The Minister has announced that he is publishing the terms and conditions for the second tranche of GLAS immediately, along with the detailed specification for tranche two actions. He asked farmers and their advisers to read these carefully. The live system for applications will then be opened and will remain open for some six weeks.

For the second tranche of GLAS, a number of adjustments to the available actions are being made. Some, such as those to protect farmland birds and Natura land, will make it easier for farmers to adapt to the new regimes required, and will encourage even greater uptake of these measures. Others respond to the fact that we have achieved or exceeded targets in some areas such as Low Input Permanent Pasture (LIPP), new hedgerows and traditional orchards.

“GLAS is a target-driven environmental scheme and from tranche to tranche we will be adjusting the menu of options to ensure we achieve the right mix over the course of the programme as a whole,” said Minister Coveney. “Our top priority remains to attract in farmers with Tier 1 environmental assets like endangered birds, Natura habitat, commonage land and high-status watercourses. I expect that a large proportion of the intake from tranche two will be drawn from this category.”

First tranche

The first tranche of GLAS, which closed on 26 May this year, had almost 27,000 applications. The second tranche will increase this to at least 35,000 and up to 40,000. The overall target is to attract 50,000 farmers into the scheme over its lifetime.

Outcomes from the first tranche of GLAS:

  • 180,000ha of permanent pasture will be conserved.
  • 8,000km of watercourses will be protected.
  • 40,000ha of endangered bird habitat will be brought under sustainable management.
  • 50,000ha of other privately owned Natura habitat will be protected.
  • 2,700 commonages (nearly 60% of all commonages in the country) will be brought under new commonage management plans.
  • 1,300km of new hedgerows will be planted.
  • 2,000 new groves of native trees will be established.
  • 1,000 new orchards of traditional Irish varieties will be planted.
  • 6,000km of stone walls will be protected.
  • 6,000 new habitats will be created for threatened solitary bee species.
  • 90,000 bird boxes and 80,000 bat boxes will be erected.
  • 3,000 archaeological monuments will be protected.
  • 8,000 ha of wild bird cover will be planted, providing up to 12,000t of winter feed for wild birds.
  • “On the basis of the 27,000 GLAS plans submitted to date, we have already met or exceeded RDP targets for low-input permanent pasture, protection of watercourses, laying hedgerows, planting new hedgerows, planting of traditional orchards, bird, bee and bat habitats, wild bird cover and stone wall maintenance,” said Minister Coveney.

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