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Hen Harrier Scheme - New Project Team in place

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., announced today that a Project Team to run the new Hen Harrier Scheme has now been selected.  The selection was made on foot of a competitive tender operated by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine which closed at the end of January. Following careful assessment of the proposals received, the selection committee identified ‘The Hen Harrier Project’ as the approach which best reflected the aims and objectives of the new scheme. 

The Project is a joint approach led by the Golden Eagle Trust, bringing together a team of experienced conservationists, agricultural advisors and environmental scientists, with a strong local focus in delivery of the new measures on the ground. 

The Minister said that the quality of proposals put forward in response to his Department’s tender was extremely high.  He said he was delighted to move forward with the new Hen Harrier scheme and wished the new Project Team well in its work, which will include developing the various actions to be carried out by farmers in the areas concerned in consultation with his own Department and the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.  

Minister Creed added “Being a locally-led scheme this process will also include the local knowledge and inputs from farmers on the ground. Once the terms and conditions have been agreed the recruitment of farmers to this critical scheme will commence”.

The Minister pointed out that the new scheme was targeted specifically at farmers with designated land and added that this would provide farmers in those areas with an important additional income stream on top of GLAS and GLAS Plus.

No decision has as yet been made with regard to appointment of a Project Team for the Freshwater Pearl Mussel Scheme.  The proposals received continue to be assessed and a decision on next steps will be made shortly.  

A total budget of €35m is available for both the Hen Harrier and Freshwater Pearl Mussel Schemes over the lifetime of the current Rural Development Programme.

Minister Creed said, “Both these schemes are pilot projects, and will administered by independent groups with a strong local focus, working in partnership with my Department. This is a novel and innovative way of responding to local agri-environment challenges and we look forward to working with, and supporting our partners in the delivery of the schemes”. 

To view this Press Release as a PDF: DAFMPR 31/2017 (pdf 178Kb) 

Date Released: 28 February 2017