The announcement of €1m for a farm plan scheme aimed at supporting farmers with designated land has been welcomed as “a stepping stone”.

IFA’s Padraic Joyce said the funds announced in the budget must lead to a broader scheme which addressed the serious impact of land designations. He said it was the first recognition for some time that farmers had a burden on their land which had to be compensated for.

“We have been in discussions with the Department for the past 18 months, with a deal yet to be finalised,” Joyce said.

“Critical to any agreement with Government is a package of measures including the reopening of the NPWS farm plan scheme, which has been closed since 2010. The Budget decision should now allow this to happen.”


Joyce pointed out that there has some progress made in the talks on:

  • Conciliation and arbitration to determine losses.
  • The principle of payment for the provision of ecosystem services.
  • A claims process where a farmer is refused consent to carry out activities on their land.
  • A commitment to conclude the Hen Harrier threat response plan.
  • He said many of the issues had been dragging on for 18 months and that Minister for Heritage Josepha Madigan must get them over the line.

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