No new land designations are planned by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in the future, its director general has told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“We don’t envisage [new designations] at all. It’s not in our plans,” Niall Ó Donnchú said this week.

Around 35,000 farmers are currently farming under a designation, such as a Special Protection Area or Special Area of Conservation.

He also confirmed that the State body is working to “demystify” the process around activities requiring consent on designated land.

Farmers must apply for permission to carry out activities such as fencing or spreading fertiliser from the NPWS if they are farming designated land.