Native woodlands are an important part of Ireland’s natural heritage, history and culture, and are unique in terms of their biodiversity.
They are home to specialised woodland animals, birds, insects and plants, including red squirrel, pine marten, great spotted woodpecker, narrow-leaved helleborine and wood millet, to name but a few.
They provide numerous ecosystem services, including the protection and enhancement of water quality, wider habitat linkage, landscape enhancement, opportunities for outdoor recreation and interpretation, and carbon capture.
The objective of the Woodland Environmental Fund (WEF) is to facilitate the planting of more native woodlands within Ireland in light of their proven environmental benefits.
In doing so, the fund offers an opportunity for businesses to partner with Government and private landowners in creating these diverse woodland habitats.
With some native species such as oak growing for over 100 years these forests will become a long lasting feature of the landscape adding colour and diversity to an area that can be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.
WEF funding is a once off single payment of €1,000/hectare to the landowner, following the Form 2 payment and will be a top up to premiums paid by the Department as part of the Native Woodland component of the Department’s Afforestation scheme
This process is handled by registered Natural Capital Facilitators. Forestry Services are registered Natural Capital Facilitators for the Woodland environmental Fund