NeighbourWood Scheme

The NeighbourWood Scheme was launched by the Forest Service as a way to bring attractive close-to-home woodland amenities to communities across Ireland for public use and enjoyment. This scheme provides funding for the establishment of a NeighbourWood, the enhancement of pre-existing woodlands into a NeighbourWood and for the facilities within them.

These NeighbourWoods are an important asset to our communities as they provide space for open air learning, exercise, picnics and many other outdoor activities. The aim is to create an attractive woodland setting for people to enjoy. For this to be achieved, the involvement of a professional forester’s input is required.

The scheme is available to local authorities and private landowners, working in partnership with local communities. Although applications from other landowners may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The NeighbourWood Scheme offers funding of up to 85% of the eligible costs under the three separate elements:

  • NeighbourWood Establishment: €5,000/ha (plus additional fencing)
  • NeighbourWood Enhancement: €5,000/ha
  • NeighbourWood Facilities: €3,800/ha

Individual applications can include a combination of NeighbourWood Establishment and NeighbourWood Enhancement subject to a limit of 12ha in total, plus NeighbourWood Facilities subject to a limit of 12ha.

The input of a professional and registered forester is required to both complete the application form and to establish a NeighbourWood to its full potential. SWS Forestry have registered foresters located nationwide who can give a professional assessment of the site and advise on its suitability. Not only will we advise on what’s best for the site, but we will complete all paperwork and maps associated with the application.

We also have two in-house ecologists who can assist with the application and pre-screening report if the need arises.

Click here to view our team.

Source: “NeighbourWood Scheme, July 2017” – Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine

One of our registered foresters will submit all documents including application forms, maps and a NeighbourWood Plan which will start the three step process. When these are received, they will be;

  • Assessed to make sure the application is valid and complete.
  • A detailed assessment will be carried out.
  • A score will be applied to the application.

Only applications which score a minimum of 45 out of a maximum score of 70 will be eligible for approval.

Source: “NeighbourWood Scheme, July 2017” – Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine

Contact SWS Forestry on

1800 928 900

or and we can discuss the scheme with you in more detail and can assess your potential site(s) for suitability for the scheme.

  • Provides a place to learn about nature and the natural environment.
  • Provides a habitat for local flora and fauna.
  • Increases your communities’ aesthetic value.
  • Provides a route for walking your dog, power walking, jogging and countless other outdoor activities.
  • A huge promoter of public health, well-being and a better quality of life.
  • Can be linked with other amenities of attractions in the area such as historical buildings.
  • Interaction with the Native Woodland Scheme.