New hen har­rier scheme will back­fire

Irish Independent - Farming - - FINANCE - CLAIRE FOX

IR­ISH Farm­ers with Des­ig­nated Land Group (IFDL) have warned that “in­ad­e­qua­cies” in the new hen har­rier scheme will mean there will be a re­newed de­mand for af­foresta­tion.

IFDL chair Ja­son Fitzger­ald said the new scheme was meant to give farm­ers an in­come that is an al­ter­na­tive to plant­ing the land with trees but feels that its short­falls will mean it will only lead to an in­creased de­mand for af- foresta­tion. “The back­ground of this scheme was to ad­dress the short­com­ings of GLAS. It is far short of what we were promised. It will in­crease the in­ten­sity and ap­petite for forestry,” he said.

Mr Fitzger­ald added that €510 per hectare for 15 years as op­posed to €48-€75 per hectare in the habi­tat scheme would in­ten­sify de­mand for forestry and said he has con­tacted Min­is­ter Michael Creed and TDs in the af­fected ar­eas about the is­sue.

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