The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has published the terms of reference for a study into the effects of forestry plantation in County Leitrim.
The study will be led by Dr. Aine Ni Dhubhain and Dr. Julie Ballweg of UCD, both of whom have met with Andrew Doyle, Minister of State at the department with responsibility for forestry, to discuss future plans for the study.
The terms of reference, as published by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine are as follows:
- To assess the social impacts of forestry in County Leitrim, including the attitudes of people living there; this assessment will be based on consultations locally with farmers, non-farmers and other interested parties;
- To assess the economic impact of forestry for County Leitrim, including total employment supported by the sector;
- To assess the impact of on-farm incomes relative to other types of farming;
- To consider the non-timber outputs of forestry in County Leitrim;
- To assess the current state of environmental regulation of forestry in County Leitrim.
According to a statement from the department, the study will cover the entirety of County Leitrim, and will assess the attitudes of people to forestry in the county, which is the most heavily afforested in Ireland in terms of proportional area.
The statement added that public consultations will be a significant aspect of the study, and Dr. Ni Dhubhain will announce further details on how that process will be conducted in the near future.
Leitrim County Council has already been involved in seeking input to its policy on forestry plantation, you can find out more information about what that process included on the Leitrim PPN website HERE, and Leitrim PPN will keep you up to date on information about public consultations regarding the study announced by the department on this website and our Facebook page HERE