Tuesday, 27 July 2021
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
623. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the amount of funding his Department applied for in budget 2021 for the farm plan scheme; the amount of funding that was allocated to his Department for 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39408/21]
The NPWS Farm Plan Scheme supports landowners to deliver actions that benefit habitats and species in biodiversity areas of European and Irish importance. Over the past 15 years, around 800 Plans have been delivered covering a variety of nature interests, from birds and other species of conservation concern to habitats including eskers, coastal dunes, fens and turloughs. Currently, there are around 100 active Farm Plans across the country.
A total of €1.89m was made available in 2021 which will allow for approximately 200 additional Plans. In the most recent call for applications (March 2021), 170 valid farm plan applications were made. From these, 119 farm plans are presently being designed in cooperation between the landowner, NPWS and NPWS farm planners. The types of priorities that are associated with the present round of farm plan entrants include Blanket Bog, Birds of Conservation Concern, Pollinators, Lesser Horseshoe Bats, Rivers, Turloughs, Invasive Species, Tillage Biodiversity, Annexed Grasslands, Wider Biodiversity and more.