irish afforestation.png

Name / Title

Irish Afforestation Programme and Grant Scheme

Case Study Region

National – West of Ireland

Geographical coverage



Government; funding scheme


Main activity / focus


The provision of a grant scheme for individual farmers or land owners willing to plant land. 

Target beneficiaries / market

Land owners interested in forestry planting.

Year established


Current Funding source(s)

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food


Farmers and non-farmers.





In recent years the Irish Government has recognisedthat economic, social, environmental and recreational benefits can accrue from a vibrant forestry estate. As Ireland’s forest cover is, at 10%, one of the lowest in Europe, the Afforestation Grant and Premium Scheme provides a package to encourage the planting of forests by compensating forest owners for the costs of forestry establishment and for the income foregone during the maturation of the timber crop. This scheme provides planting and establishment grants as well as annual premiums for new afforestation projects that are compliant with national and EU legislation, operational and environmental guidelines.

The scheme is open to farmers and non-farmers. Forests established under this scheme must meet full silvicultural standards and must be managed as a commercial crop for the realisationof a profit.  The objectives of the scheme include: to increase the area under forest in Ireland to contribute towards climate change mitigation; to produce a commercial crop of timber; to provide a sustainable source of wood biomass for energy purposes; to provide a sustainable basis for development of the rural economy; to increase the area of purpose-designed recreational and amenity forests; to improve water quality through riparian planting and to increase overall biodiversity by providing woodland habitat which is under-represented in the complex of habitat types.

An afforestation grant is available to cover the costs associated with the establishment of the forest. 75% is payable after planting with the balance paid by way of a second instalmentgrant 4 years after planting, grants range from €3,414/ha to a maximum of €7,604/ha dependent on tree species and soil type.  Annual forest premiums are available to compensate farmers and non-farmers for the loss in income earning potential from the afforestation of their land. This premium is payable for a period of up to 20 years in the case of farmers or 15 years for non-farmers. Forestry premiums range from €197.12/ha to a maximum of €573.86/ha dependent on tree species, soil type, area planted and farmer status.


Contact Details

Mr. Michael McNamara
(Assistant Principal – Policy (National and International) /
Forestry Planning and Development)
Johnstown Castle Estate,
Wexford, Ireland
Phone: +353 (0) 53 9160212
Fax: +353 (0) 53 9143836