Farming for Nature (FFN) is running a mentoring programme called The Horses Mouth where farmers can receive advice from their Farming for Nature ambassador farmers on how to improve biodiversity while ensuring that the farm remains productive.

FFN co-ordinator Brigid Barry said that many farmers have contacted the organisation looking for a “fellow farmer to visit and provide practical tips on what they can do to improve the environmental condition of their farm”.

A FFN ambassador will carry out an informal walk on the host farm and share simple, practical advice and encouragement.

The advisory service for 2023 is open to 50 farmers from across Ireland to join.

Farmer experiences

Sligo farmer Michael Doherty, who was a participant in 2022, says: “This is an important aspect in attracting a great number of farmers towards farming alongside nature, especially younger generations of farmers”.

“It was a fascinating and stimulating visit. I immediately found myself looking at our own farm with fresh eyes and full of new ideas,” he said.

Niamh Doody, also farming in Sligo, said the mentor that visited her farm “was like a walking encyclopaedia”.

“I have never had anyone come to visit the farm and give new ideas before,” she said.

The Horses Mouth farmer-to-farmer mentorship programme is open until 10 June for applications. The host farmer pays a nominal fee of €50 to the visiting mentor and FFN will pay the rest.