The Heritage Council have recently published their proposal for an objective led scheme for uplands and certain other key habitat types. The proposal was produced by Patrick McGurn of EFNCP (European Forum for Nature Conservation and Pastoralism) and Patrick McGurn of Sligo IT. Patrick has been done a lot of work in developing the High Nature Value concept for agri environment in Ireland and played a key role in establishing the AranLife project. James Moran was centrally involved in the development of the Burren Farming for Conservation Project and has demonstrated remarkable initiative in focussing attention onto commonage specific issues.
This publication sets out fully the ideas that James outlined at the IFA sponsored Hill Farming Forum held in Tuam in September last year. It is a well thought out proposal that could serve as the basis of a new uplands agri environment scheme. It is vital that a future uplands scheme is flexible and site specific and as the authors have pointed out this does not necessarily mean complex and difficult to administer. The alternative which should be resisted at all costs is a rigid AEOS type scheme that attempts to encompass all commonages in a one size fits all straightjacket.
The full report can be downloaded through the following link.