Farming for Nature is a national scheme that works with farmers to enhance the natural health of the countryside.
The initiative aims to encourage and support farmers to play a positive role in conserving nature on their land.
Farmers are given practical insights through a range of short films, podcasts, newsletters, webinars and farm walks, along with a stronger voice in tackling biodiversity and climate change.
The independent project began in 2018 after Farming for Nature worked with farmers in the Burren region, western Ireland. The project shared stories of farmers who made a positive contribution to nature on their farm and in their communities.
Now the not-for-profit initiative has grown and showcases 40 farmer ambassadors across the country highlighting how they are making a positive difference to nature on their farms.
“We want to show that farmers are a part of nature not apart from it, and we want to use these positive testimonies to encourage others to follow suit,” it says. “We want to show that farming for nature can also be agriculturally, economically and socially progressive.”
The National Farming for Nature Awards are supported by Bord Bia and this year received nearly 50 nominations for new ambassadors. A shortlist of ambassadors will be compiled by the summer and judges will then visit each shortlisted farm before deciding on this year’s ambassadors.
One of the Farming for Nature founders, Brendan Dunford, said with Bord Bia’s support it had been able to acknowledge and celebrate farmers across Ireland who are doing great things for nature.
“Seeing and hearing these farmers share their love of nature and knowing that they work daily to make sure nature has a place on their farms, is really inspiring – to me these people are our unsung conservation heroes,” he said.