Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Timmy Dooley, has urged farmers and landowners to consider forestry as a means of diversifying their activities and income streams.

“Returns from forestry are strongly competitive compared with many other farm enterprises, and there are many farm schemes to assist farmers interested in forestry.

“Since 1980, nearly 20,000 private forest owners have received grant aid to establish forests.

“While the current government has been unfortunately slow in promoting forestry as an economic activity, Fianna Fáil recognises the important role forestry has to play in Ireland’s economic and environmental future.”

“In addition, increasing afforestation will likely play a crucial role in helping Ireland meet its climate change commitments, as forests act as important carbon sinks,” added Dooley.

“Engaging in forestry can be both economically and environmentally beneficial, and I would urge farmers with spare land to consider it.

“Government Departments must be more creative in how they encourage land owners to plant forestry. There is a unique opportunity for us all to increase our carbon sinking levels as well as provide a sustainable income stream to farmers. They must be bold and creative in how they engage with land holders.

“There is a need for government to tackle the under planting of forestry in Ireland by introducing additional schemes to encourage land owners to consider forestry as a viable enterprise.

“As of January 2017, Teagasc is undertaking a campaign promoting forestry as a sustainable and rewarding agricultural activity and advising interested parties on how they can best engage with forestry.

“They will be hosting informational Forestry Clinics around the country, and I urge any interested parties to look into these. For further information and to book an individual consultation, please contact Tom Houlihan on 087-6184353 or email,” concluded Dooley.