Government sources have indicated that the 1.2 million native trees planted as part of the 2002 millennium project cannot be included in any sale of Coillte assets.
Of the 16 sites where the trees were planted, 12 are owned by Coillte, Thirteen of the sites accommodated the Household Tree Scheme of native trees planted for each household in Ireland.
“While a certificate was issued to each household in relation to the “Household Tree Scheme”, it did not confer legal ownership of the tree to that household,” says Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney.
“The context in which the trees were planted is that they would be part of a woodland community that would remain in place in perpetuity. People were invited to participate in the People’s Millennium Forests Project by visiting the forests and to enjoy the ever-changing natural environment of native woodland with its associated flora and wildlife.”
No decision on the possible sale of Coillte assets will be taken until an ongoing valuation of Coillte assets by the NTMA is completed. “The protection of the People’s Millennium Forests is one of the issues to be considered in the decision-making process in relation to the possible sale of Coillte assets,” said Mr Coveney.
The People’s Millennium Forests were planted with 1,267,610 oak, birch, ash, Scots pine, alder, hazel, cherry, rowan, and yew trees.
The biggest of these plantations are at Coill an Fhailtaigh, Co Kilkenny (22%).
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