The Forest Service, who are part of the Department of Agriculture, provide funding for a range of Forestry Schemes. Funding is primarily directed towards the afforestation grant scheme and the Native Woodland Scheme. In 2014 additional schemes were added under the mid-term review. This document is available for download, see bottom of the page.
The grants available for the afforestation schemes generally cover all of the costs associated with the establishment and early management of a forest. The first instalment of the grant (75%) is payable after the planting stage and includes operations such as ground preparation, drainage, fencing and planting.
The Second Instalment (the remaining 25% of the grant) is paid four years after planting, once the trees have become fully established and are free-growing . This payment covers maintenance works that will often be required (e.g. vegetation management , the replacement of failures).
Farmers can Retain full single farm payments on planted land.
Income Tax-Free premium payable for 15 years
Afforestation grants cover full costs of planting, Free forest establishment
Landowner remains 100% owner of both the land and the crop
Attractive grants for forest roads, tending and thinning
Tax efficient regarding inheritance
Tax-Free status of timber sales
GRANTS AND PREMIUMS PAYABLE
The Grant and Premium rates payable are determined by the category of the planted lands together with the tree species, farm size and area planted. Land Categories and Grant & Premium Categories (GPCs) are defined in the scheme document located in the afforestation page.