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Ireland's demand for biomass is growing and will exceed 2 million m3 by 2020. This is a demand we are currently unable to meet. Therefore, alternative biomass solutions are necessary. There has been the introduction of incentives by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to promote the planting of specific clones under the wood for fibre scheme. This will have the benefit of a grant to part cover establisshment costs as well as an annual premium. The terms of the 1946 forestry act then apply to this style of planting - a felling licence is required, the land must remain in forestry and there is a restiction of cutting the timber before it is 10 years old.

Alternatively, it can be planted as a farm crop without grants or premiums but also without any restrictions to rotation length.

Green Belt has been actively researching and planting Poplar as a SRC (short rotation coppice) crop across the country and we have seen amazing results in growth and yields.

We are looking to increase the volume of Poplar planted nationally. There are a number of options - either leaase your land and receive an annual payment guaranteed for 15 years (the duration of the rotations) or plant your own lands.

Call us to find out more and see how it can offer you excellent returns on your land.

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There is a significant shortage of biomass material in Ireland

Tuesday, 11 March 2014 23:00

Forestry Investment Opportunities

Written by
Natural investment characteristics of timberland
 Green Belt is Ireland's largest private group, established in 1982. Our expertise lies within our employees and professional foresters located across the country, all supported by our technical support team from Virginia, County Cavan.
Green Belt can provide a full service solution for investment clients. These clients range from large institutions, including Dasos, family trusts, pension funds and private individuals. Green Belt works directly with each clients, providing a bespoke management service.
For semi mature forestry, it can be difficault to accurately assess the forest in totality pre thinning. By utilising drone technology, we can stratify the forest and focus our inspection paths and routes for detailed measurement. This data will be gathered and processed to deliver up to date information and allow accurate projections for timber harvesting and revenues.
Similarly, greeen land offers attractive returns. There is a grant which coveres establishment of the forestry and a premium payable annually for 15 years, to all qualified applicants.
Timber earnings are tax free* and represent a great hedge versus inflation as well as something tangible, secure and growing, even in the worst financial climates.

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 greenbelt-investment-united-kingdomUnited Kingdom
Green Belt Ltd has proven its ability to build a pipeline of investment opportunities in timberland and related activities. A key differentiator of the Green Belt model is that it identifies off market land and timberland investment opportunities.
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Central America
Green Belt has brought an international dimension to forestry investment with the establishment of high-value tropical hardwood plantations in Panama, since 2005. Investors have the opportunity to buy shares in special-purpose companies designed to purchase and establish these teak plantations.

Further opportunities globally are being explored. Sign up for the newsletter and we will keep you updated on any new developments.

This investment has now closed.


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blubelInvestment in forestry is not a new trend.

However, in the last 10-15 years the role of timberland in enhancing an investment portfolio has been increasingly recognised. Forest investment has a number of general characteristics.

  • Strong returns: Low risk to return ratio;
  • Generally a negative correlation to stock market indices;
  • Biological growth is not impacted by economic factors;
  • Traditional risks can be avoided through professional forest management;
  • A source of value creation.

There are a number of sources of returns from timberland investment:

  • Biological growth – the seasonal growth increments add greater timber inventories each year and are unaffected by external factors.
  • Biological growth will account for about 60% of value adding, if an appropriate acquisition discipline and management regime is followed.
  • Ingrowth – as trees mature they add greater girth and product upgrade adds value.
  • Small trees produce low value pulp, larger trees produce more valuable sawlog – typically sawlog trades at 3-5 times the price of pulpwood per unit volume.
  • Timber price inflation – over the last 60 years general timber prices have risen at 1.5% above inflation.
  • Land price appreciation – the principal method of forest valuation is discounted cash flow (DCF). Therefore, as timber prices rise ahead of input costs, the net DCF, and the land value, increases.
  • Professional Management and Marketing – professional forest management can increase the value adding potential of each of the above factors. Initial site selection, species/provenence/seed selection, selection of silvicultural regime, thinning intensity and timing, genetic enhancement, fertilisation, timing of clearfell, certification under Forest Stewardship Council procedures are all part of a comprehensive forest management package that is essential to maximise returns.

"With over 30 years forest management experience and with over 300,000 acres under active management, Green Belt Ltd. is Ireland's largest private Forest management company"

For more information on Green Belt’s attractive Timberland Investment opportunities, contact Green Belt here - or by telephone at 049 - 854 8000 

Green Belt is Ireland's largest private forestry group and as such, offers opportunities to those interested in either becoming involved or expanding their involvement in forestry. Below we have highlighted some options to consider. Further information is available on all Green Belt's services:

  1. Afforestation;
  2. Forestry Management;
  3. Timber harvesting;
  4. Irish Forestry Investment;
  5. Panama Teak investment


Reasons to invest into Irish Forestry with Green Belt

icon-capital-growthTax Free Capital Growth
Your forest will appreciate in value annually tax free. By the time the forest reaches 15 years maturity your thinnings will be ready for use as fencing stakes, pulp or woodchip. From year 15 onwards the thinnings become more valuable and the uses for your timber become more variable as your trees mature. A well-managed crop of Sitka Spruce should be ready for clearfell after 30-35 years, depending on the site, and at today's prices should yield a return of over €8,000 per acre (excluding the land) at clearfell.

icon-tax-free-incomeAnnual Tax Free Income
Farm forestry will generate a tax free income which is paid annually. The premium rates will depend on the species planted and classification of land. This annual tax free premium is payable for a period of 15 years and is based on the species planted. the majority of commercial forestry in Ireland receives €510 per hectare for 15 years.

icon-grants-schemesGenerous Grants Mean No Capital Investment
When you decide to plant your land; there is a grant to cover the planting costs. In nearly all cases it is sufficient to cover everything from planting to establishment to fencing. This means you are acquiring a substantial asset without the need for a personal capital investment. As the forestry earns continually throughout its life, there is no opportunity cost with establishing a plantation. For many it is an ideal earner, with a generous pay-out at clearfell.

How Much Could You Earn?

Who are we? Why invest with Green Belt?

green-belt-30th-logoGreen Belt Ltd is Ireland's largest private forestry company - Green Belt was established in 1982 since then it has seen substantial growth and currently ranks as the largest and most progressive private forestry company in this country - managing in excess of 400,000 planted acres.

Green Belt manages forestry plantations for large institutions, pension funds and private wealth. Over the last 4 years, Green Belt has managed investment placement of €23 million into planting lands and semi mature forestry across Ireland.
As part of your investment, Green Belt explores the potential for valorisation of the timber beyond ' traditional' markets. Our focus as investment managers is aligned with the investors and a solid communication foundation and reporting structure provides transparency and delivers excellent results.

Who to Contact

Maurice Ryan

Some facts about Green Belt you should know...

Green Belt Ltd is Irelands largest private forestry company

Green Belt was established in 1982 by Tim O’Brien and Mossie Ryan, both qualified and experienced foresters.

Since then it has seen substantial growth and currently ranks as the largest and most progressive private forestry company in this country - managing in excess of 320,000 planted acres. Included in our clients are all the main pension funds in Ireland as well as many corporate investors.


At establishment phase, Green Belt operates a 4 year management contract which is specifically designed for farmers. We will undertake to establish a forest for you, the farmer or investor, utilising the grant paid by the Forest Service. This contract relieves you of all the risks in establishing your plantation and leaves you free to concentrate on your main farming activities. In most circumstances the grant covers establishment costs. The premium is available for the forest owner for 15 years, at an average value of €206 per acre per annum.

As forest owner you always own the land and timber. Green Belt works with you to enhance the plantation and maximise the potential returns from your forestry. 

Our inital priority is to see the plantation through to year 4 establishment. From that point Green Belt would like to work with you through to maturity and manage your plantation to achieve the maximum return from your timber.

Semi Mature Forestry:

With many forests now having reached 20 years of age, there are no longer premiums available for these plantations (old schemes ran for 20 years). Many of these farmers are now considering selling on their assets and potentially reinvesting into new land to farm the premiums. As a result, there is ample opportunity to acquire high quality semi mature forestry plantations. The term to maturity is much reduced, thus the returns can be very attractive - in the region of 5% - 7% per annum, compounded. Green Belt source, negotiate and manage these plantations on your behalf. Annual reports and a detailed program of activity keep you informed of your investment. Many indigenous and international investors work with Green Belt to improve their portfolio. A long term proven track record and excellent reputation has made us the clear choice for forestry management in Ireland, the UK and Europe.

Call us today to discuss your future investment

Saturday, 17 September 2011 13:26

United Kingdom

Written by

Green Belt Ltd Differentiators

united-kingdomGreen Belt Ltd has proven its ability to build a pipeline of investment opportunities in timberland and related activities.  A key differentiator of the Green Belt model is that it identifies off market land and timberland investment opportunities.  Many competing organisations initially raise finance and then seek allocation opportunities.  Invariably the pressure on these funds to allocate the capital leads to errors being made and land being ‘bid up’ with a loss in potential uplift. 

Green Belt Ltd modus operandi is to establish a local network of contacts to secure suitable land and assets off-market.

Many timberland investment funds talk about emerging markets such as carbon credits and renewable energy.  Green Belt Ltd has committed resources to and built expert knowledge in all of these areas and is actively involved in commercial exploitation of these opportunities [Imperative Energy Ltd and StepGreen].  This enables Green Belt to optimise value adding opportunities without having to engage external consultants or agents.

The ability to identify investment opportunities with both excellent silvicultural fundamentals (soil quality, climatic conditions, aspect, slope, and nutrient availability) as well as investment fundamentals (political stability, proven markets, transport and industrial infrastructure, and availability of skilled and unskilled labour) is a key element of successful timberland investment. 

Green Belt Ltd has a proven track record in this regard and has the requisite skills to identify and evaluate opportunities on a global basis.

Green Belt value, purchase and manage forest plantations in the UK on behalf of Irish investors. If you would like to invest in forestry in the UK then please please contact John O Reilly here or Tel: +353 (0) 49 854 8000

Saturday, 17 September 2011 13:25

Panama Teak Investment

Written by

International Forestry Investment Opportunities with Green Belt

teakplantationGreen Belt has brought an international dimension to forestry investment with the establishment of high-value tropical hardwood plantations in Panama, since 2005.

Investors have the opportunity to buy shares in special-purpose companies designed to purchase and establish these teak plantations.

Green Belt manages 1,630 acres of teak in Panama, and has facilitated the investment of €5.3 million into tropical hardwoods.

“Our investment principle is to combine the production of high value tropical hardwood with low input costs, a secure land registry system and low risk to yield excellent returns”, John O'Reilly, Green Belt CEO.

Green Belt has previously established a very successful International timberland investment opportunity - raising €1.71 million in ’06.

These monies have funded the establishment and will continue to fund the management of 207 hectares of Teak in Panama.

The management activities are carried out through a subsidiary company,
Green Belt Panama S.A.

Panama investment is closed – keep an eye on the website for details of a new investment package coming soon.

Saturday, 17 September 2011 13:24

Forestry Investment in Ireland

Written by

Ireland has some very attractive growth rates in forestry making investment into this asset class very attractive based on the relatively quick returns available from such a stable commodity.

We have seen a consistent return from Irish forestry plantations from 5% - 7% dependent on a number of factors. with our national coverage, Green Belt always has attractive blocks available for sale or purchase. Please contact us for specific details, highlighting your budget and preferences for your investment. 

The options that are available to those looking to diversify their portfolio or looking to secure future pension stability are numerous and not mutually exclusive.

Green Land:
You can choose to invest into 'Green' land and plant from year one through to maturity. An average panting cycle can take 35 years. With a farmer premium your annual earnings average at €208 per acre for 15 years, or if you take all earnings over the lifetime of the plantation, €382 per acre after all costs (insurance, management and so on). Comparing this with the average price received for renting farmland and it's a very attractive proposition.

Farm the Premiums:
An alternative to this and something we are seeing more of recently is the 'farming of premiums'. This is where farmers plant land and realise the annual premiums for 15 years before selling the plantation to an investor. They reinvest their sale returns into new land and repeat the process. Again, the tax breaks and incentives are encouraging for such enterprises. Forestry sales do not incur Capital Gains Tax, nor do they incur Stamp Duty for the new owner. The land is subject to both, however, as the crop is now the most valuable lement the lands value is dramatically reduced. There is no CGT paid on agricultural land sales if the proceeds are reinvested into agriculture.

Semi Mature purchases:
Then there is the other option of purchasing a semi mature plantation – 20 years old for example. Thinning revenues of approximately €200 per acre can be achieved on the first of two thinnings. The duration for the investor to wait before clearfell is significantly reduced therefore returns are quicker and more generous – at least 6% per annum compounded.

Such investment patterns are emerging across numerous investment platforms – individuals, self administered pension funds, institutional investors and company pensions. The returns are consistent, generous and lucrative and there is a strong CSR element to it also. Further to those benefits, the tax treatment of timber and forestry as an asset is attractive. See our Tax Treatment Infographic.

green-belt-30th-logoWho are we? Why invest with green belt?

Green Belt have invested more than €28 million for farmers and investors into the above options since our incorporation in 1982. Our network of professional foresters located nationally are perfectly placed to source opportunities suitable for you and to manage your investment through to clearfell and beyond.

Your Forestry, Your Future. Enhanced by our Expertise.

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