€79m Allocated Under New Ash Dieback Action Plan

May 5, 2024 | Climate Change, Farm Viability

The Irish Government has approved the Ash Dieback Action Plan drawn up by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) to provide additional supports for farmers with forestry plantations impacted by ash dieback disease.

Under the Action Plan, an additional €79.5 million of funding will be allocated to pay a new Climate Action Performance Payment of €5,000 per hectare to impacted ash plantation owners who have fully engaged with DAFM reconstitution schemes. This brings the overall package available to ash plantation owners to in excess of €230 million.

A number of elements to the financial support will be of interest to farmers whose plantations are affected by ash dieback:

  • The site clearance grant rate, will significantly increase 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
  • 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 seven 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 per hectare
  • The new financial component of today’s Action Plan – a Climate Action Performance Payment (CAPP) is €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 new Ash Dieback Action Plan has been hailed as a welcome and definitive response to the crisis facing ash plantation owners.

The Action Plan is available on the department’s website here.

The Reconstitution Scheme for Ash Dieback, under the new 2023-2027 National Forestry Programme is available here. gov – Reconstitution and Underplanting Scheme (Ash Dieback) (www.gov.ie)

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Image source: ashdieback.ie

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