Farming organisations reacted with frustration to the passing of the EU Nature Restoration Law on Tuesday before clarity had been brought to key aspects of the new regulation.

The law passed without any new funding stream for the rollout of restoration measures on farms and uncertainty remains with what will constitute turning a “poor” habitat into one which will be deemed restored to “good” condition.

IFA president Francie Gorman stated that farmers’ concerns remain with three central areas lacking clarity with the law: funding, the on-the-ground impact on farmers and the obligations it places on farmers and member states.

“Even though legitimate farmer concerns have not been adequately addressed, the EU has pushed ahead with the introduction of the Nature Restoration Law,” Gorman commented.

Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association president Vincent Roddy said that while the MEPs can move on from this, farmers will have to live with the consequences for decades.

“Farmers hit with Natura 2000 designations know the impact that directive had on their ability to farm. The Nature Restoration Law’s impact will be multiples of that.”

Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association president Seán McNamara warned that farmers hit with Natura 2000 land designations are facing into the new law with prior experience of promised funding which never materialised, despite their activities being “severely curtailed”.

“Unfortunately, farmers have bitter experiences of how promised funding in the case of designated lands, has failed to materialise over many years,” he said.

Concerns were raised that the law could mean productive farmland could have to revert to the state it was in decades ago or even before it was used for farming by Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association president Denis Drennan.