Published on Monday26thNovember2018

Creed Welcomes Commencement of 2018 Farmer Payments under the Hen Harrier Programme and the Burren Programme

20181125 Creed Hen Harrier

Agriculture Minister Micheal Creed with Dr Fergal Monaghaan, project manager Hen Harrier project; Dr Barry O'Donoghue, Department Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Jack Lynch, Farm owner ,Cardowmey, Macroom.

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed has welcomed the commencement of payments to farmers under the Hen Harrier Programme. These are the first payments under the €25m programme and are the first of several batches of payments that will be made before the end of 2018 to participating farmers. The Hen Harrier Programme is a scheme under the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine's Rural Development Programme and is one of the new types of locally-led schemes under the RDP.

Minister Creed commented:

The purpose of the programme is to pilot new approaches to farming for conservation. It rewards farmers for improving the natural habitat and for the delivery of defined environmental objectives. My Department has allocated €25 million to this Programme over the next five years, and already there are signs that the objectives of the Programme are being achieved while the team continue to come up with innovative solutions to challenges that they face.

The Programme is a conservation measure for the Hen Harrier species and focuses on land in Special Areas of Conservation which contain the most important breeding areas for Hen Harriers in Ireland. The payments now being made are results-based payments for the habitat quality delivered by the farmers during the 2018 breeding season. The first payment run sees payments totalling just over €500,000 to the first 190 participants under the Hen Harrier Programme.

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