The NPWS Farm Plan Scheme was launched in 2006. To date over 800 NPWS Farm Plans have been approved and these plans have been instrumental in designing national agri-environment schemes which have been taken forward on a larger scale, for example in the Rural Development Programme.
The NPWS Farm Plan Terms and Conditions Document was updated in 2020 and can be accessed here:
One of the main objectives of the NPWS Farm Plan Scheme is to trial novel approaches to farming for the environment, to safeguard particular sites, habitats and species, and to work towards meeting conservation measures required under the EU Birds and Habitats Directives. Examples of such approaches can be accessed here
The NPWS Farm Plan Scheme will apply in Target Areas. These are areas that fall into the following categories:
-High Nature Value Farmland
-Natura 2000 sites (SAC and SPA sites)
-Natural Heritage Areas
-Specific areas/sites with species and habitats listed under the Annexes of the EU Birds – Directive (2009/147/EC) and EU Habitats and Species Directive (92/43/EEC)
A steering group shall decide on priority actions for the NPWS Farm Plan Scheme from year to
year, identifying specific needs, as well as gaps in applied conservation action and knowledge
The NPWS Farm Plan Scheme shall be administered by the Agri-Ecology Unit of the NPWS with the support of other pillars of NPWS, including Science & Biodiversity Unit, Site Designations Unit, Ecological Assessment Unit, GIS Unit and Regional Staff. The Scheme shall be available to landowners both within and outside of Natura 2000 sites, but focused on strategic needs including Ireland’s requirements under the Birds and Habitats Directives.
NPWS Farm Plan Scheme contracts are typically of 5 years duration
Breakdown of the number of current NPWS farm plans by county.
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