Hen Harrier. Image source: noticenature.ie

Are you farming land in the Sliabh Beagh area? You may be able to join this exciting new project to protect habitat for Hen Harriers, and avail of grant aid for doing it. “This scheme is targeted specifically at farmers with designated land and should provide farmers in those areas with an important additional income stream on top of GLAS and GLAS plus.” (Minister Michael Creed TD). The Hen Harrier Project is an opportunity for farmers to be recognised and rewarded for delivering environmental benefits. It will deliver an additional opportunity for farmers to earn an income from their land. This is a locally targeted conservation programme building strong partnerships with farmers to deliver sustainable benefits for biodiversity, upland ecosystems and a vibrant local rural economy.

RESULTS BASED APPROACH – The Project values participation and co-operation in the delivery of environmental objectives. It encourages and rewards farming for conservation with incentives and support rather than penalties. 

FLEXIBLE AND ADAPTABLE – Farmers make the decisions for their own farm. They are supported with training and advice and rewarded for their achievements. 

5 YEAR PROGRAMME – Targeted specifically at farmers with land in Sliabh Beagh, Slieve Bloom Mountains, Slieve Felim to Silvermines Mountains, Slieve Aughty Mountains, Stacks to Mullaghereirk Mountains, West Limerick Hills & Mount Eagle and Mullaghanish to Musheramore Mountains Special Protection Areas (SPAs). 

 PAYMENT FOR RESULTS – All eligible land will be scored annually with a user friendly scorecard and receive a score. Higher scores receive higher payments. This gives farmers the incentive to manage their fields in ways that will improve the habitat condition and their payment as well. 

PAYMENT FOR ACTIONS – An annual farm plan will contain a list of actions (jobs) which are nominated by the farmer with the aim of improving the site’s management and conservation condition for the benefit of the Hen Harrier.

For more information on the new programme, see http://www.henharrierproject.ie/ or The Hen Harrier Project, Unit 2, Oran Point, Oranmore, Co. Galway, H91 R6XH. Telephone:091 792 865