Irish forestry - an investment for prosperity.

  • Niall OCarrol Department of Forestry, University College Dublin.
Keywords: Economics, industry, afforestation, investment, policy, land use.


Following centuries of deforestation, the eighteenth century saw the first move towards re-afforestation. This involved the earliest known state planting grant scheme, which was administered by a private organisation. The Land Acts from 1881, transferring land ownership from landlord to tenant, led to a further phase of deforestation. The current afforestation programme was begun in 1919. Planting was slow until the late 1940s, when the Government set an annual planting target of approximately 10,000 ha. That was reached in 1959, but after 1964 there followed a gradual decline until funds from Brussels in the 1980s triggered an accelerating rate of planting, both state and private, in the 1980s and '90s. It exceeded 23,000 ha in 1995. The expansion of planting in the 1950s is currently reflected in increasing harvest volumes. State investment in forestry, adjusted for inflation, was initially directly proportional to the planting programme but continued to increase up to the 1980s. The position since the establishment of Coillte Teoranta in 1989 has not been examined. Published valuations of the state forests vary within the range £600-£1,100 million.
How to Cite
OCarrol, N. (1997). Irish forestry - an investment for prosperity. Irish Forestry. Retrieved from
Conference Papers