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Research

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Research Call

DAFM Reference

Lead(Collaborating)Institution

DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2011 11 S 108 Teagasc (Sligo IT) € 371,576

Project Title:

Identifying the Distribution and Extent of Agricultural Land of High Nature Value

Project Coordinator:

Dr John Finn

Project Abstract

High Nature Value farmland areas are associated with high biodiversity and other public goods; are headline indicators in the Rural Development Programme and are required by EU legislation to be identified and targeted for agri-environment payments. We will develop a geo-spatial analysis to estimate the national extent and distribution of potential HNV farming systems (Task 1). This methodology will use available geo-spatial data on vegetation type, farming systems, designated areas, farming intensity and land use/cover. We will also investigate an innovative methodology that combines new high-resolution satellite imagery with other datasets and will apply this to a case study area (5000 km2 ) to assess its ability to more directly measure the nature value of farms (Task 2). A ground-truthing exercise will provide training data for the GIS-based models and will assess the accuracy of the project output, based on a combination of manual interpretation of colour aerial photography, existing habitat/farm-survey data, and new surveys of selected case study areas (Task 3). We will develop and validate (using field surveys in case study areas) a decision support system for field- and farm- scale identification of HNV farming systems (Task 4). For representative case study areas, we will describe their primary HNV characteristics and primary pressures. We will also analyse the potential implications (positive and negative) of HNV policies from the perspective of farm socio-economics and consequences for other policies (Task 5). The results of the project will be disseminated to key stakeholders (Task 6). The project will provide a methodology that will contribute to the baseline indicator for HNV farming for Ireland under the Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (CMEF)

Final Report:

11 S 108 Final Report (pdf 1,070Kb)