The Donegal Green Party has welcomed a new scheme to fund the creation of native woodland on public land across Ireland.
The scheme invites public bodies to plant forests on suitable land to improve biodiversity, with the costs covered by the government. Plans were announced today by Minister of State for Forestry, Senator Pippa Hackett, along with Dara Calleary, Minister for Agriculture.
The development of native woodlands aligns well with the Green Party’s campaign for a large band of forestry in Donegal.
The initiative aims to explore the possibility of having a continuous line of native woodland – named Sli Iora Rua (The Red Squirrel Way) – from the top of the county to the bottom to preserve biodiversity right through Donegal. The plan was first raised by Donegal Green Party Chairman Michael White in the 2020 General Election.
“The new native woodland scheme has the potential to benefit this initiative, as it does for all parts of the country,” said White.
“I am hopeful that public bodies in Donegal will avail of this new scheme to create native woodlands on their land. The biodiversity crisis is getting worse and worse by the day, and Donegal is no exception to this. It is up to us to ensure that inhabitants of our native woodlands are accommodated, and this new scheme provides the opportunity for public bodies to contribute to that conservation effort.”
The scheme was approved by the Government at the end of last month and will commence with a landbank analysis by all public bodies to assess whether they have land suitable for planting. It will be funded by the Minister’s Department which will cover the cost of establishing such forests on suitable land in public ownership.
Minister Hackett said: “Native woodlands are an important part of Ireland’s natural heritage, history and culture, and are unique in terms of their biodiversity and habitat creation. This scheme demonstrates this Government’s commitment to improving biodiversity while also putting in place permanent woodland that will capture carbon, can protect water, and will add to our landscapes for many years into the future.”Tags: