Farmers are being asked to participate in the new agri-environmental project The Hare's Corner.
The newly launched biodiversity scheme has three options that are currently on offer; planting a mini woodland, planting a mini orchard and/or installing a pond.
The costs of trees and, where necessary, fencing and machinery work (eg for ponds) will be covered by the scheme.
The costs of labour may also be covered, but this will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Participation in the scheme will come at no cost to the landowner. However, farmers and landowners will not be paid to take part in the project, but participation in the scheme will be cost-neutral, project organisers say.
The project is inspired by the term ‘the hare’s corner’, an old farming expression for an awkward section of a field which wasn’t intensively farmed and so was "left to nature".
The scheme aims to help Clare landowners create pocket-sized habitats on their land, which will be beneficial for both wildlife and farming.
How to get involved
This is a pilot project and is currently limited to landowners in Co Clare. Organisers are expecting to have approximately 100 landowners take part in the project.
They added that it will be relatively simple and hassle-free for the farmers to get involved and there is minimal paperwork required.
The Burrenbeo Trust will be assessing site suitability and providing all the necessary materials and guidance.
However, participation is on a first-come, first-served basis and subject to some basic selection criteria.
The Hare’s Corner is co-ordinated by the Burrenbeo Trust, a local landscape charity and is being funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
The scheme will run till the end of 2022, but the closing date for applications is 6 September 2021.
Burrenbeo is now inviting farmers, landowners and community groups across Co Clare who want to participate.
The first phase is now open for applications. You can find further information on the project and application form on burrenbeo.com.