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How these farmers are netting up to €10,000 a year to do their bit for nature

Little-known NPWS scheme rewards a range of on-farm measures to ‘create little lighthouses for nature’, such as hedge-planting, pond-digging and putting up bird boxes

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Doing things a bit differently: Brothers Tom and Michael Keane on their farm by the Shannon estuary in Co Limerick. Photos: Don Moloney

Doing things a bit differently: Brothers Tom and Michael Keane on their farm by the Shannon estuary in Co Limerick. Photos: Don Moloney

Barry O'Donoghue, head of agri-ecology at the NPWS and his colleague Maria Long, a grassland ecologist

Barry O'Donoghue, head of agri-ecology at the NPWS and his colleague Maria Long, a grassland ecologist

Cattle graze on the Keanes' farm by the Shannon Estuary

Cattle graze on the Keanes' farm by the Shannon Estuary

Banna farmer Mossie Lawlor

Banna farmer Mossie Lawlor

Niall Fitzgerald

Niall Fitzgerald

Cattle and a donkey on the Keanes' farm

Cattle and a donkey on the Keanes' farm

A horse on the Keanes' farm

A horse on the Keanes' farm

Barry with Ballybunion farmer Niall Fitzgerald

Barry with Ballybunion farmer Niall Fitzgerald

A field of wildflowers and knee-high grass on Michael Keane’s farm

A field of wildflowers and knee-high grass on Michael Keane’s farm

Some measures farmers can take to avail of the NPWS grants

Some measures farmers can take to avail of the NPWS grants

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Doing things a bit differently: Brothers Tom and Michael Keane on their farm by the Shannon estuary in Co Limerick. Photos: Don Moloney

Walking out into a field of wildflowers and knee-high grass isn’t a typical experience on a dairy farm, but it’s how Michael Keane always managed his Limerick land.

The only difference is that now Michael is getting paid for it under the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) farm plan scheme.


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