Mayo landowners invited to apply for support to create wildlife ponds, mini-woodlands, mini-orchards or ‘plans for nature’ on their land.
As part of his National Parks and Wildlife Service events for Biodiversity Week events with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Minister of State Malcolm Noonan was in Mayo today to launch the expansion of ‘The Hare’s Corner’ into the county. The Hare’s Corner is a biodiversity initiative coordinated by the Co. Clare-based landscape charity, Burrenbeo Trust. The Trust is linking up with LIFE IP Wild Atlantic Nature to offer farmers, landowners and community groups across Mayo the opportunity to avail of free advice and support to take small but impactful actions for nature.
Inspired by the term ‘The Hare’s Corner’, (an old farming expression for an awkward section of a field which wasn’t intensively farmed and so was ‘left to nature’), this project aims to help Mayo landowners create pocket-sized habitats on their land.
While launching the project at Gleann Buí Farm, in Aghamore, Mayo, Minister Noonan said:
“The Hare’s Corner shows that all of us can do something for nature and the climate. Many people are confused as to what they can or should do, and how to do it, and The Hare’s Corner meets this need by providing the encouragement, advice and micro-funding to enable people to do their bit. These small measures can make a real difference for nature – but also for our own wellbeing. I warmly welcome this initiative and look forward to supporting its future development through the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Heritage Council, who will provide the necessary supports to enable the project to meet its objectives.”
The Hare’s Corner initiative was first launched in August 2021 in Co. Clare and to date has supported the planting of 90 mini-woodlands (consisting of 2,278 endangered Burren pine trees and 7,796 native companion trees), 50 wildlife ponds, 106 mini-orchards (consisting of 848 heritage apple trees from Irish Seed Savers), and 30 professionally produced ‘Plans for Nature’ for landowners– a wonderful investment in the natural infrastructure of the County.
Pranjali Bhave, Coordinator of the project for Burrenbeo Trust commented:
“The Hare’s Corner is designed to be a simple, hassle-free way to support landowners in responding to the climate and biodiversity crisis we find ourselves in. The level of interest we have seen in this initiative gives us great hope on what can be achieved by people on the ground with just a small amount of support. The impact of the project so far – in terms of benefits to nature and the well-being of people across Clare who have benefited – has been amazing”.
Landowners can apply for one or more biodiversity actions and participation in the Hare’s Corner involves no cost to, and minimal hassle for, the landowner. Materials (native trees and orchard trees), micro-funding (e.g. machinery costs for pond digging), professional services (such as a hydrologist’s visit to help plan a pond, or an ecologist’s visit to ‘plan for nature’) and training are provided by the project. However, places are limited by available budget and screening conditions are employed to prioritise entry based on criteria such as suitability of the proposed site for the biodiversity measure. Preference is also given to applicants who represent a community space (e.g. community gardens, schools, etc.) and landowners that are not in receipt of any other agri-environmental grants.
The Minister concluded:
“It is great to see Burrenbeo Trust reaching out all across Ireland through projects like Farming for Nature, Heritage Keepers and Hare’s Corner. These collaborative models of place-based learning and community stewardship are so relevant in today’s world and it is important that we continue to foster their continued development through public and private sector support. Public-private partnerships such as this will be key if we are to meet our environmental ambition.”
The Hare’s Corner in Mayo is co-ordinated by the Burrenbeo Trust and LIFE IP Wild Atlantic Nature and is funded by a combination of private and public funding sources. Funders for this round of The Hare’s Corner in Mayo include the NTR Foundation and Lifes2Good Foundation.
Applications are now open, can be accessed through www.burrenbeo.com/thc and will close on Sunday June 11th. Further calls may be made subject to available funding.