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New Burren Scheme to Open Next Year, Says Coveney

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD has announced plans for a new agri-environment scheme for the Burren, to come into operation from next year.  Speaking in advance of the Burren Winterage Festival, which will take place from 23 to 25 October, the Minister said " he was delighted to note the progress being made on the development of a new Burren Scheme, which will offer new five-year contracts to conservation-conscious farmers in the region".

“These new schemes are designed to complement the more broadly-based GLAS and GLAS+ measures and will be aimed at supporting local solutions to specific environmental problems”, the Minister said.  “With GLAS now bedding-down, I am determined to move this process forward as quickly as possible.  The Locally-led approach offers a novel and innovative way of involving local communities and brings a new and exciting element to bear on agri-environment schemes.” 

The new scheme, which is being introduced under a proposed new Locally-led Measure of the RDP, will focus specifically on the conservation of the unique farming landscape of the Burren in counties Clare and Galway and builds on the success and experience of similar schemes piloted under the Burren LIFE Project (2005-2010) and the Burren Farming for Conservation Programme (2011-2015).  Principles which have evolved out of those schemes are central to how the new scheme goes about meeting its objectives of conserving the unique heritage, environment and communities of the Burren.

Negotiations with the EU Commission for the introduction of this scheme are well advanced and the intention is to have the new Burren scheme in operation for 2016. Work is progressing on identifying other schemes which will be included under the new Locally Led umbrella later in 2016 and into 2017. Freshwater Pearl Mussel catchments, Hen Harrier habitats and peat uplands are all candidates for support under the new scheme, and other candidates will emerge from a wider competitive process.   A special workshop to exchange views and ideas on the operation of Locally-Led schemes will take place on 16 October in Portlaoise, facilitated by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

View Press Release as a PDF:  DAFMPR 178/2015 (pdf 365Kb) 

Seminar on Locally Led Schemes - 16th October 2015 (pdf 343Kb) 

Date Released: 09 October 2015