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Wallace Encourages Farmers to add FEPS to their REPS

Noting the recent launch of REPS 4, Mary Wallace T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food with responsibility for Forestry, took the opportunity to remind farmers of the availability of the Forest Environment Protection Scheme.

Minister of State Wallace commented "REPS is now the lynch-pin in an integrated approach towards the enhancement of the rural environment and the promotion of real, sustainable rural development. Earlier this year I introduced a companion measure, FEPS - the Forest Environment Protection Scheme - which is targeted directly at REPS farmers. FEPS is designed to encourage the establishment of high-nature-value woodlands on REPS farms, a new type of forestry which combines a high environmental contribution with strong economic potential. I would encourage REPS farmers to examine the opportunities which forestry now presents and factor this into their farm-plan going forward".

The Minister of State added that she was encouraged by the take-up of FEPS to date. She advised "FEPS was introduced on a pilot basis and, in line with the commitment in the Programme for Government, I now plan a full roll-out of the Scheme. I believe FEPS will become an integral part of the forestry programme in the years ahead."

Full details of the terms and conditions of the FEPS scheme, including an application form, are available on the Forest Service section of the Department's website at www.agriculture.gov.ie or by contacting the Forest Service, Department of Agriculture and Food, Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford, LoCall 1890 200 223. Information may also be obtained from Teagasc offices and from approved Forestry companies and consultants.

19 August, 2007

Date Released: 19 August 2007