The pilot stage of the Hare’s Corner project has seen some 7,200 saplings distributed to landowners, 1,800 of which were endangered Burren pine saplings, for planting in non-managed areas of farms to aid ecological restoration.
The project team has said that some 38 mini-woodlands have been established after the saplings were distributed on Saturday 12 February.
“It has been an inspiring and educating experience meeting so many landowners in Co Clare who are keen to support biodiversity on their land,” commented the field technical officer for the Hare’s Corner project Karen van Dorp.
“We are providing advice and micro-financing for the work itself, but the time, the labour and the enthusiasm to create and manage habitats is all coming from the landowners – and that is invaluable,” she said.
The project falls under the umbrella of the larger Burrenbeo European Innovation Partnerships (EIP) project, which seeks to improve biodiversity in the Burren.
The project has facilitated the creation of 32 ponds, 43 mini-orchards and 38 mini-woodlands within its first year, according to the project management team.
“What makes the Hare's Corner different and special is that it's hassle-free for the landowner, who is not overburdened with paperwork, and that the actions involved are rather unique – rare pine trees, heritage fruit trees and wildlife ponds,” said project adviser Brendan Dunford.
“Participants also feel supported and valued by the Burrenbeo team and there’s plenty of advice available, plus they feel part of a network of like-minded people,” added Dunford.
The team has stated its hopes that further funding be secured to roll initiatives, such as the Hare’s Corner tree planting project, out on a larger scale in the near future.