Heritage Council


Native Woodland Scheme Launched

Pictured are from L to R are: Declan Little, Woodlands of Ireland, Tom Hayes TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine with Special Responsibility for Food, Forestry, Horticulture and Food Safety, and John Madden, Forestry Inspector, Forest Service.

The Native Woodland Scheme (NWS), part of the current Forestry Programme 2014-2020 was formally launched on September 23rd, 2015 by the Minister with responsibility for Forestry, Mr. Tom Hayes TD. The Scheme targets the management of Ancient, Old and Emerging (scrub) native woodland and the establishment of new native woodlands on greenfield sites. Amenity and recreational facilities are also possible through a link with the NeighbourWood Scheme.

Woodlands of Ireland worked closely with the Forest Service in revising the scheme, taking account of the experience of landowners, NWS foresters & ecologists, and contractors amongst others, over the past number of years. In addition, Woodlands of Ireland will promote the Scheme with the public (primarily NPWS and Coillte) and private sectors (via the industry and individual landowners) in an effort to achieve the area targets for all elements and measures in the Scheme. These targets are 1,950 ha for NWS Conservation (of existing native woodlands) and 2,700 hectares for Establishment (the creation of new native woodlands) up to 2020. This represents a projected investment of c. €7.25m and €16.5m over the next six years for NWS Conservation and NWS Establishment respectively. 

All involved believe the Scheme is better than previous versions and are excited at the potential it has to offer in addressing the conservation of existing - and the creation of new native woodlands. The Heritage Council would be grateful if everyone concerned with our natural resources and especially our native woodlands, would actively promote the Scheme amongst landowners and public bodies, in particular. If you have any queries or if potential applicants would like further information and guidance feel free to contact the Forest Service or Woodlands of Ireland (at the contact details below).

Kevin Collins, Forest Service: kevin.collins@agriculture.gov.ie Tel: 01-6072502
Declan Little, Woodlands of Ireland: woodsofireland@iol.ie Mobile: 087-6685823