Afforestation Programme

Part of Ministerial Statements – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 1:15 pm on 2nd March 2020.

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Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP 1:15 pm, 2nd March 2020

There are a number of schemes with the local farming community. The Forest Service has been constantly and steadily planting trees and seeking to acquire land to plant trees. Acquiring land is so expensive that it holds back the work that you can do on afforestation, so I am looking at a change of focus and at how we can identify pockets of unutilised land in a range of Departments other than DAERA to see how we can quickly get wins on afforestation. Some of those land portions could be substantial, particularly lands relating to Water Service. We need cooperation from all those organisations, and I trust that we will get it. We will continue to introduce schemes that will encourage and support the planting of forests.