The Woodland Environmental Fund adds An Post

Oct. 12, 2019

More and more commentary on the condition of our planet focuses on the maintenance and introduction of forestry to the ecosystem. The Woodland Environmental Fund, as launched by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) seeks to attract businesses to further support the establishment of Native Woodland across Ireland. The DAFM has published a video to explain it in more detail (keep an eye for the Green Belt signs at the end)

Green Belt has been working with NCP and DAFM to support this extraordinary initiative. In the video attached to this article, we can see a Green Belt client, Maurice McWalters, whose forest was selected as the first forest supported by An Post in the Post ECO campaign. The positivity and wide ranging benefits to this support and the native woodland scheme are really wonderful and in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The process to become involved is quite straightforward. Once a farmer/ landowner chooses to pursue the Native Woodland establishment route, they have the option to access the WEF. Via a Natural Capital Facilitator ( Green Belt has worked with Tom Popple of Natural Capital Partners on numerous sites), the forest can be linked to a company interested in being associated with a native woodland forest across Ireland.

The company makes a one off, per hectare payment to the forest owner and the forest owner benefits from the establishment grant, to cover the set up costs of the forest, and also a 15 year premium paid annually.

Native woodlands are a fabulous amenity to enjoy with your family, but they also help improve water quality, increase and enhance habitats and landscapes and also capture Carbon. This is all very much in line with our environmental policy and Ireland's drive to reduce carbon emissions nationally and sustainably.

John O'Reily, Group CEO, speaks fondly of the WEF, stating "with initiatives such as the Woodland Environmental Fund, the process to establish native woodlands is enhanced with environmental, social, governance and of course, economic gains. We see the advent of this in the industry as hugely important and significant and have been encouraging such establishment for a long time. It is wonderful to have An Post on board as such a significant partner and we encourage more and more like minded businesses to follow suit."