Forest felling licence problems in Ireland continue to cause problems

18 March 2021

Reduced number of forest planting and felling licences are impacting the Irish forestry and sawmilling sector, according to a report in the Irish Examiner.

Impacts include job losses, farmers selling their plantations and contractors facing large bills.

According to the Examiner, only 2,700 forest planting, felling, or road licences were approved and issued in 2020, only about half the level generally accepted as necessary for the industry.

Concerns were raised by forestry sector representatives at a recent meeting with government-appointed officials.

One forestry business told the Examiner that some sawmills had reduced staff numbers and that small contractors had failed due to the timber shortage.

New environmental rules and regulations implemented by the EU have been highlighted as partly causing the problem.