enhanced tree planting measures over the coming years.

Read More