Native Woodland Establishment

Native Woodland Establishment – Ecoplan Forestry


Ecoplan Forestry specialise in Native Woodland Establishment and woodland planting. We suit ‘species to site’ and will advise on how best to achieve your vision. The Forest Service Afforestation planting grant is designed to generally cover all establishment costs, except in exceptional circumstances. Also, native woodland creation provides the highest level of premium available, and an annual premium is payable on planted land for a period of up to 20 years.

Native Woodland Establishment Infographic

Download Infographic Here


Ireland was left with very few native tree species following the last Ice Age and a drastically changing climate. Throughout history, Ireland suffered a near-total destruction of its woodlands primarily due to human activity and a deterioration of the climate: initial forest cover was close to around 80%, but it dropped until there was just 1% left..

Native Woodland Afforestation

Native Woodland Afforestation

Ireland today has one of the lowest forest cover percentages of any EU country – roughly 11% in stark contrast to the European average of well in excess of 40%. The ambitious, possibly unrealistic, Irish government policy is to bring the national forest cover to 18%. The vast majority of these new forests are exotic, commercial conifer species which make up about 71%.


Woodland Planting

Woodland Planting


Broadleaves are 29% of new planting, but that figure hides the fact that most broadleaves are planted as a biodiversity componenet of conifer plantations – usually in small groups, or along edges, which have relatively little benefit for the environment.


An Afforestation Licence is required for all new planting projects where the area involved is greater than 0.10 hectares (approximately 0.25 acres). Grant rates vary depending on the type of woodland planted, and this is generally linked to site type – drainage, elevation, and exposure in particular. Grants of up to €6,744 are available for the establishment (including fencing) and maintenance of plantations. However, any native woodland establishment receives a premium of €1,103 per hecatre per year, for up to 20 years.


Top 10 Benefits of the Native Woodland Establishment Scheme

The Irish Native Woodland Establishment Scheme (INWES) is a program that encourages and supports the establishment of native woodlands in Ireland. Here are the top 10 benefits of participating in the INWES:

  1. Biodiversity Conservation: Native woodlands provide crucial habitats for a wide range of native plant and animal species, helping to protect and enhance Ireland’s biodiversity.
  2. Climate Change Mitigation: Native woodlands act as carbon sinks, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
  3. Soil Stabilization: Woodland trees and vegetation help prevent soil erosion and promote soil stability, protecting against land degradation and improving water quality.
  4. Natural Flood Management: Woodlands play a vital role in regulating water flow and reducing the risk of flooding by intercepting and storing rainfall, allowing it to be released slowly into rivers and streams.
  5. Improved Air Quality: Trees absorb pollutants and release oxygen, leading to improved air quality in surrounding areas and contributing to the overall well-being of both humans and wildlife.
  6. Aesthetic Value: Native woodlands enhance the visual appeal of the landscape, providing scenic beauty and recreational opportunities for people to enjoy.
  7. Economic Benefits: Woodlands can provide economic benefits through sustainable timber production, ecotourism, and the creation of green jobs in forestry and related industries.
  8. Cultural Heritage: Native woodlands are an important part of Ireland’s cultural heritage, often associated with folklore, traditional land use, and historical sites.
  9. Wildlife Habitat Creation: By establishing native woodlands, you create valuable habitats for a diverse array of wildlife, including birds, mammals, insects, and fungi.
  10. Educational Opportunities: Woodlands offer excellent educational resources, allowing schools, colleges, and community groups to learn about ecology, forestry, and the natural environment.

These benefits collectively contribute to the ecological, social, and economic well-being of Ireland, making the Irish Native Woodland Establishment Scheme a valuable initiative for sustainable land management and conservation.


Ecoplan Forestry will visit your proposed planting site, assess its suitability and eligibility, and provide you with a document explaining your options. There is no obligation to proceed with planting. Applications can be designed and tailored to suit most conditions or situations.





If you are unsure of your sites potential, if it is in a designated area (SAC, SPA, NHA, pNHA), or if it has been refused before, your best option is to get professional advice from the specialists in this area, and know for sure.

If you want to ecoplant, choose Ecoplan. For more information, and to be certain of your options, please go to the Contacts page.


If you already have an existing Native Woodland, it may be eligible for the Native Woodland Conservation Scheme. Please see our page for more information on Native Woodland Management

Ecoplan Forestry specialises in Native Woodlands – Native Woodland Management, Establishment, and Consultancy. For more information, please contact us.



See our  Forest Management Services  page for what else Ecoplan can do for you.

And visit About Us to learn more about Ecoplan Forestry




The Forestry Licence Viewer is an online tool that provides information on forestry licence applications. The Viewer allows the user to search by application reference number; select an application from the recent applications list; or, to simply zoom in on a site.

Submissions received on forestry licence applications will be uploaded to the viewer as they are received and processed. Documentation will be made available for applications received from 11th January, 2021, when they are opened for public consultation.

An additional tab will become available when a site is selected, where the user will be presented with the available documents, which can be opened to read. Further documents will appear when the application is decided, which is when the full suite of assessment and other documents become available.

You can use the Departments free Forestry Licence Viewer tool Here


You can read all about the Schemes small print on the Department of Agriculture / Forest Service Website

Contact Details

Ecoplan Forestry Limited
18 Cluain Rhaine,
Co. Offaly


 087 930 2922

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