Tuesday, 21 September 2021
Department of Health
700. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the steps his Department has taken to promote close to nature continuous cover forestry systems as outlined in the Programme for Government. [45136/21]
Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF) is defined as the use of silvicultural systems whereby the forest canopy is maintained at one or more levels without clearfelling. The distinctive element of CCF is the avoidance of clearfelling of areas greater than 0.25 ha or more than two tree heights wide without the retention of some mature trees.
This Close-to-Nature forestry management system has actively been promoted by my Department as part of the implementation of the current Forestry Programme 2014-2020 (extended to end 2022). Grant funding is available for forest owners who want to apply this system under the Woodland Improvement Scheme 2 (Continuous Cover Forestry). This scheme provides funding for conversion of existing forests to Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF) over a 12-year transitional period. Successful applicants are eligible for three WIS payments (€750) for three separate interventions.
Further details are specified in the Scheme document which can be downloaded from my Department’s website at the following link: www.gov.ie/en/service/d54212-woodland-improvement-scheme/.