This year on Tullamore Farm, we are exploring more ways to increase biodiversity on the farm by improving and creating more habitats.
It’s important to choose measures that are suitable to your farm and remember that they don’t have to be too expensive or take a huge amount of work.
With this in mind, we began to explore some of the options available.
Pollinator strips can consist of wildflowers, grasses or a mixture of both.
They provide a habitat for plenty of wildlife and insects, but are particularly beneficial for pollinators.
These strips can also act as a wildlife corridor, providing shelter and camouflage for birds and animals.
They can be planted in strips around fields, along roadways, in unproductive areas of land or wherever you have a space for them.
They are relatively low maintenance and easy to grow. However, it is important to choose appropriate varieties for shaded and non-shaded areas.
It is important to plant native species to Ireland.
Also, if you’re going to the effort of planting these flowers, then you may as well plant them where you will see them and benefit from them, so plant some near the yard to brighten up a tough day on the farm.
There is plenty of food on the farm for pollinators at present, coming from assets such as hedgerows and grass margins, even without the pollinator strips, so it could be an idea to get a bee keeper on to the farm to increase bee numbers in the area.
Tullamore Farm is in derogation, so from 2021 on, hedgerows will be cut in a three-year cycle to ensure that they produce flowers and food for wildlife.
Hedgerows are in good condition in most places and are dense, but are trimmed in straight, back and side manner, cutting at an angle can help to improve the habitat so this is something that could be addressed.
There are some woodland areas on the farm and they are fenced off from livestock and provide a home for a host of wildlife. There are also large areas of woodland adjacent to the farm.
Bird boxes might be an addition to improve the woodland habitats on the farm and encourage a more diverse range of birds.
As the year progresses, there will be updates on what measures were decided on to improve biodiversity on the farm and how they progress.