Flushing bars are to be used on tractors under the new €5.8m Corncrake Life scheme, which is to begin this year.

Flushing bars are temporarily fixed to tractors can be used to scare ground nesting birds out of the way of oncoming mowers, according to the Corncrake Life project.

They will be trialled as part of the project, which will take place in the west of Ireland.

Farmers will be paid for early and late grass cover creation for the corncrake, which it needs from its arrival in April until it leaves after the summer months.

Farmers will be scored on the quality of swards, which will result in payment.

Knowledge transfer groups are also to be piloted as part of the project.

Corncrake numbers

Last year, 145 calling male corncrakes were recorded in Ireland.

Numbers were down on 2019, when 163 calling males were recorded. However, the decrease may be associated with the lack of access for fieldworkers to the islands in Donegal due to COVID-19.

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