By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Doyle announces series of nationwide events to promote funding for amenity woodlands

Andrew Doyle T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine (DAFM), today announced a series of nationwide events to promote his Department's NeighbourWoodScheme. This scheme provides funding for the establishment of neighbourwoods, which are “close-to-home” woodlands developed through local partnerships for recreational use by local communities.

The Minister said that “Those neighbourwood projects which we have established already have proved to be hugely successful and I would like to see more of these being developed across the country for local communities to enjoy.  The health benefits of spending time outdoors and connecting with nature and the changing seasons cannot be overstated. My Department is holding three NeighbourWood Scheme information events over the coming months to increase awareness of this scheme and to encourage community groups, local authorities and others to develop their very own projects.”

The NeighbourWood Scheme forms part of DAFM’s Forestry Programme 2014-2020 and provides funding for local communities, local authorities and others to develop these woodland amenities. A total budget of €1.75m is being made available by the Minister’s Department with the aim of establishing up to 20 neighbourwood projects by the end of 2020.

Neighbourwoods can also link in with wider walking and cycle trails, complement other visitor attractions, and provide the ideal 'outdoor classroom' for school children, and indeed everyone, to learn about our natural heritage and local history. Neighbourwoods can vary greatly in size and location, from forests in the countryside and on the outskirts of our villages, towns and cities, to woodlands in more built-up areas. The NeighbourWood Scheme is available to local authorities and private landowners working in partnership with local communities.

The Minister concluded “I would encourage all those who see potential for developing an amenity woodland in their area to come to one of these information events. They will get a chance to meet with community groups and foresters who have successfully completed their own local projects, and also to visit an existing initiative funded under the NeighbourWood Scheme. My Department will also be on hand to answer any questions on how to access the scheme. ”

Notes for Editor

The NeighbourWood Scheme information events are being held on:

  • Thursday 27th September 2018 in Balla Community Centre, Balla, Co. Mayo from 10 am and concluding at 2pm. This will include a visit to Balla Town Park Woodlands
  • Tuesday 16th October in Dunmore East, Co Waterford,
  • Thursday 15th November in Ballyseedy Woods near Tralee, Co. Kerry.

Further details can be found on the Department’s website at

https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/forestservice/grantsandpremiumschemes2015-2018/

The NeighbourWood Scheme comprises three separate elements:

  • NeighbourWood Establishment’ which provides funding towards the creation of new neighbourwoods on open ‘greenfield’ sites;
  • NeighbourWood Enhancement’ which provides funding towards the silvicultural enhancement and improvement of existingwoodlands which are proposed for development as neighbourwoods; and
  • NeighbourWood Facilities’ which provides funding towards the installation and/or upgrade of appropriate recreational facilities within woodland areas submitted under NBR Establishment or NBR Enhancement.

Grant Rates

The NeighbourWood Scheme, improved following the mid-term review of the Forestry Programme, offers funding of up to 85% of eligible costs (exclusive of VAT). The maximum available grant under each element – payable as a single instalment – is set out as follows:

  • NBR Establishment: €5,000 / ha (plus an additional fencing allowance, as under the Afforestation Scheme)
  • NBR Enhancement: €5,000 / ha
  • NBR Facilities: €3,800 / ha

Individual applications can comprise a combination of NBR Establishment and NBR Enhancement subject to a limit of 12 ha in total, along with NBR Facilities subject to a limit of 12 ha.

ENDS

Date Released: 24 September 2018