Through 2016 and 2017 we are working closely with farmers to try develop better ways of rewarding those farmers who deliver environmental goods, e.g. biodiversity of species-rich grasslands, through farming. We currently have over 60 farmers in Ireland and Spain, participating in our scheme during 2016 and 2017.
For species-rich grasslands, in both Leitrim or the callows flood meadows, farmers are not required to carry out any specific actions (although they can choose to, if they want to improve the condition of their fields) and there are no prescriptive management requirements; farming is left to the farmer!
Instead we are developing scoring systems where each field is given marks out of 10 based on the environmental condition of the field and the higher the marks the higher the payment for the field.
For breeding waders, on the Shannon callows, wet grazed fields are scored on the basis of their suitability for the breeding wader birds that nest on the callows in the summer. These birds require the right height grass for building nests and suitable wet, muddy areas for the chicks to feed. Advice will be given to farmers on how best to achieve the best conditions (and highest payment) for the breeding birds while also continuing their farming practices.
For more information please contact us directly
Please note, the closing date for applications in County Leitrim and Navarra, Spain was December 2015, we are not accepting any further applications to this scheme in these areas. Additional application are accepted on the Shannon Callows until February 2017, see Open Call for new applicants for 2017 on Shannon Callows for more details.
Participants in 2016 in Ireland and Spain
A total of 52 farmers participated in the scheme in Ireland and Spain in 2016, entering almost 260 hectares of land across 224 land parcels (including enclosed fields and unenclosed plots). Details are summarised in the table below (the Navarra mosaic perennial crop measure is separated into the three crops for comparison):
|Measure / Region||Number of farmers||Hectares under agreements||Number of fields/plots||Average field/plot size (hectares)|
|Leitrim Species-rich Grassland (SRG)||13||121.26||62||1.96|
|Marsh Fritillary habitat and SRG||2||14.39||20||0.72|
|County Leitrim total||13 farmers*||135.65 hectares||82 fields||1.65|
|Navarra total||21 farmers*||61.44 hectares||115 plots||0.53|
|Breeding Wader Habitat||5||29.55||5||5.91|
|Species-rich Flood Meadow||11||18.97||13||1.46|
|SRFM with ground nesting birds||7||13.54||9||1.50|
|Shannon Callows total||18 farmers*||62.06 hectares||27 plots||2.30|
|RBAPS Ireland and Spain||52 farmers||259.15 hectares||224 fields/plots||1.16|
* In each region a number of the participants entered lands in more than one measure.