Farmers in the west of Ireland are to be paid under a €5.8m five-year scheme to carry out a range of measures to conserve the corncrake.

Farmers will be paid for early and late grass cover creation for the bird, which it needs from arrival in April until it leaves after the summer months. They will then be scored on these swards, which will result in payment.

Knowledge exchange groups are to be piloted among those taking part in the scheme and thermal imaging trials to locate corncrakes will also take place.

Some 50ha of land is to be purchased by the State for “targeted corncrake management” and the scheme is expected to result in 1,000ha under corncrake management regimes.

A project manager, John Carey, has been appointed to the scheme.

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