Mary Wallace, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, announced the launch of the new Native Woodland Scheme and a programme of called NeighbourWood for the country’s forests.

She said: “The NeighbourWood Scheme is aimed at developing close-to-home woodland amenities for local people to visit and enjoy on a regular basis.

“I would encourage people to look for the opportunities to establish NeighbourWoods in their own areas and then bring a proposal to the Forest Service of my Department.”

Under the plans, funding will be provided to local authorities and other businesses to improve existing woodlands and to develop new areas.

The Native Woodland Scheme looks to stress the importance of our native woodlands, which the Minister described as being a key component of Ireland’s biodiversity.

“We are committed to securing a vibrant future for Ireland’s native woodland resource and I am delighted to be able to reopen this innovative scheme,” Ms Wallace said.

Recently, the Government revealed details about the largest ever woodland restoration project ever undertaken in Ireland.

James Cooper

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