The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has announced a call for applications to the Farm Plan Scheme.

The Farm Plan Scheme aims to support farmers to deliver actions that benefit habitats and species in special areas of conservation (SAC) and special protection areas (SPA), as well as to support farmland biodiversity and to provide a platform for new conservation approaches.

Farmers on sites designated as SAC, SPA and natural heritage areas (NHAs) or areas that support habitats and species of conservation concern are urged to apply to the scheme.

Over the past 15 years, approximately 900 plans have been delivered, covering a variety of nature interests, from highly threatened birds such as corncrake and curlew, to habitats such as species-rich grasslands, eskers, coastal dunes, fens and turloughs. There are currently there are around 350 active farm plans across the country.

Additional funding

Minister of State for heritage and electoral reform Malcolm Noonan addressed the call for applications: “This new call builds on the additional funding I have allocated to the scheme each year since 2020 and the many wonderful new farm plans which are now in operation across the country.

“The Farm Plan Scheme supports and rewards farmers to deliver positive farm management on Ireland’s most important sites for biodiversity.

"The scheme contributes as a significant part of Ireland’s wider efforts through agri-environmental schemes to address biodiversity loss,” he said.


Applications must be made using the NPWS Farm Plan Scheme application form.

The application form is available on the NPWS website or by contacting the agri-ecology unit directly for an application form, via email to

The budget for the Farm Plan Scheme is limited and areas with the greatest need for conservation action will be prioritised.

It is not possible to combine other agri environmental schemes, such as ACRES, with the Farm Plan Scheme for the same plot of land.

The deadline for applications is 10am on Friday 4 August 2023.