The Pilot Farm Environmental Study (FES) opened for applications during the month of May, with a closing date of the 27th of May for receipt of applications. At that stage almost 10,000 farmers had lodged an application to participate. Given the measure has been oversubscribed the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will apply a ranking and selection process as provided for in the Terms and Conditions to determine which farmers will actually participate.
The €5m Pilot FES will provide a valuable opportunity for farmers to learn more about farmland habitats and to have the habitats and biodiversity held on their land recorded, mapped and assessed. Farmers will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of the value that nature provides on their farm. The farm habitat surveys will work to establish a framework to generate a database of baseline habitat and biodiversity data and a baseline for future targeting of agri-environmental policy, schemes and measures.
The Agricultural Consultants Association (ACA) has been awarded the contract for the training of farm advisors on FES surveying and mapping. They will be responsible for the management and roll-out of approximately 6,000 farm habitat surveys.
A trained Farm Advisor will carry out each farm habitat and biodiversity survey with the involvement of the participating farmer. This new level of biodiversity data will provide participating farmers with greater awareness of the biodiversity potential on their lands. FES in an important and innovative investment of €5m for biodiversity, funded as part of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) transition period.
Further information here.