THE National Strategic Plan for Forestry has a target to expand forestry to 17% of the land area with most new planting on farmer-owned land, according to Teagasc.
The national farm research body predicts that by 2018, there will be over 800,000 hectares of forest, or 12% of Ireland’s total land area. Over 50% will be privately owned and the contribution of the private sector to overall timber supply will be greatly increased.
Teagasc also predicts that the average forest parcel size will increase to ten hectares, that the number of forest owners will increase by 500 per year, reaching 18,000 by 2018.
Teagasc also predicts that private sector timber production (including energy wood), now at 200,000m3 per annum, has the potential to increase to one million m3 per annum by 2018.
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