The small Irish start-up Farming for Nature has won second place in the prestigious Act for Biodiversity Challenge competition.

It was picked from over 200 farm projects and won a cash prize of €40,000.

The competition aimed to identify “bold social innovators who are bringing people together to take on this extensive, complex, and urgent issue and to identify ways to collaborate to preserve and restore biodiversity through solutions designed for agriculture, urban environments and forests”.

Celebrate those farmers who already do great things for nature

One of the founders and a volunteer with the project Brendan Dunford said that: “We feel strongly that farmers are a potentially huge resource in responding to our climate and biodiversity crisis.

“To mobilise this resource, we need to acknowledge and celebrate those farmers who already do great things for nature, then share their enthusiasm and practical knowledge with their farming peers.”

Farming for Nature

Farming for Nature co-ordinator Brigid Barry welcomed the award: "This amazing award recognises the innovation and impact of Farming for Nature at a global level and will enable us to build an effective European network with farmers at its heart."

She also thanked Bord Bia - which funds the Farming for Nature Ambassador Awards in Ireland - for its support, as well as the Department of Agriculture and the National Parks and Wildlife Service – which funds peer learning events and resources for farmers interested in learning how to improve biodiversity on their farm.

Ask the farmer series

The Farming for Nature ambassadors are also running an online series in July and August through Zoom.

The dates are as follows:

  • 6 July – Dairy, horticulture and food education with Darina Allen.
  • 13 July – Farming tillage, beef and nature with Mervyn Auchmuty.
  • 20 July – Farming with sheep and agri tourism with Suzanna Crampton.
  • 27 July – Farming for habitats and species with Feargal Ó Cuinneagáin.
  • 3 August – Hill farming and species richness with Bridget Murphy.
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