GLAS scheme hasn't delivered on bird numbers claim conservationists

Endangered: A curlew
Endangered: A curlew
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

GLAS has failed in increasing bird conservation in Ireland, Chair of the Curlew Task Force Alan Lauder has claimed.

Speaking at Ireland's inaugural National Biodiversity Conference last week, Mr Lauder said that while GLAS does lead to small, local benefits it hasn't had significant value at national level, adding that just 6pc of farmers paid for corncrake conservation have corncrakes and just 10pc have hen harriers.

He added that the only feature of GLAS that is working is farmers' ability to implement wildbird cover because it is a crop.

"we need more flexibility to what we produce and let farmers find the solutions, they know their land better than anybody and can hit targets without too much intervening from anybody," he said.

Chief inspector at the Department of Agriculture, Bill Callanan, said that while the number of birds is "disappointing" he said that "effort doesn't always translate in to impact" "The Shannon Callows is a good example. It's driver was the corncrake but you're seeing benefits for other birds as a consequence of it. Corncrake numbers there are quite poor and that's the reality we face," said Mr Callanan.

Meanwhile, Natural Environment officer at An Taisce, Elaine McGoff stated that if every farm created ponds, even the size of puddles, they would see a reverse in biodiversity loss within a year.

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