Submissions made about 40% of Leitrim forestry applications

Forty percent of all forestry applications in Leitrim have resulted in submissions being made about them.

The figures are contained in a new report published which examines the process for approving afforestation proposals and the linked issues for other forestry-related operations.

This report was commissioned in order to examine ways in which the forestry appeals system could be improved.

It reveals that the average size of an afforestation application over the last 10 years has been consistent at around 8 hectares but there has been a large spike in the number of appeals lodged in recent years. .

The number of appeals has risen sharply from 35 in 2017 to just under 200 in 2018 and to 250 in the first 7 months of 2019.

One individual made 72 submissions on afforestation licenses in 2018; the figure rose to 403 at the end of September 2019.

Leitrim County accounts for 15% of appeals, while one individual appealed nearly 20% of decisions.

The report claims there is a lot of difficulties facing the government in promoting more forestry in Ireland including both at an administrative as well as technical level.

It suggests the preparation of an overall Forestry Strategy for Ireland and reviews education and training of forestry professionals.]