28 Sept 2022

Meeting in Rathanna over 'Pilot Scheme' for sustainable farming on Blackstairs Mountains

Community based partnership group working towards sustainable management and development

Carlow Carlow Carlow

Meeting in Rathanna on September 6

The Blackstairs Hill Farming Group is working towards the sustainable management and development of the Blackstairs uplands and their hinterlands.

The Department of Agriculture has allocated grant aid to land owners in the Blackstairs Mountains in a “Pilot Scheme” as part of the Blackstairs Farming Futures (BFF) Sustainable farming project.

The objective of the project - which runs from 2018 to 2023 - is to adopt innovative approaches to add value to the Blackstairs hill farming system whilst simultaneously improving habitat condition.

The total value of the funding is €1.5m and it's a results based Agri-Environment Payment Scheme for upland habitats and commonage land rewarding good habitat condition on semi-natural habitats using a scoring system based on results indicators.

The Blackstairs Hill Farming Group will be holding a Farming Showcase in Rathanna on Sunday, September 16. 

Organisers say it will "be a good opportunity to create new projects and gain exposure for the area". 

The project activities are: rewarding good habitat; trialling best practice techniques where needed to improve habitat quality to including targeted fencing; bracken control; targeted grazing aids; scrub management; invasive species control; possible re-introduction of cattle; managed burning programme; nest protection; improved access; protection and enhancement of cultural features.

It also includes: training and awareness-raising which is available to all potential participants and farm advisors on an on-going basis; wider public engagement and dissemination.

All are welcome to participate in the meeting on September 16.

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