Green Belt was established in 1982 to provide forestry management services to investment houses and pension funds. As time went on and the necessity arose for Ireland to increase its national forestry cover, Green Belt was instrumental in the development of the grant and premium schemes which have become the mainstay for all subsequent afforestation programmes.
First conceptualised by two forestry pioneers, Mossie Ryan and Tim O’Brien, Green Belt has since achieved and maintained its position as Ireland’s largest private forestry group. In its 35 years, Green Belt established 400,000 acres of private forestry across Ireland for more than 9,000 clients. Having successfully retained and nurtured strong working relationships with the vast majority of these clients, Green Belt has been entrusted with further planting and silvicultural service provision for the plantations. Management plans, thinning and harvesting operations and continuous evaluation through to clearfell has secured our position as the most trusted forestry management company in the country.
These relationships encouraged Green Belt to expand into alternative markets, seeking an investment providing solid, safe returns to our customers. In 2007 Green Belt acquired 1,800 hectares of land in Panama and established a teak plantation. The rotation term was 18 years, and this was the proposed term for investors. Through strategic management and a tactical market analysis, Green Belt successfully traded this plantation on behalf of its clients providing each investor with double figure returns after an 8 year term.
Green Belt continues to plant 40% of the new forestry established each year in Ireland as well as harvesting in excess of 150,000 tonnes of timber for Irish sawmills annually. We also provide 40,000 tonnes of biomass for semi state bodies to assist in their efforts to become more sustainable. Along with this, Green Belt continually seeks new investment opportunities for domestic and international clients and since 2014 has acquired €20 million of assets for investment clients across Ireland.
Today, the Green Belt team is 28 strong made up of 20 full time professional foresters and managers and a support staff based in the headquarters in Virginia, County Cavan. Seasonally, Green Belt employs almost 600 contract workers across Ireland.