An advisory service is available for 50 farmers across Ireland to receive on-the-ground practical advice from fellow farmers on how to improve biodiversity on their farms.

The Horse’s Mouth Mentorship Programme 2024 is open for applications until Saturday 15 June.

Farming For Nature, the organisation running the programme, has said that a shortlist will be notified at the beginning of June.

Farming For Nature ambassadors offer their expertise as mentors on this programme.

The Horse’s Mouth involves a mentor carrying out an informal walk on the host farm and sharing simple, practical advice and encouragement.

Forensic approach

The host farmer pays a nominal fee of €50 to the visiting mentor and Farming for Nature covers the remaining costs. The aim is to select 50 farms to take part this year.

2023 participant Conor O’ Riordan, a beef farmer from Co Cork, said: "Our mentor was forensic in his approach. He had a breadth of knowledge and a keen interest in farming for nature. Any farmer would be lucky to have his help and support.

I am so glad to have these sorts of resources available to me

"To have a farmer out to give you advice and have boots on the ground is fantastic. This type of peer-to-peer help is invaluable,” he added.

Conor McAuley, a horticulturalist from Co Cork, said it was a hugely motivating and worthwhile exercise.

"I am so glad to have these sorts of resources available to me. It makes me very optimistic for the future of farming in this country," he added.

“I think it’s a fantastic project and the more people that learn of it and take part in it, the better for the future of farming in Ireland.”

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