Nominations now open for Farming for Nature awards 2021

Farming for Nature is seeking nominations of farmers who are “going that extra mile for nature” for its 2021 ambassador awards.

Farming for Nature is a national initiative that highlights the positive role that farmers play in looking after nature on their land and which shares – through short films, podcasts and farm walks – the insights gained by these farmers in tackling the biodiversity crisis.

Now in its fourth year, Farming for Nature wants to further expand its network of 40 ambassadors.

‘These people are our unsung conservation heroes’

One of the founders of and volunteers with Farming for Nature, Dr. Brendan Dunford of the Burren Programme, said that for the past few years, they have been able to “acknowledge and celebrate farmers across Ireland who are doing great things for nature”.

“Seeing and hearing these farmers share their love of nature, and knowing that they work day in, day out to make sure nature has a place on their farms, is really inspiring – to me these people are our unsung conservation heroes,” he said.

We want to share these stories to inspire other farmers as we are convinced that, with the appropriate, targeted financial and technical support, farmers represent a great resource in tacking our biodiversity and climate crises

Thomas O’Connor, farming ambassador, added that “the real winning was being nominated and meeting like-minded farmers from across the country and spectrum of farming systems”.

Nomination and selection process

Project manager Brigid Barry explained the nomination and selection process for the award:

“Farmers will be nominated by a panel of over 200 heritage specialists across Ireland and then shortlisted based on agreed criteria.

“We are hoping to hear about farmers who do great things for nature, who farm in a manner that is agriculturally, economically and socially progressive, and who are willing to share their story with others.

“Short videos on the shortlisted farmers will then be made and used as part of an online voting system by the public in early autumn.”