On Wednesday 18 January, Dingle farmers who participated in a year-long sustainability project gathered at the Blasket Centre in Dún Chaoin. The event included a premiere of a series of short films by Lisa Fingleton, which recounted the experience of the 10 farming families involved.

The climate action project involved ten farming families from the Dingle Peninsula and explored ways in which the farmers in the area can diversify and make their farming practices more sustainable.

Jointly organised by Dingle Hub, the Green Arts Initiative in Ireland and the SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine (MaREI), the project, titled Corca Dhuibhne Inbhuanaithe – A Creative Imagining, commenced in December 2021. Over the course of the year, the participants visited several innovative farms, renewable energy facilities and other sustainability-focused initiatives as part of the project. Areas visited included the Burren Programme in Co Clare, Green Gas, an anaerobic digestion facility in Co Limerick, the agri-environmental MacGillycuddy Reeks EIP project on the Iveragh Peninsula and the Kerry Woollen Mills.

It’s given me the drive to make changes that I thought were never possible on my own farm

Niamh Foley, a participant of the project and a beef farmer on the Dingle Peninsula, said the project has been “absolutely fantastic”, with one of the main benefits being the sharing of knowledge between the participants.

“We went on many great visits to innovative farms and green initiatives that I would never have visited otherwise, because I thought I couldn’t apply their practices to my farm. Next month, I’m going planting about 500 native trees just to thicken up our hedges. It’s given me the drive to make changes that I thought were never possible on my own farm."

Project manager Catríona Fallon commented on the success of the project, saying: “Everyone who joined the project stayed engaged and it has been so rewarding to see the connections forged between the participants during the year. Building capacity to diversify, adapt and cope with climate change is crucial.”