Key upcoming deadline dates for having work done under GLAS

Farmers participating in the first tranche of GLAS are committed to completing a number of important actions in their applications.

Teagasc is reminding farmers that for each action there is a GLAS specification document setting out what you need to do including important dates, for example sowing dates, closing dates and cutting dates.

Farmers should ensure that they make themselves fully aware of each action and how it is to be managed.

The following should already be in place:

  • Chosen stone walls maintained; and,
  • All actions where part parcels must be fenced using permanent fencing.

These fenced part parcels include low input permanent pasture, traditional hay meadow, wild bird cover, catch crops, bird actions and natura.

By March 31, 2016, the following actions must be dealt with if you have them in your application:

Bird boxes, bat boxes, sand/box for bees

Bird boxes must face north or north east and be placed over 2.5m above ground level. The tree or post it is on should also be marked.

There are two types of bird boxes: open-fronted and the nest box with hole.

Open-fronted are suitable for the robin, wren and pied wagtail. Meanwhile, there are different size specifications for the nest box with hole:

For blue tits and coal tits the nest box should have a 25mm hole. For the tree sparrow and great tit, 28mm will suffice, the house sparrow needs a diameter of 32mm. For starlings, a 45mm opening is required.

Bat boxes are used between April and October and provide alternative roosts for bats.

Teagasc advises the following regarding the placement of bat boxes:

  • Place three boxes together at each location – tree, post or farm building;
  • Over 4m off the ground as bats need height to fly;
  • On a tree in south east, south west and north directions;
  • On trees with few low branches;
  • On south-facing buildings; and,
  • Away from lights.

When it comes to bee boxes, they should be placed on a tree or post and at least 40cm off the ground.

They should also be protected from livestock. In the case of sand for bees, 1t of builders sand should be placed in each location.

Again, it is advised that the sand is fenced off from livestock and farmers should keep the receipts for buying the sand.

Fencing Watercourses

When you are fencing watercourses, fence 1.5m from the top of the bank.

The fencing must be stock proof, fit for purpose and undertaken with permanent stakes and wire.

Farmers are reminded that livestock drinking points are NOT permitted.

Planting a grove of native trees

When planting a grove of native trees, they should be planted in one location and Teagasc advises to:

Choose two species from alder, birch, oak, mountain ash, whitebeam, cherry, willow, hazel or Scots pine.

Use trees of native provenance – certificate required and protect them from livestock.

Trees should be planted in rows 2m apart and 1m between the plants within the rows.

By May 31, 2016, the following actions must be dealt with if you have them in your application:

  • Wild bird cover established;
  • Environmental management of fallow land;
  • Grey partridge and twite B and C; and,
  • Protection of monuments (tillage).

All tillage actions, including arable margins, apply to crops to be harvested in 2016.