DAERA seeks proposals for group environmental farming projects

Date published: 19 April 2017

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The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has issued a call for facilitators to run ‘Group’ projects for farmers who are participating in the Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS).

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Group projects are to promote co-ordinated activity among EFS agreement holders to enhance environmental outcomes in certain areas such as an environmentally designated site, priority habitat or river catchment.

EFS Group projects will initially be introduced on a pilot basis in 2017.

Therefore DAERA is seeking proposals from individuals or organisations from the environmental, farming or other land management sectors, or service providers with environmental land management experience and suitable facilitation skills. DAERA intends to initiate a small number of pilot projects this year. The call is competitive and applications will be assessed against selection criteria. Successful applicants will be offered a contract to deliver their proposed project.

Proposals are invited for pilot projects on:- Environmentally designated sites; Priority species and specific river catchments. The river catchments are Donore, Co Antrim; Upper Lagan, Co Down; Blackstaff and Carrigs, Dundrum, Co Down.

Full details of the Group pilot project call, including an application form, are available from the Agri-Environment section of the DAERA website.

Please note this call for Group pilot projects is for potential facilitators only. Farmers / Landowners who wish to participate in the EFS should apply as individual applicants when the EFS next opens for applications.

To apply you must complete an application form and submit it by email to efsgroupinfo@daera-ni.gov.uk. The closing date for applications is 3pm on Friday 5 May 2017.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Group Environmental projects are a new measure within Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. They aim to deliver enhanced environmental benefit via co-operative actions through the Environmental Farming  Scheme (EFS).
  2. EFS Tranche 1 opened for applications in March 2017. It received 926 Higher Level and 1,435 Wider Level applications. This call is for facilitators to operate Group projects for farmers who have applied to EFS, or that will apply in future.
  3. EFS and EFS Group project facilitation is part-funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
  4. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or email DAERA Press Office. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.
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