RBAPS Project

RBAPS seminar Sligo IT June 2017


Meeting delegates from Spanish, Romanian, UK and Irish pilots, along with representatives from the European Commission, Teagasc, Aran LIFE and Hen Harrier EIP project

The Ireland / Spain RBAPS Partners’ meeting was held in the Institute of Technology, Sligo on the 14th and 15th June, 2017. We were delighted to host members of our sister project teams in the UK and Romania, along with representatives from the European Commission, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Teagasc, the Burren Programme, Aran LIFE project and the newly commenced Hen Harrier EIP project.

As our RBAPS project enters its final year, the aim of this meeting was to discuss a broad range of key results-based topics amongst the diverse range of stakeholder interests in the context of their expansion in future.


Field trip to RBAPS farms in Co. Leitrim 14th June

Our field trip brought us to a cattle grazed RBAPS farm at Kiltyfeenaghty Glebe, near Drumshanbo, County Leitrim which is entered into the RBAPS Grasslands Suitable for Marsh Fritillary (MF) measure. The habitat is a complex mixture of wet grassland in mosaic with heath, swamp and scrub. Both adult MF and larval webs have been found on the farm during 2016 monitoring and surveying.

We reviewed MF scoring and general issues around setting biodiversity goals for species, particularly the appropriateness of setting the goal for the species, its habitat or both. The group discussed how scoring can be developed for grassland mosaic habitats, where boundaries between habitats are not distinct, and land eligibility under Pillar 1 and Pillar 2.

Attendees meeting one of our RBAPS County Leitrim farmers and listening to his positive experience of the pilot project

Our second farm was a mix of cattle grazed pasture, wet meadow and also flood pasture along the River Shannon at Coraughrim, Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim. Rushes on the land are topped (cut) annually by the farmer. Much of this land is typical of species-rich grasslands throughout Co. Leitrim and ranged from scores of 6 to 10 (out of 10). We discussed the scoring system for Irish Species-rich Grasslands and potential opportunities, threats and constraints to future wider roll-out of this option.

Both farmers are very positive about results-based approach and the RBAPS project and expressed strong interest in the continuation of similar types of agri-environment schemes.

RBAPS meeting 15th June (Institute of Technology, Sligo)

Following our field visits to the County Leitrim farms, we returned indoors to reflect on the discussion points of the previous day and broaden the discussion to include the key topics required for delivery of results-based approaches and schemes.

Overviews of the RBAPS projects in Romania (Clunie Keenleyside) and UK (Vicky Robinson) were presented, along with the Spanish (Carlos Astrain) element of our own project.

Vujadin Kovacevic, Policy Officer in DG Environment of the European Commission, presented the Commission’s perspective on results-based schemes. This was followed by general discussion on five main topic areas of the results-based approach. The primary discussion points are given below:


European Commission perspective on results-based schemes and its context in the current CAP discussions

Vujadin Kovacevic, European Commission – DG Environment


Data for rolling out RBAPS:

Other data streams include Bio Bio[1], Farmland Bird Index[2], European Butterfly Indicator for Grassland Species[3], and other work streams s facilitated by EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020

[1] http://www.biobio-indicator.org/

[2] http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/products-datasets/-/tsdnr100&lang=en

[3] https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/the-european-grassland-butterfly-indicator-19902011


Development of scoring assessments

Facilitated by Caitriona Maher, European Forum on Nature Conversation and Pastoralism (view presentation here)

RBAPS Irish and Spanish colleagues undertaking assessment of a species-rich grassland in County Leitrim.

Setting payments for results-based schemes

Facilitated by James Moran, Institute of Technology, Sligo (view presentation here)


Capacity to delivery results-based schemes

Facilitated by Andy Bleasdale, National Parks and Wildlife Service (view presentation here)

Regulatory barriers and opportunities

Facilitated by Alex Copland, BirdWatch Ireland (view presentation here)


Future use of RBPS in RDPs – obstacles and solutions

Facilitated by Clunie Keenleyside, Institute for European Environmental Policy


 Results-based schemes – past, present and future

Facilitated by Brendan Dunford, Burren Programme (view presentation here)

Brendan Dunford of the Burren Programme highlighting the importance of local and farmer focus in developing effective results-based schemes


We are hugely grateful to all participants for their input and contribution towards a very interesting and productive meeting. We look forward to further meetings and conferences as our project moves towards its completion in June 2018.


For further information please contact project coordinator Derek McLoughlin: derek@efncp.org