The Wicklow Uplands Council is seeking commonage groups and farmers in the Wicklow and Dublin uplands to apply for the second round of the Sustainable Uplands Agriculture-environment Scheme (SUAS) project.
The key objective of the five-year pilot project is to develop practical and innovative solutions that will address the complex agricultural, environmental and socio-economic challenges associated with the land management of commonages and hill farms in the Wicklow/Dublin uplands.
The council is inviting interested parties to submit an expression of interest form before the 15 March deadline.
This project represents an enormous opportunity to make a positive and lasting change to secure the sustainable future management of the Wicklow and Dublin uplands
A SUAS information event will be held in the Brockagh Centre in Laragh at 8pm on Monday 25 February, where more details of the project and the application process will be shared.
Pat Dunne, the project lead for the SUAS project, said: “Following last year’s announcement, we received a substantial number of applications seeking to participate in the initial rollout of the project.
“Through a selection process, a number of participants were identified and we are delighted that each of them are now fully engaged with management plans. This project represents an enormous opportunity to make a positive and lasting change to secure the sustainable future management of the Wicklow and Dublin uplands and we call upon all interested parties to attend the upcoming event,” he said.
Declan Byrne, project manager of the SUAS project, said that the project has the potential to change the way agri-environmental schemes operate on the commonages across the country and once completed, will offer a framework built around a collective and formalised structure for other groups to adapt.
What is SUAS?
The SUAS project was developed using a bottom-up approach with the support of local upland farmers and following a selection process, the project successfully received funding of €1.95m from the Department of Agriculture under the new European Innovation Partnership for Agriculture Productivity and Sustainability (EIP AGRI) initiative.
Information on the project and expression of interest forms will be available from Wicklow Uplands.
Active hill farmers to be rewarded under pilot scheme in Wicklow
Listen: Commonage farmers to be paid €14.50 per hour