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Wallace moves to protect young forests from deer

Ms Mary Wallace TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food, with responsibility for forestry, today announced that she had set aside funding under the afforestation programme to help forest owners meet the cost of erecting fencing to protect young forest against damage by deer.

The Minister said that she recognised that the considerable growth of wild deer populations in certain areas was resulting in unacceptable levels of damage to new and existing woodlands."I am particularly anxious to protect the considerable investment which has been made in forests and in particular in broadleaves in recent years. We have made substantial progress on this front and I am anxious to protect this investment against the extensive damage which can be caused by deer", she said.

Minister Wallace announced her Department is prepared to fund a very generous 80% of the cost of erecting deer-fences in vulnerable areas. She urged owners of plantations which were at risk to assess their vulnerability immediately and consider what action might be taken.

The Minister of State indicated that full details of the grant assistance and the relevant application forms would be available within the next few days from the Approvals Section (Deer Fencing) of the Department's Forest Service in Johnstown Castle, Wexford @ Lo call 1890 200 223.

Concluding, Minister Wallace said that she hoped as many forest-owners as possible would use this opportunity to erect deer-fences over the next few months. She has also requested the Forest Service of her Department to review the situation before the end of the year with a view to considering what further action might be required.

21 July 2006

Date Released: 21 July 2006