Galway Bay fm newsroom:
755 Galway farmers received over 3 million euro in forest premium payments last year, with a further 1.2 million euro due to be paid in the coming months.
That’s according to a new annual forestry review from the Department of Agriculture.
The Forest Premium scheme encourages farmers to plant forestry by covering the initial planting cost and subsidising maintenance of the trees for up to 15 years.
Almost 10 per cent of all land in County Galway is currently under forest cover.
The 60,605 hectares of forestry generated over 3 million euro in forest premium payments and almost 2 million euro in timber sales in 2017.
400 hectares of forestry was planted in 2017 in Galway, with 23 per cent of that consisting of broadleaf trees.
It’s estimated that the forestry sector in Galway employs approximately 950 people.
Nationally, almost 100 million euro in income was generated from forest premium payments and timber sales in 2017.
It’s estimated that forest cover in Ireland is at its highest level in 350 years and covers 11 per cent of the total land area of Ireland.