The department is set to recommence in-person training events with a series of farm walks across Northern Ireland later this month.
The events will run from August 17, to early September, and will take place on three new Farm Habitat Technology Demonstration Farms.
These will coincide with the opening of the Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS) Wider level.
The three farms all have a history of involvement in agri-environment schemes and are now participating in the EFS scheme.
The training events will demonstrate to farmers the benefits of a long-term vision of habitat creation and habitat management, taking advantage of each scheme to develop the assets on their farms.
Places must be booked in advance and can be secured on the CAFRE website.
There will be both virtual as well as physical farm tours to enable those from further away to access the farm visits. The full range of dates are listed on the website and pre-registration is essential as the number of participants on each farm walk is restricted.
The visits offer the opportunity to see first-hand, the development of farm habitats from schemes and hear how farms can benefit from participating in the EFS scheme.
The visits include:
- Arable and new Habitat TDF farmer David Sandford (pictured top) from Strangford, Co. Down;
- Beef, poultry and Habitat TDF farmer Ian Brown from Fivemiletown, Co. Tyrone; and
- Roy Mayers from Tempo, Co. Fermanagh, a new Habitat TDF farmer specialising in sheep production.
Sandford explained he had used the scheme to maximise the value of his farm’s field margins for wildlife, creating new habitats through the scheme.
Beef, poultry and Habitat TDF farmer Ian Brown from Fivemiletown, Co. Tyrone added: “You are always developing your farm infrastructure and habitats for the future. Agri-environment schemes such as EFS provide great assistance with this.”
Roy Mayers from Tempo, Co. Fermanagh, a new Habitat TDF farmer specialising in sheep production, said: “Visiting other farmers is a great way of getting ideas, discussing the options and seeing how agri-environment schemes such as riparian margins might fit into and contribute to your own farm business.”