Farmers across Ireland's iconic Burren landscape are to share a €1m bonanza after creating the best conditions there for growing rare and wild flowers.
More than 100 farmers have taken part in the conservation scheme and could collect another €2m from the State before the project ends in two years' time.
Payments totalling €972,000 will be received before tomorrow by 143 farmers participating in the Burren Farming for Conservation Programme.
Programme director Dr Brendan Dunford said the payments this year ranged from €720 to €15,000, while the average was €6,800.
Dr Dunford added: "The payout is substantial and is having a huge, positive impact on the environment of the Burren."
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said: "The scheme guarantees excellent value for money -- and it is improving the biodiversity, water quality, cultural and landscape attributes of over 13,000 hectares of Ireland's flagship heritage landscape."