24 groups have been chosen to implement locally-led farm and community biodiversity initiatives over the next 18 months.

Minister of State Pippa Hackett has announced the results of a €3 million open call. 54 groups across the country responded to the call, with 24 successful.

Minister Hackett had originally allocated €1.25 million in funding however, the budget was then increased due to the response to the open call.

The projects selected will focus on the promotion of biodiversity through collaboration amongst farming groups, community and local action groups who engage with the wider population.

Huge concern and interest in biodiversity

“It is really positive to see the ideas so many small farm and community groups have come up with to impact positively on their own local environment,” Minister Hackett said.

“The response we got to the call proves there is huge concern about and interest in biodiversity in Ireland.”

Under the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Programme, using the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) model, the department is already supporting 24 locally-led programmes around the country.

Some of these EIP projects have applied for funding under this call to implement a new related innovation. 

This local approach “allows communities to be more involved in the planning and implementation of small-scale projects”, according to the department.

The successful projects

Some of the successful groups, their projects and allocated funding include:

  • Great Yellow Bumble Bee Conservation Group: Great Yellow Bumble Bee EIP, €110,595;
  • Teagasc Comeragh Hill Sheep Discussion Group: Comeragh Upland Communities, €118,720;
  • Inland Fisheries Ireland: Riparian zone enhancement – Lough Sheelin Catchment, €184,698;
  • Talamh Beo Core: Soil Biodiversity Literacy and Enhancement Project, €215,775;
  • Carbery Group: West Cork Trees Project, €80,306;
  • Farming with Nature: Farm Biodiversity Management Platform, €111,000;
  • O’Moore Dairy Discussion Group: To improve the diversity and abundance of insects associated with pastoral grazing systems in a concentrated dairy landscape, €85,000.