NI forestry grant open for applications from farmers

Farmers and landowners in Northern Ireland can make the most of the government forestry grant
Farmers and landowners in Northern Ireland can make the most of the government forestry grant

Farmers in Northern Ireland can once again make the most of a government forestry grant, covering the creation of woodland of 3 hectares and larger.

The Forest Expansion Scheme (FES) is the next stage of the 'Forests for our Future' programme launched by farming minister Edwin Poots.

The first tranche opened on Monday 8 June and closes for applications on Friday 28 August.

It covers the creation of woodland of 3 hectares (7 ½ acres) and larger, including tree protection, fencing costs and retention of area based basic payments for the lifetime of the scheme



It also offers the support of the creation of traditional orchards, native hedgerows and new native woodland on areas less than 3ha.

Gregor Fulton, Woodland Trust's NI estate and outreach manager, said the grant was an 'unmissable opportunity' for farmers and landowners.



“The benefits of planting native trees are endless, providing winter shelter and summer shade for livestock; shelter for crops; or sustainable supplies of wood fuel.

"And native trees planted along riverbanks can help the environment while stopping money from, literally, going down the drain.

"They help by filtering the run-off of manure and fertiliser, especially following heavy rainfall.”

In 2019, Woodland Trust NI supported landowners to plant in excess of 200 Hectares (500 acres) of native woodland.