Climate & Environment

Warning as Coillte seeks funds to buy up farmland for large-scale tree planting

Investors would be able to claim forestry grants in exchange for €2 billion backing for agency to reach 100,000-hectare target

Coillte publicly launched its new target of 100,000 hectares of new forestry last April but had not revealed how it planned to achieve it. Picture: Coillte

The state forestry agency is looking for international investment funds to buy thousands of hectares of farmland each year to plant new trees on.

Under the new arrangement, Coillte will source land, plant trees and manage the forests in return for a management fee. Investors will then be able to claim state forestry grants and EU single farm payments, which Coillte is banned from receiving.

The agency will target private investors who can provide up ...