Afforestation Programme

Part of Ministerial Statements – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 1:00 pm on 2nd March 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP 1:00 pm, 2nd March 2020

I certainly think that, particularly for the small plantings that local farmers do, you would give them support only in instances where it is broadleaf species as opposed to commercial species. We have a very successful commercial arm in our Department that grows trees that are harvested and replanted. That still has significant benefits, but nonetheless we want to increase the amount of broadleaf trees that are being planted. Much of the work that we will do with, for example, local authorities and private landowners will be very much based on broadleaf trees.

The Member mentioned sustainability. There are some soils that we will not want to plant on. The more peat-based soils already have a lot of carbon sequestration. Consequently, we do not want to plant trees on that, because it could have less sequestration in that instance. We need to plant trees in the appropriate soils to ensure the sustainability that the Member referred to.