A calendar showcasing inspiring rural scenes from around County Clare and month-by-month agricultural and environmental advice for farmers was launched today by the Mayor of Clare, Cllr Joe Arkins and Clare Local Development Company (CLDC) chairperson, Stephen Walsh at Clare County Council’s headquarters in Ennis.

The Living Farmland Calendar 2014 is a joint initiative between CLDC and Clare County Council, and is supported by Teagasc and the Irish Farmers Association (IFA).  All proceeds raised go towards Clare Crusaders Children’s Clinic.

The calendar features the latest IFA’s Smart Farming website and App as well as Teagasc’s Cross Compliance workbook, both of which are designed to assist farmers.  It also includes a day-by-day guide to events, fairs and festivals taking place throughout County Clare.  2014 has been designated as UN International Year of Family Farming as well as European Year Against Food Waste.

Amongst the photographers whose work is featured in the calendar is Nutan Photography, Jacques Piraprez, based near Kinvara, wildlife photographer John Murphy from Newmarket-on-Fergus, and Loop Head based photographer Carsten Krieger.  Scenes depicted include the Brian Ború Oak in Tuamgraney, farmland near Knappogue, fishing activity on Dromore Lake, cattle driving in New Quay and the awesome White-Tailed Sea Eagle in flight over Lough Derg.

Mayor of Clare Cllr Joe Arkins welcomed the publication of the calendar adding: “This calendar depicts beautiful rural scenes from around the County while at the same time contains some valuable advice for farmers about their obligations in relation to protecting the environment, as well as useful monthly reminders regarding good farming practice. I am sure it will be of interest to Clare’s farming community and the public at large.”

According to CLDC chairperson, Stephen Walsh: “The magnificent natural beauty, wealth of natural habitats, breathtaking rural landscapes and outstanding heritage that County Clare has to offer has all been captured in this calendar.  As a full-time farmer myself, I understand the balance that needs to be struck between farming the land, making a reasonable living and protecting our environment.  It’s not always easy, but with good advice and assistance such as Teagasc’ Cross Compliance workbook and the IFA’s Smart Farming website, it can be achieved and benefits us all.”

Walsh added: “County Clare has strong agricultural traditions and customs, and they support the very landscapes captured in this calendar.  This highlights the important role of farmers as custodians of the land.”

The Living Farmland Calendar 2014 is available from the offices of CLDC on the Kilrush Road in Ennis, Áras Contae an Chláir in Ennis (main reception, Environment Section reception and canteen), as well as Teagasc and IFA offices. A €5 donation to Clare Crusaders is suggested for each calendar.

Pictured: Joan Tarmey (Environmental Awareness Officer, Clare Co Co); Seamus Murphy (IFA); Declan Murphy (Teagasc); Ann Norton (Clare Crusaders); Cllr. Joe Arkins (Mayor of Clare); Stephen Walsh (CLDC Chairperson); Rosaleen O’Reilly (dairy farmer); and Congella McGuire (Heritage Officer, Clare Co Co) pictured at the launch of the Living Farmland Calendar 2014 at Rosaleen O’Reilly’s farm, Castlefergus, Quin, Co. Clare