Hen harrier scheme takes flight amid renewed farmer concerns
The newly opened €25m hen harrier scheme must now deliver on the ground for the farmers impacted, the ICMSA has warned.
After a lengthy wait for the programme to open, the ICMSA's Patrick Rohan said farmers have seen their land effectively sterilised by an EU designation.
"It is important to note that many outstanding issues remain in relation to the hen harrier designation," said Mr Rohan.
The IFA's Pat Dunne also stressed that with 4,000 farmers impacted that it must deliver for farmers.
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said the scheme was now open for application with €25m in funding under the Rural Development Programme.
Mr Creed said the opinions and feedback from 500 farmers were incorporated into the programme administered by a team under the leadership of Fergal Monaghan.
He pointed out it was about creating sustainable farming systems for both farmers and the birds.
There are three ways to be paid under the programme, with one including a habitat payment based on the project team judging the foraging and nesting values of the land and allotting points.