A senator has called for a greater partnership to be developed between the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and farming organisations.

It follows recent government approval for a €55 million investment in the NPWS over the upcoming three budgetary cycles.

As part of a new Strategic Action Plan there will be a full restructuring of the NPWS as an executive agency along with the recruitment of 60 key staff to support biodiversity.

Outlined actions are to be completed between Q2 this year and up to 2024, to ensure that the NPWS is resourced, equipped and has a robust organisational structure, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage said.

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Independent senator Victor Boyhan welcomed the new plan, which includes 15 strategic actions, describing it as “positive”.

The senator said that he hoped the new focus of the NPWS, its key strategic actions, new resources and additional staff would better equip the organisation’s capacity to meet its core objectives to protect Irelands natural heritage.

Boyhan, who is a member of the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, also called on the NPWS to reach out to farmers “who want to do the right thing and protect farmland heritage”.

The NPWS manages the State’s nature conservation responsibilities as well as managing Natural Heritage Areas, Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs).

Senator Boyhan called for a greater partnership between the NPWS and farmers “based on mutual respect, purpose and values, supported by shared mutual ambition and government support and resources”.