While Ireland has a low level of forestry compared to most countries in Europe, the area under trees here has increased steadily, reaching 11% in 2012 (EPA, 2012). Forests absorb and store carbon, they are significant habitats for wildlife and they provide important amenity value to us.

Traditionally, farmers were reluctant to tie up their land in trees, but there are now a range of incentives to encourage them to do so. However, due to restrictions on the planting of unenclosed land imposed during 2011, much work needs to be done if we are to achieve the stated target of 17% land cover by 2030. The slow-down in annual planting can be seen in the graph below.

Annual planting 2000 - 2011.
Situation and outlook for forestry (Teagasc, 2012).

previousPrevious - Agriculture
Next - The Coastnext