Industry Updates

Industry Update - May 2021


DAFM releases Info on Planning Requirements for Ash Dieback Replanting Scheme

DAFM regularly releases 'updates' or Scheme Circulars for the forestry sector. These updates can be found in Forestry Grants and Premium Schemes 2014 - 2021 Circulars.

The most recent update to the Ash Dieback Replanting Scheme is 'Circular 05 of 2021 Ash Dieback and Planning Permission' which outlines a clarification from DAFM on the recently announced planning permission requirements.

Minister Hackett launches new book 'Wood as a Fuel'

The Minister of State in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, with responsibility for forestry, Senator Pippa Hackett, today launched a new publication called 'Wood as a Fuel'.

Wood as a Fuel by Pieter D. Kofman and Eugene Hendrick is a wide ranging, comprehensive publication covering all aspects of woodfuels, based on the latest information and evidence. Its five volumes describe the main woodfuels which are firewood, woodchip and wood pellets. Detailed information on raw material sources, seasoning, drying and production processes, transportation and quality issues are described for each of the fuels. Many examples of ways to improve product quality and efficiency are provided, designed to enable readers to produce and use high quality woodfuels.

Click HERE for full press release

This 'Wood as a Fuel' publication is also available through our Books section.

Bee Health on World Bee Day

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett visited the DAFM Bee Health laboratory today at the Backweston Campus in Co Kildare as part of the celebrations of World Bee Day today 20 May 2021. The Department provides a bee health service, free of charge, facilitating the early detection of pests and pathogens which is key to maintaining healthy stock of bees in Ireland.

DAFM’s Bee Health service also operates the Sentinel Apiary Programme along with volunteer beekeepers throughout Ireland. The aim of the programme is to ensure the early detection of three exotic pests, Small Hive beetle (SHB), Tropilaelaps spp. and the Asian Hornet.

For more information on Beekeeping and fact sheets on the Small Hive beetle Tropilaelaps spp. and the Asian Hornet, see 'Beekeeping and Honey'.

For information on the All Ireland Pollinator Plan, see

Industry Update - April 2021


Irish Timber Growers Association call for public's assistance

The Irish Timber Growers Association (ITGA) have called on the public to help prevent damaging forest fires by reporting immediately any land fires, even when small, to the fire brigade and relevant authorities. The speed of response is critical and often it is best not to assume that someone else will make that call. If in doubt call out the Fire Brigade and summon help.

Donal Whelan of the Irish Timber Growers Association has outlined that over the past 24 hours NASA's Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) has shown a number of real-time active fire locations in Ireland. With the current Met Éireann 'High' fire weather index indicator likely to reach 'Extreme' in the coming days, we must be particularly vigilant over the next few days and weeks and report land based fires to the fire brigade and relevant authorities.


In Ireland, this time of year is generally the highest fire risk season as ground vegetation is dead and dry following winter and many vegetation types have not yet greened up. Several hundred acres of forests and woodlands are destroyed by fire annually in Ireland which has a devastating impact on biodiversity and wildlife.

Forest fires also release massive amounts of smoke pollution and carbon into the atmosphere with significant implications for air quality and for those who suffer from respiratory illnesses. It also represents a significant personal economic loss to those farmers and landowners who have planted woodlands, seriously impacting on their personal income with knock on effects for local communities.

Donal Whelan of ITGA called for the public's assistance to help prevent forest fires and also to stop fires developing through vigilance particularly at this time of year and by calling out the Fire Brigade as soon as a fire is visible.

For further information, contact:
Donal Whelan, Technical Director, Irish Timber Growers Association
Tel: 087 2209422

See also our Forest Fire Prevention Page for information on reducing the risk of forest fire.

Industry Update - January 2021


Irish Timber Growers Association call for Carbon payments for landowners who plant trees

The Irish Timber Growers Association (ITGA) have called for a mechanism to facilitate Carbon payments for landowners who plant trees and are calling for a Forest Carbon Code to be established in Ireland supported by Government that will facilitate such a credible Voluntary Carbon Offsets scheme for tree planting.

The association have made the case that woodland creation and sustainable forest management should be a source of income for growers through their carbon storage capability. This possibility is a reality in the UK, through their Woodland Carbon Code which provides reassurance about the carbon savings that companies can achieve by being associated with woodland planting projects.

Donal Whelan of the Irish Timber Growers Association stated that, 'there is now a massive worldwide market for such Voluntary Carbon Offsets and Ireland will miss out on this opportunity if we don’t establish such a credible and verifiable Forest Carbon Code'.

For full details, see ITGA Press Release 'GROWERS AND CARBON PAYMENTS'.

For further information, contact:
Donal Whelan, Technical Director, Irish Timber Growers Association
Tel: 087 2209422

Industry Update - December 2020


 Forestry IE Insights Bordered


The FORESTRY.IE INSIGHTS 2020 series of webinars attracted large numbers of attendees and received excellent feedback. It is intended to continue the Webinars in 2021.

The FORESTRY.IE INSIGHTS series of 2020 webinars were hosted in association with the Irish Timber Growers Association and supported by the Irish Farmers Journal.

Timber sales and markets, forestry taxation and the value of your forest were just some of the topics that featured in the 2020 series of Webinars aimed at forest owners and the wider sector. The webinars featured experts in the fields of timber sales and sale agreements, forestry valuation and taxation, tree felling licence application and related procedures and processes.

Donal Whelan said that the series of Webinars would be continued next year and stated, 'the aim of the webinars is to provide practical information on forestry matters that arise at critical stages in a woodland's development'. He outlined that, 'the 2020 series was aimed at forest owners who were intending to thin, harvest and sell timber and who may be looking for general guidance on the major issues to be considered.'

All webinars were free of charge and FORESTRY.IE will keep forest owners and the wider sector informed of additional topics to be covered in 2021.

For more information, see the dedicated webpage


Minister Hackett launches 2021 ITGA Forestry & Timber Yearbook 

Minister with responsibility for Forestry at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett, launched the 2021 ITGA Forestry and Timber Yearbook. In welcoming the Yearbook publication, it’s 32nd edition, the Minister stated that, 'the Yearbook continues to reflect the importance of the sector, its economic and environmental significance and provides the sector with important reference material and is an ideal compendium of information for growers and the industry'.

The Irish Timber Growers Association (ITGA) Chairman, Brendan Lacey, thanked the Minister and said that, 'As a sector, forestry is ideally placed to form a core part of agriculture in Ireland, enhancing its sustainability through offsetting agricultural emissions, sequestering carbon and increasing biodiversity.' He outlined that the Yearbook highlights the many attributes of forestry including its economic, environmental and social importance through the articles and statistical information in the publication.

Copies of the 2021 Forestry & Yearbook can be purchased Online in our SHOP.

Minister Hackett launches 2021 Forestry & Timber Yearbook

Minister Hackett launches the 2021 ITGA Forestry & Timber Yearbook in Ticknock forest.
Pictured (from left to right) Pat Neville (Coillte, Sponsors of the Forestry Yearbook), Donal Whelan (ITGA), Donal Magner (Editor of the Forestry Yearbook), Senator Pippa Hackett, Minister of State for Forestry, Mechteld Schuller (ITGA) and Brendan Lacey (Chairman ITGA)

Full Press Release


Wood Awards Ireland 2020 Winners Announced

Wood Awards Ireland 2020 winners and commendations were recently announced as Ireland's architects, engineers, designers, wood workers and other practitioners specialising in wood entered a diverse range of projects. Major works in construction - small and large-scale - conservation, furniture, research and innovation impressed Ciaran O'Connor, State Architect and fellow judges in the field of architecture, engineering and design. See Newsletter featuring overall and category winners, and commended projects


Sustainable Development and Conservation of Forest Genetic Resources 2020-2030

The Coford Report Sustainable Development and Conservation of Forest Genetic Resources 2020-2030 was launched by Minister of State in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) with responsibility for forestry, Senator Pippa Hackett and is available from the Coford Website.


Forestry (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020

The Forestry (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020 commenced on 6th October 2020. This is an Act to provide for matters relating to forestry including, in relation to the Forestry Appeals Committee, reporting on the activities of the Committee, enabling the Committee to sit in divisions to determine appeals, procedures and arrangements for conduct of appeals by the Committee and the payment of fees to the Committee in respect of appeals; and for those purposes to amend the Agriculture Appeals Act 2001 ; to provide for the publication of information relating to applications for licences for felling, afforestation, forest road works or aerial fertilisation of forests; for those purposes to amend the Forestry Act 2014 ; and to provide for related matters.

Industry Update - May 2020



National Biodiversity Action Plan 2017 - 2021

Interim Review 2020

In Ireland, 85% of EU protected habitats are reported as being in unfavourable status with 46% demonstrating ongoing declines. The main drivers of this decline are agricultural practices which are negatively impacting over 70% of habitats, particularly ecologically unsuitable grazing, abandonment and pollution. Of particular note are declines in peatlands and grasslands, and some of the marine habitats.

There is decline of 14% reported for bee species. There has been a 2.6% decline in the number of surface waters assessed as being in satisfactory ecological health. Short term assessments also undertaken for breeding and a selection of wintering bird populations reported declines of 18% and 52% respectively. Ireland's 3rd National Biodiversity Action Plan 2017-2021 is an over-arching Government policy that is comprised of a suite of Objectives, Targets and Actions that aim to achieve Ireland's Vision for Biodiversity that "biodiversity and ecosystems in Ireland are conserved and restored, delivering benefits essential for all sectors of society and that Ireland contributes to efforts to halt the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystems in the EU and globally". Many positive actions for Biodiversity have been taken since 2017. There has been considerable increase in awareness of, engagement in and collaboration on biodiversity issues. Clearly, much more needs to be done to reverse the trends in biodiversity loss. Ireland needs to avail of all relevant national and EU funding streams critical for biodiversity conservation and ensure that we are maximising the full range of potential financing mechanisms (e.g. payments for ecosystem services, biodiversity offsets, restoration of carbon sinks, fiscal transfers, etc.), together with improved targeting of existing measures for biodiversity. Accessing funds through the next CAP and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) will be critical to biodiversity conservation. A transformational approach is also required to ensure our consumption patterns are truly sustainable and to safeguard biodiversity on this island.

Some areas within the current Plan that were highlighted in the report as needing more emphasis include, amongst others:

  • New farming models to aid the diversification of agriculture and appropriate reduction in intensification in some areas
  • The development of a National Green Infrastructure Strategy to include agricultural landscapes
  • Management Plans for protected habitats and species
  • Restoration plans for species in severe decline
  • Restructuring of legacy non-productive, badly-sited conifer plantations; especially on peatlands
  • Further expansion of native woodland to ensure functioning natural woodland across the landscape
  • The establishment of new frameworks for private sector investment and innovation
  • The integration of natural capital accounts into decision making
  • Invertebrate monitoring
  • An Invasive Species Strategy
  • Additional expertise across government to facilitate collaboration.

The above outline was taken from the Biodiversity Working Group (2020) Interim Review of the Implementation of the National Biodiversity Action Plan 2017 -2021.

For the full Report see Interim Review of the Implementation of the National Biodiversity Action Plan 2017 -2021



Seeing the wood in the forests

A timely new report *) from the European Forest Institute assesses how much wood we are likely to have now and in the future to support a transformational change, and explores the vast potential and implications for its uses.

We need to accelerate the transition from the existing global fossil and wasteful economy towards a renewable economy: a circular bioeconomy. If we are serious about mitigating climate change, we must find new ways to replace fossil and non-renewable raw materials, energy and products like concrete, steel, plastics or synthetic textiles with sustainable, renewable materials.

Wood is, in fact, the most versatile renewable material on earth and, from a sustainability and circular economy perspective, has a comparative advantage relative to other materials. Furthermore, forests, sustainable forest management and forest-based solutions can advance the bioeconomy while enhancing biodiversity and supporting wealth creation in rural and urban areas.

The European Forest Institute report considers the structural changes affecting the use of wood globally and the potential for innovation in forest-based product markets, from engineered wood products in the construction sector, pulp used for textiles, chemicals, bioplastics and energy, to the growing number of small niche markets, including cosmetics, food additives and pharmaceuticals. It explores the future demand for roundwood under business-as-usual scenarios and when contemplating trends which curb the use of wood while foreseeing increased demand for other forest bioproducts. Finally, it describes the need for investment in research to synthesise current knowledge and assess future environmental, economic, social and policy prospects, which will support a truly sustainable development of the circular bioeconomy.

Seeing the wood in the forests is published by the European Forest Institute in its new Knowledge to Action series, which aims to bring a wide range of research, projects and initiatives on forest-related issues closer to society. See Seeing the wood in the forests

*) Hetemäki, L., Palahí, M. and Nasi, R. 2020. Seeing the wood in the forests. Knowledge to Action 1, European Forest Institute.


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Useful Info

  • Articles in the Forestry Yearbook +

      The 2023 ITGA Forestry & Timber Yearbook The 2023 Forestry & Timber Yearbook has now been published. Copies are Read More
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Pests & Diseases

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    Ash Dieback disease is caused by the Chalara fraxinea fungus. The disease causes leaf loss and crown dieback in affected Read More
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