The forestry industry and the Government

Branching out

Letter of the Day
Letter of the Day

Sir, – A letter writer (June 20th) claims that “Pippa Hackett and the Green Party in Government have overseen the collapse of the forestry industry in Ireland under her watch, with historically low new forestry plantations this year”.

I suggest that the low numbers of new plantations are a result of the situation that preceded the current Government.

As a farmer with experience in this area, having benefited from the forestry policies of the current Government, I would like to highlight my own direct experience.

One of the first changes announced by Minister of State for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Pippa Hackett was the change to the licensing system whereby objectors could halt planting, felling, thinning and forest road licences with a click of a mouse at no cost to themselves.


This resulted in individuals objecting to licences several counties away from their armchairs.

Objectors now have to lodge a fee.

In 2023, under Ms Hackett, an investment package was announced by the Government of €1.3 billion in forestry. The funding represents the largest ever investment by an Irish government in tree-planting. Premiums for planting trees were increased by between 46 per cent and 66 per cent and extended to from 15 to 20 years for farmers.

In addition, the Native Tree Area Scheme supports the creation of small native forests on farmed land. The scheme is open to both farmers and non-farmers.

The licensing system has also become more efficient recently. – Yours, etc,



Co Clare.

Sir, – Imelda Hurley of Coillte promotes the very worthy idea of timber constructed homes (“Timber is a very efficient way of delivering homes”, Business, June 21st).

The question has to be asked, in light of a collapsed afforrestion sector (1,600 hectares planted last year against a government projection of 8,000 hectares), where will the timber come from in the future – the Amazon? – Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.