Call for farmers to avail of FEPS scheme


Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food Mary Wallace has called on farmers to avail of funding provided for under the Forest Environment Protection Scheme (FEPS).

The scheme is designed to encourage the establishment of woodlands with a "high nature value" - a new type of forestry which combines a high environmental contribution with strong economic potential. Initially a pilot scheme, the Government is now planning a full roll-out.

The funding can be paid to those already benefiting from the Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS), which rewards farmers for carrying out a range of environmentally-friendly measures.

Ms Wallace said she was already encouraged by the take-up of FEPS to date.

"REPS is now the lynchpin in an integrated approach towards the enhancement of the rural environment and the promotion of real, sustainable rural development," she added.

"I would encourage REPS farmers to examine the opportunities which forestry now presents and factor this into their plans.

"I believe FEPS will become an integral part of the forestry programme in the years ahead."