Maximum flexibility needed for successful Wild Atlantic Nature Project

An IFA delegation held a meeting this week with the new Wild Atlantic Nature Project and said it has to give farmers maximum flexibility.

The delegation included IFA rural development chair Michael Biggins, IFA hill chair Flor McCarthy, Mayo IFA hill representative Pat Chambers and Mayo IFA chair Jarlath Walsh.

They held an outdoor hill assessment meeting in Mayo.


The project is focused primarily on the blanket bog SACs and associated lands from Galway Bay up to north Donegal. The objective is to achieve good habitat quality in the northwestern SACs.

IFA hill committee chair Flor McCarthy said: “The Wild Atlantic Nature Life IP or any other scheme must not lead to increased restrictions on farms and we welcome clarification that participating farmers will be allowed to stock their land to its potential.”

It is planned to pilot the project in the Owenduff/Nephin SAC area for 2021 and 2022 with payments for both years. It is to open for all farmers in the Owenduff-Nephin SAC area to submit an expression of interest until 14 June.

IFA rural development chair Michael Biggins said all farmers who submit an expression of interest to participate in the project must be included.

IFA and RSA issue road safety appeal for silage season

With silage-cutting season under way, the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) appeal to drivers of farming machinery and other road users to safely share the road.

We all need to expect the unexpected because the road has become an ever-changing environment since the pandemic began

With national travel restrictions now lifted and traffic volumes increasing, the roads are getting much busier.

More people are out walking, cycling, and riding horses on the public road at this time of year, and these activities have also become more popular during the current pandemic.

Both organisations want farming contractors and other drivers to remember this and always be on the lookout for such vulnerable road users.

IFA president Tim Cullinan said it would be a busy time on farms in the coming weeks as farming contractors bring in silage around the country. Both the IFA and the RSA are renewing their annual appeal for motorists to be on the lookout for tractors, trailers and other agricultural machinery exiting from fields and farmyards.

“We are also asking anyone driving farm machinery, especially on rural roads, to cut back on their speed, not to get distracted and understand that around every corner could be a neighbouring family or friend out for a walk, a cycle or maybe riding a horse.

“We all need to expect the unexpected because the road has become an ever-changing environment since the pandemic began.”