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Kerry sees decline in forestry planting

Jul 8, 2021 13:07 By radiokerrynews
Kerry sees decline in forestry planting Kerry sees decline in forestry planting
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Kerry had the second highest amount of land covered by forestry last year.

However, figures from the Department of Agriculture show there’s been a steady decline in afforestation rates in the county in recent years.

The forestry sector is currently in crisis with a severe backlog in the issuing of licences for felling trees, which is impacting on confidence in the industry.

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Between 1980 and 2020, there were 2,181 forestry owners in Kerry, some of whom may have planted again in the following years; that’s the second highest figure in Ireland after Cork.

Last year, Cork had the highest afforestation area (293ha) followed by Kerry at 289 hectares; this was all in private ownership.

In Kerry, that area is made up of 174 hectares of conifer and 115 hectares of broadleaf species.

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However, the planting of forestry in Kerry has been in decline every year since 2014; when 574 hectares was planted.

In 2020, planting in Kerry was carried out mainly by non-farmers; five farmers planted 20 hectares and 39 non-farmers planted nearly 269 hectares.

The number of farmers planting forestry has fallen in Kerry over the past five years from 51 in 2016 to 5 last year.

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