The Native Woodland Conservation Scheme enhances the protection of Ireland’s native woodlands and biodiversity. It supports the restoration of existing native woodlands and the conversion of existing non-native forests to native woodland.
How to qualify
You must be over 18 years of age and must hold a Personal Public Service Number to apply. Companies must provide their company registration details. You must be the owner, leaseholder or joint manager of the land at the time of the application. Read the terms of the scheme
to see the limited exemptions to this rule.
Conservation projects must satisfy specific criteria designed to target available funds on priority sites, for example by protecting sensitive watercourses or linking habitats.
There are three funding categories:
private high forest
private emergent woodland
The categories ‘private high forest’ and ‘public woodland’ can include existing high forest woodland native in tree composition but in need of restoration work. It can also include existing high forest comprising non-native conifer species, where clear-felling and conversion to native woodland is proposed.
Conservation projects typically involve steps such as these:
removal of individual or groups of non-native trees, removal of invasive exotics, protection against deer or livestock
conversion of existing conifer forest to native woodland
protective fencing, removal of non-native trees and invasive exotics, and respacing
Rates of payment
Grants are paid for approved restoration works. There is also a 7-year annual premium payment for private applicants. The rates are as follows: