The forestry licencing issue continues to dominate the forestry industry. Inaction, excuses and the favouring of Coillte ahead of the private estate are just some of the issues that are affecting the industry.

As we are hearing increasing reports of the great need to address our Carbon emissions, forestry and woodland creation is consistently spoken of as one of the most effective tools to address our climate targets.

The recent IPCC report states it clearly as does the intention from the EU in its latest CAP reforms. Ireland, and those in government, has often spoken about the planting of 8,000 hectares per annum. The planting rates for the last decade are in significant decline and a very long way from that figure.

Forestry in Ireland has the potential to provide much needed biodiversity gains, capture and store carbon in soil and long term products, and to assist the country in offsetting its emissions in the construction industry and agriculture.

The disregard of forestry in general agriculture and discussions around CAP is disgraceful at best and a shameful reflection on the task undertaken by current ministers and those in seats of influence.

The value to Ireland from the forestry sector is enormous and goes much further than simply grants and premiums. The timber frame housing market has massive potential, the Carbon trading market is increasing in value all the time and the amenity aspect of forestry and woodland creation has attracted record numbers of visitors in the last 2 years.

Growing and mobilising indigenous timber reduces our imports of both timber and fossil fuels and provides an alternative to fossil fuels, helping Irelands energy crisis.

It is now time for change – and real change. We are all part of this change and it needs your voice behind it. Contact your local politician, councillor, representative and make the voice of the private landowner heard.

On a positive note, Green Belt has strengthened our team of foresters across the country with David Mortimer joining in the South East (086-8356095), Daniel Collins in the South West (087-9678779) and Ronan Gallagher in the North West (087-7512125).

Contact any of our professional foresters to discuss planting of forestry, management plans for your forest or the harvesting of your timber. Check out the website at