NI's Forest Expansion Scheme reopens for applications

The scheme, available to Northern Irish landowners, has already provided more than £2m of grant aid
The scheme, available to Northern Irish landowners, has already provided more than £2m of grant aid

The opening of the fifth phase of the Forest Expansion Scheme has launched for landowners in Northern Ireland.

The scheme is intended to encourage landowners or farmers to plant their own woodland.

Successful applicants will receive up to 100% of eligible establishment costs and annual premia for a 10-year period.

Projects must conform to the UK Forestry Standard and the scheme favours bids with lower costs and which are part financed by the applicant.



Applications for the Forest Expansion Scheme must be submitted to Forest Service by 12 pm Monday 30 September 2019 for the 2019/20 planting season.

The scheme is funded through the Rural Development Programme, part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and DAERA.



Ben Searle from Forest Service said: “The opening of this, the fifth phase of our Forest Expansion scheme, is good news for landowners and the environment. Our forests are a hugely valuable natural resource.

“Our goal is to expand tree cover in Northern Ireland and sustainably manage existing woods and forests. The Forest Expansion Scheme will help to support and cultivate new woodland creation.”

To date, the scheme has provided more than £2million of grant aid to create new woodlands.