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  • Writer's picturePippa Hackett

Hackett delivers on Ash



Today I received Government approval for an Action Plan to provide additional supports for Farmers impacted by Ash Dieback Disease. I said I’d deliver on Ash, and I have.


This is a significant package which recognises the huge difficulties farmers have gone through, and the value we place on them as forest owners now and into the future.


I am delighted that my Government colleagues have backed this Ash Dieback Action Plan. I was determined to bring forward an action plan that would address both the concerns of farmers and landowners impacted by ash dieback, and the recommendations of the independent review group I commissioned last year.


I believe this plan delivers on both of those fronts and I am particularly pleased to be in a position to put in place an additional €79.5 million of funding that will allow us to pay a new Climate Action Performance Payment of €5,000 per hectare to those impacted ash plantation owners who fully engage with my Department’s reconstitution schemes.

 

There are a number of elements to the financial support for farmers whose plantations are affected by ash dieback, namely:


- 100% increase in the site clearance grant rate, from €1,000 to €2,000, under the new Forestry Programme compared to the previous reconstitution scheme;


- Enhanced replanting grant rates under the new Forestry Programme, in accordance with the chosen forest type. For example, Forest Type FT12 (conifer) will attract €3,858 per hectare, while planting of Forest Type 1 (native trees) will attract €6,744 per hectare, and agroforestry €8,555 per hectare. These new grant rates represent an approximately 20% increase on those available under the previous Programme;


- Those applicants whose sites are still in premium will continue to receive the premium due for the remaining years. They will also receive a once-off top-up payment equivalent to the difference between the existing premium and the associated new Forest Type premium under the new Programme. For example, a farmer with 7 years remaining premium who enters into the Reconstitution Scheme to plant FT1 (native forest), will be entitled to receive a lump sum payment of approximately €3,336.


- The new financial component of today’s Action Plan - a Climate Action Performance Payment (CAPP) of €5,000 per hectare for participants in reconstitution schemes. This payment will be made available to all ash forest owners who have, or will, fully engage with the Department’s ash dieback schemes, to clear sites and carry out replanting. 


- The overall package being made available to ash plantation owners will amount to in excess of €230 million

 

The Department has now published the Action Plan, and it will immediately progress the work required to implement the actions.


I want to thank everyone who has worked with me in the delivery of this support package.


Further information gov.ie

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