My article this week is a little different from usual, in so far as I'd like to help promote some good work that a few local farmers have been undertaking in the past few months and hopefully encourage some more farmers to do the same in the coming years.

Under the GLAS scheme, the Department of Agriculture encourages farmers to restore traditional buildings on their farms which are being used for the farming operation.

The GLAS Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme is funded by the Department of Agriculture and administered by the Heritage Council.

The scheme is open to all GLAS participants who have eligible buildings being used as agricultural storage.

There has been a number of local participants who have carried out works to their buildings.

Martin McLaughlin - 1890s standalone shed

Martin McLaughlin from Balleghan, Malin, Co Donegal, who repointed and reroofed his standalone shed, which was originally constructed in the 1890s.

This shed had some work done to it in the 1980, but was due more work to keep it in good condition.

According to Martin, pointing with lime mortars was going back to a traditional way without the use of cement and the roof covering was renewed.

He is happy that these works will preserve his building for the next 100 years and thanks both the the Department of Agriculture and the Heritage Council for their help and assistance.

Christopher McNeely - traditional barns

Christopher McNeely from Lecamey, Moville, Co Donegal, has traditional barns which were built in 1866, 1899, 1932 and 1987. The buildings were falling into disrepair and necessitated work.

The buildings were reroofed and repaired under the scheme.

As part of the scheme, he was required to carry out a bat and bird study before works commenced.

Christopher believes that the works will allow him to better utilise the sheds and have them for future generations.

Robert Nelson - thatched 19th century dwelling

And finally, Robert Nelson at Mageradrumman, Carndonagh, has an original dwelling which has been used for agricultural storage for years and was originally built in the 19th century.

This is a thatched building, which is being rethatched to save it from falling down. This building is also recorded on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH).

According to Robert, the survival of this building is mainly due to the grants and support from the Heritage Council, which preserves this building and the other buildings in this traditional farmyard.

All of the participants in this scheme have acknowledged the help and support that they have received from the Department of Agriculture and Food and the Heritage Council.

For anyone to apply for this scheme, applications are open in the early part of the year, around February, with the application period of about three weeks. When accepted, the participants need to have a conservation report carried out on the building.