EU approves €308m Irish forestry grant scheme

The Minister for Agriculture said he hoped to open the afforestation scheme for new applications in the coming weeks

The EU’s state aid approval process for the government’s new forestry programme has been dragging on for many months. Picture: Alex Ratson via Getty Images

The government’s new forestry grant scheme has been approved by the EU under state aid rules, clearing the way for the paused afforestation programme to restart.

Ireland’s previous forestry programme came to an end at the end of 2022, while the new 2022-2027 programme had not yet been approved by the EU. This led to a lacuna where new afforestation licences were reduced substantially, to the great frustration of farmers and landowners around the country.