Farming plays a key role in the establishment, maintenance, and conservation of many important habitats throughout Ireland. Over the last number of decades, the Irish landscape has evolved as a result of agriculture and the changes that have occurred in agricultural practice.
While change is inevitable, an opportunity does exist to manage change in order to preserve key habitats and species. This can only be done by engaging with rural communities and farmers to ensure that habitats are enhanced and key species protected.
The National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) have launched a Farm Plan Scheme which provides opportunities to support and promote a positive interaction between landowners and Ireland’s natural heritage.
Aims of the NPWS Farm Planning Scheme:
- To protect key species and habitats through the delivery of site-specific conservation objectives at farm level.
- To engage with landowners in the development of land management techniques which benefit key habitats and species.
- To provide a mechanism that allows the NPWS to assist landowners with the enhancement and protection of key wildlife habitats and species.
- To test and hone the best approaches to applied conservation management, enabling best advice in designing larger schemes such as those under the Rural Development Programme.