Burren LIFE Farmers Qualify For New Agri Environment Scheme

Clare Fianna Fail T.D. and Minister Tony Killeen says he has received confirmation from the Department of Agriculture that farmers who are part of the Burren LIFE Project may submit applications to the new €50 million agri-environment options scheme.

Minister Killeen said the new scheme represents a completely new approach to the rural environment with farmers being paid to undertake identifiable and verifiable environmental measures “will be attractive to farmers and will also deliver real, worthwhile environmental benefits”.

A total of €50 million had been made available for the Scheme, with a maximum payment of €5,000 for up to 10,000 participants.  The closing date for receipt of completed applications to the AEOS is 17th May 2010.

Today’s announcement comes as the Department of Agriculture confirmed details of the Burren LIFE – Farming for Conservation Programme (BFCP).

The three-year agri-environmental programme is aimed at supporting high environmental value farming in the Burren, continuing and mainstreaming the pilot scheme known as the Burren LIFE Project. This Scheme is a voluntary one and is open to all farmers, who farm in the Burren region in north Clare and south Galway.

Commenting on the project, Minister Killeen said: “€1 million will be spent each year for three years to support high environmental value farming in the Burren, which is one of Ireland’s outstanding landscapes and is known worldwide. This funding comes from unused Single Payment funds and will provide an important boost to the traditional farming methods employed in the unique karst landscape of the Burren”.

Minister Killeen noted that payments will be made in respect of the implementation of three general measures, all of which are likely to be applicable to farmers participating in the programme. The measures include production of species-rich limestone grassland; capital Enhancement Works (including scrub removal); and protection of designated land and other areas of Annex I habitat.

“I am delighted that Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith has decided not to exclude participants in the Burren Scheme from participating in the newly launched Agri-Environment Options Scheme. It should be noted, however, that if farmers receive aid on any of the three general measures under AEOS or REPS or any other agri-environment scheme, they will not receive aid further aid for that measure under the Burren  Scheme”, concluded Minister Killeen.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editor:
- For further information please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 00353868534900 or media ( @ ) dunphypr dot com
- High-resolution images of Minister Killeen are available to download from www.dunphypr.com

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