Clare Senator Tony Mulcahy says the issuing of payments totalling €986,000 to 157 farmers in the Burren will lead to continued improvements in the state of the region’s environment.
The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Simon Coveney TD, has confirmed that payments under the Burren Farming for Conservation Programme (BFCP) have commenced issuing to farmers, which Senator Mulcahy says will lead to further improvements in the condition of grasslands and natural water sources.
He continued: “This agri-environmental programme has helped progress 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”.
“Since the introduction of the funding scheme four years ago, over 67,000 metres of stone walls have been repaired while 180 hectares of invasive scrub has been removed from rare, species- rich grasslands and ancient monuments. Almost 100 km of paths have been reopened enabling livestock access to under-grazed grasslands which can then be restored. Hundreds of water supplies have been protected by installing new tanks, troughs and pumps, resulting in improved water quality in this very sensitive karst landscape.
“I am particularly delighted that the Minister has confirmed that he has provided a further €1 million for the continuation of the Programme in 2014,” Senator Mulcahy concluded.