• • • ‘With support, most are enthusiastic about farming for nature’
A new initiative, Farming for Nature, has been launched to source, share and celebrate stories of farmers across Ireland who are considered to be managing their land and livestock in a way that benefits nature. The idea came from a group of heritage enthusiasts based in the west of Ireland.
The national Farming for Nature award is sponsored by Bord Bia and supported by a wide range of farming and conservation interests. These include: the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; the National Rural Network; the National Parks and Wildlife Service; the Irish Farmers’ Association; the National Biodiversity Data Centre; Teagasc; and the Heritage Council. Dr. James Moran of Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), noted the opportune timing of the award. “The Common Agricultural Policy is increasingly recognising farmers as more than food producers and aims to incentivise enhancement of the countryside. “Recent initiatives around Ireland including EU LIFE projects, results-based payments for biodiversity and Department of Agriculture European Innovation Partnerships, funded under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, have highlighted the real appetite there is for farming for nature”, he said.