Fianna Fáil Senator Erin McGreehan has welcomed the announcement of ‘Project Woodland’, an initiative to tackle issues in forestry in Ireland and drive forward the planting of trees.
Project Woodland is being established by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and it involves four different workstreams working to her through a Project Manager and Project Board.
The project Board will be chaired by the Secretary General, Brendan Gleeson.
Senator McGreehan commented: “I very much welcome this - forestry had been completely ignored by previous governments and it has got to a point where there is a huge backlog of applications.
"It is so bad that the timber supply that is necessary for our construction industry is being put in question.
“Forestry is an important industry in this country and the bureaucratic mess that has been created I hope now with ‘Project Woodland’ that it will be streamlined.
"The process should not be that bureaucratic or lengthy.
"I know that many farmers are waiting for years for applications to be approved or not.”
The Louth Senator added: “I am a huge advocate for planting and protecting native trees and there should be an incentive to plant trees on farms, to actively put in place a proper hedgerow management plan in the new agri-environmental scheme.
“Micro woodlands should also be encouraged, and farmers should be encouraged to plant micro woodlands in areas of their farms that maybe suitable. Trees can assist with flooding, provide shelter and of course a haven for our native biodiversity.”