Almost 700 farmers accepted into the Hen Harrier Programme

Almost 700 farmers have been accepted into the Hen Harrier Programme, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed has said.

The Hen Harrier Programme is a locally-led initiative, which is supported by the Department of Agriculture under the European Innovation Partnership measure of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme.

The programme is not directly administered by the department; the design and management of it are primarily matters for the local project team, the minister explained.

As it stands, the project team is currently running advisory training courses.

Commenting on the programme, Minister Creed said: “Offers to eligible farmers are being made on a monthly basis and this will continue until all available places have been filled across the six Special Protection Areas (SPAs).

“The project is fully-funded through the Rural Development Plan and, within that framework, I have allocated a budget of €25 million for the Hen Harrier Programme.”

To be eligible for the Hen Harrier Programme applicants must be:
  • 18 or over on the date the expression of interest is received by the Hen Harrier Project Team;
  • An active farmer – the applicant must have submitted a current application for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), which includes a declaration of all lands farmed. This is required in each year of the participant’s contract;
  • Farming at least one parcel containing qualifying lands within or partially within a Hen Harrier designated SPA.

Full details of the terms and conditions of the programme can be obtained from the project team and are also available online.