Gresham House launches Irish forestry fund

Providing up to €200m capital needed to create new forests

Gresham House has launched a fund for investors to back greater forest cover across Ireland.

The Irish Strategic Forestry Fund will provide up to €200m capital needed to create new forests. It will also acquire existing forests.

It will eventually represent a portfolio of approximately 12,000 hectares of new and existing forests.

Ireland’s Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, has committed an initial €25m (£22m) as a cornerstone investor. Irish investors have invested a further €10m.

The fund will be managed from Gresham House’s Dublin office, with Joe O’Carroll as investment director. 

See also: – Green Dream with Gresham House’s Hughes: Balancing timber production with natural plantation

An operational management agreement will see the fund work with Coillte, Ireland’s semi-state manager of forestry and timber investments.

Coillte, which has planted more than 100,000 hectares of new forests since 1989, will source land, plant trees and manage these forests as part of its overall forest estate, ensuring open access to the public.

Coillte and Gresham House will also work with other forest management companies to acquire new land and carry out afforestation.

Nick Ashmore, director of ISIF, said: “This underlines ISIF’s commitment to climate action as we continue building our €1bn climate investment programme, complementing our existing investments in forestry, renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy storage.”

“This new fund will help deliver on ISIF’s double bottom line mandate of generating a commercial return and supporting economic activity and employment in Ireland, while generating further progress in Ireland’s transition to a net-zero economy.”