|Circular 08/2023 issued by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine states the requirement for a habitat map to be included with all new afforestation applications. This habitat map must illustrate both the habitats and watercourses present within the project site, among other relevant biodiversity features such as veteran trees. It is required that these habitats are classified using the Fossitt habitat guide ‘A Guide to Habitats in Ireland’. Further information regarding habitat mapping requirements can be found in Circular 13/2020. Most importantly, this circular states that all habitats are classified to Fossitt level 2.
Supplementary details to be submitted in addition to a habitat map include ecological sensitives such as Special Area of Conservation (SAC), mitigation relevant to these sensitivities and a biodiversity map. Forestry Services Ltd. and EuroForest Ireland have the relevant expertise in ecology and forestry to comply with these new requirements.
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