Tenders sought for hen harrier schemes
The Department of Agriculture is seeking tenders for management of a €35m Hen Harrier and Freshwater Pearl Mussel Scheme.
The projects are part of a new ‘Locally-Led’ initiative, to encourage the involvement of the local community and farmers in the design of the schemes, as well as researchers, ecologists, NGOs, government departments and other agencies.
While formal approval for the new measure has not been issued by the EU, the Department is hoping to select project teams before the end of the year to ensure that the schemes would be open to farmers in 2017.
The Harrier Project is targeted at areas which contain about 45pc of the national hen harrier population, and Minister Creed hopes to involve 2,000 participants in these areas.
The Mussel Project will be confined to eight catchments containing 80pc of the national population and will target up to 800 participants.
However, the ICSA were critical of the announcement.
“It is all well and good talking about new schemes but these will take time and farmers have waited long enough to be compensated,” said the ICSA’s Seamus Sherlock.