In my role as Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture I welcome the news that 996 farmers have this week shared nearly half a million euro in Hen Harrier bonus payments. The payments were made under the €25 million Hen Harrier scheme funded by the Department under the Rural Development Programme.
The bonus payments, totalling €483,927 are in recognition of these farmers’ success in delivering habitats for Hen Harriers and other wildlife and they qualify for the bonus based on how well Hen Harriers are doing in their area.
In a week dominated by reports of fires in our upland areas, it is a relief to get some good news. I am delighted to see these results based payments being made to farmers who have ensured that the Hen Harrier population in Special Protection Areas have reached their objectives. This is a real achievement and the farmers involved have earned every cent. This payment is not a hand-out. The farmers have managed their farms to deliver a habitat that sustains the Hen Harrier population and they deserve recognition for that. These farmers are true farmers for nature.
You can read more in the full Press Release on the gov.ie website.