A programme has been launched among farmers in a bid to save hen harriers.
A typical 23-hectare farm, with peatland and grassland habitats, could qualify for Hen Harrier Programme payments totalling €2,200 in year one, rising to €3,700 in year two.
The programme aims to save one of Ireland’s most endangered birds, the Hen Harrier, and the scheme is described as a practical, results-based approach to farming, flexible and locally adaptable.
Within the first two weeks of the programme being launched, more than 380 expressions of interest were received. According to Agriculture Minister Michael Creed, “This scheme is targeted specifically at farmers with designated land and should provide farmers in those areas with an important additional income stream on top of GLAS and GLAS Plus”.
The scheme constitutes an opportunity for farmers to be recognised and rewarded for delivering environmental benefits, as well as being an additional opportunity for them to earn an income from their land.