Green Belt establishes diverse forestry across the country

Green Belt establishes diverse forestry across the country

To Plant A Forest - Afforestation

Ireland has attractive growth rates in forestry based on the relatively quick returns available from a stable commodity. Green Belt sees a consistent return from Irish forestry plantations from 5% - 7% dependent on a number of factors. [See our short explanatory video to learn more]

Green Belt operates a 4 year management contract specifically designed for farmers and landowners who wish to plant a new forest. This contract relieves the owner of all the risks in establishing the plantation. The forest is established by Green Belt utilising a grant paid by the Forest Service. The premium is available for the forest owner for 15 years, at an average value of €210 per acre per annum. Green Belt's initial priority is to see the new plantation through to Year 4. From that point on, Green Belt likes to work with owners, managing the plantation to achieve the maximum return from your timber.

Return on Investment

A full grant covers the establishment of a forestry plantation and the investor will receive a premium payable annually for 15 years. An average planting cycle for commercial conifers such as Sitka Spruce, can take 35 years. With the generous premium, annual earnings average at €520 per hectare (€210 per acre) for 15 years. Earnings from forestry qualifies for relief under the 'Occupation of Woodlands' tax structure. It is essential for Ireland to establish much more forestry than its current level. Today it stands at 11% with a target of 17% required for Ireland to offset some of the climate change conditions Ireland has committed to. Many believe that forestry is one of the strongest tools Ireland possesses to combat this change, particularly from a national perspective. The planting of hardwoods is another option. While the life cycle of a hardwood - in Ireland Oak is a typical species - it can be 200+ years to reach maturity. There are many wonderful benefits to the establishment of a broadleaf crop and the grants cover the establishment costs and the premiums are more generous, over 15 years. The long term future of Ireland's forestry and its carbon commitments can be vastly improved with the increase in a broad, diverse planting program nationally.

Farming the Premiums

Farming the Premiums is where farmers plant land and realise the annual premiums for 15 years before selling the plantation to an investor. Often, they reinvest their sale returns into new land and repeat the process.

Forestry sales do not incur Capital Gains Tax, nor do they incur Stamp Duty for the new owner.

Although the land itself is subject to both, because the crop is now the most valuable element, it is mutually beneficial to both parties (vendor and purchaser) that the land value is lower, thereby reducing the taxes involved. There is no CGT paid on agricultural land sales if the proceeds are reinvested into agriculture.

Panama Teak Investment

Green Belt’s investment objective is to acquire c.2,400 hectares of forestry land in Panama and to develop teak plantations over the next 5 years, targeting compounded returns of 7%-8% per annum. Find out more.

Forestry Acquisition Consolidation & Timber (FACT)

Green Belt’s FACT initiative will create clusters of semi-mature forestry in nationally strategic locations to service end markets including sawmills and biomass facilities. FACT will enhance the value of smaller forestry plantations under one owner while delivering tax free returns to investors. Find out more

Forestry Grants for New Planting

Forestry Establishment Grant & Premiums

Forestry establishment is covered by a full, exchequer backed grant. This is to encourage further planting nationally to increase the national cover from below 11% to 18%.

Find out more.

Native Woodland Scheme

Native Woodland Establishment (as represented by Grant & Premium Categories (GPCs) 9 and 10 under the Afforestation Grant & Premium Scheme)funds the establishment of new native woodland on open ‘greenfield’ sites.

Find out more.

PDF icon nativewoodlandestablishmentscheme.pdf


This measure will be targeted at silvopastoral agro-forestry systems which combine forestry and pasture. A stocking rate of 400 - 1000 trees per hectare (equal spacing) is acceptable and the minimum eligible plot size will be 0.50ha and tree-to-tree width of 20 metres.

Find out more.

Forestry for Fibre

This scheme is introduced to provide further supply to the biomass market. Species such as Poplar is promoted and is required to be grown for at least 10 years. Poplar enjoys 15 years of premiums at €510 per hectare.

Find out more.

Green Belt Services for New Forest Plantations

Forestry Management Plan

Green Belt has developed a Four Year Forestry Management Contract which is specifically designed for farmers. The company will undertake to establish a forest for the farmer utilising the grant paid by the Forest Service.

Read more about this service.
Site Preparation

Once the objectives of the new forest have been considered and species to be planted selected, it is time to begin the practical side of the site development.

Read more about this service.
Panama Teak Investment Panama Teak Investment

Green Belt is returning to Panama following a successful sale of its AUM in 2013. The target is to acquire over 5 years, plant and manage 2,400 hectares of Teak and seek an exit after 10 years. Returns are forecast as 7% - 8% compounded per annum.

Read more about this service.

After the initial ground preparation and site development it is possible to proceed with the planting of the site.

Read more about this service.

Get in touch with a Local Green Belt Advisor

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.