GLAS applications spike with three weeks left to enter the scheme

To date, just over 9,000 GLAS 3 applications have been created using the online GLAS application system, the Department of Agriculture has confirmed.

Should all of these applications prove to be successful, they will fill 75% of the 12,000 places available in the tranche.

The scheme is only accepting applications for three more weeks and the deadline for the final receipt of applications is December 15.

Within one week of the scheme opening, 3,200 farmers had created applications on the Department’s online system.

Certain actions under tier three of the scheme remain suspended for GLAS 3; the planting of new hedgerows and traditional orchards (these were also suspended under GLAS 2).

The addition of two actions to the bird measures (twite bird protection) is the main change between the two tranches.

The Department in conjunction with National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has identified a small number of farmers that must undertake at least 0.25ha of twite C should they wish to join GLAS 3.

The maximum area for wild bird cover is 3ha in tranche three and the GLAS actions of planting new hedgerows are traditional orchards remain suspended from tranche two.

Under the GLAS 1 and 2 of the scheme, a total of 38,000 participants have been approved to date, which the Department has said is a record number of entrants to any agri-environment scheme in a single year.

The Department’s top priority remains to attract farmers with Tier One Environmental Assets, like endangered birds, Natura habitat, commonage land and high-status watercourses, the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed said when he launched the scheme a number of weeks ago.

The terms and conditions for the third tranche of the scheme, along with the detailed specification for tranche three actions are available on the Department’s website.