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Ireland

CAP Rural Development Programme 2007-2013

Available through CAP RURAL DEVELOPMENT DIVISION, 4 centre, Agriculture House, Kildare Street, DUBLIN 2.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Section Contents

Page

1&2

Title of Rural Development Programme and coverage of the RDP

5

3

Analysis of situation 3.1 - Introduction

6 6

3.1.1 - General socio-economic context

7

4

5

3.1.2 - Performance of the agricultural, forestry and food sectors

13

3.1.3 - Environment and Land Management

16

3.1.4 - Rural Economy and Quality of Life

25

3.1.5 - Local Action Groups (LEADER)

27

3.2 - Strategy chosen to meet strengths and weaknesses

32

3.3 - Ex-Ante Evaluation

40

3.4 - Impact from Previous Programming period and other information

41

The Priorities (including summaries of responses to the Ex Ante Evaluation and SEA)

46

4. 1 - Justification of the priorities chosen having regard to the Community strategic guidelines and the national strategy plan.

46

4.2 - Expected impacts deriving from the ex-ante evaluation with regards to the priorities chosen

47

Information on the Priorities, Axes and Measures 5.1 - Axis 1: Improving the competitiveness of the agricultural sector

64 66

− Vocational training and information actions

67

70

Setting up of young farmers

− Early retirement of farmers and farm workers

73

− Farm modernisation of agricultural holdings

77

2


5.2 - Axis 2: Improving the environment and the countryside − Payments to farmers in areas with handicaps, other than mountain areas

82

− Natura 2000 payments and payments linked to Directive 2000/60/EC

86

− Agri-environmental payments

93

5.3 - Axis 3: Quality of life in rural areas and diversification of the rural economy

140

− Diversification into non-agricultural activities

141

− Support for business creation and development

144

− Encouragement of tourism activities

147

− Basic Services for the economy and rural population

150

− Village renewal and development

153

− Conservation and upgrading of the rural heritage

155

− Training and information measure for economic actors operating in the field covered by Axis 3

158

5.4 - Axis 4: Implementation of the LEADER Approach

6, 7, 8

81

161

− Implementing local development strategies

163

− Implementing co-operation projects

166

− Running the Local Action Group

168

Financial Plans − Annual contribution from the EAFRD

170

− Overall EU co-funded expenditure

170

− EU co-funded expenditure by axis and measure

171

− Additional national financing per axis and measures

172

9

Competition State Aid appraisal

173

10

Complementarity with other CAP instruments and EU policies

175

11

Designation of competent authorities and responsible bodies

180

3


12

Monitoring and evaluation system

181

13

Communication plan on information and publicity

182

14

Consultation process and outcome

187

15

Equality between men and women and non-discrimination

200

16

Technical assistance operations

201

Appendix 1:Statistical Tables 1 to 11 on rural areas, agriculture and food; map of rural and urban density

204

Appendix 2: Natura 2000 areas

215

Appendix 3: Agri-environment costings (REPS and Organic Farming)

241

Appendix 4: National legislation

272

Appendix 5: Supplementary information on state aid

276

Appendix 6: Verification of costs

299

Appendix 7: Organogram of management and control structure for the RDP

301

Appendix 8: Glossary of abbreviations

302

Appendix 9: Ex-ante evaluation of RDP 2007-2013

304

Appendix 10:Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of Draft RDP 2007-2013

381

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1. Title Rural Development Programme, Ireland, 2007-2013. 2. Geographical area covered by the plan The programme covers the total territory of Ireland.

5


3.

Analysis of the situation in terms of strengths and weaknesses, the strategy chosen to meet them and the ex-ante evaluation

3.1 Introduction This programme is based on the EU framework for rural development and on the national rural development strategy formulated in line with that framework. The programme for Ireland sets three main priorities: • • •

Improving the competitiveness of the agriculture sector Improving the environment and the countryside by support for land management Improving the quality of life in rural areas and encouraging diversification of economic activity.

The first two priorities are directed primarily at the agricultural sector. Their competitiveness and environmental focus reflects the multifunctional nature of the sectors. This theme is also evident in the AgriVision 2015 Action Plan for the agri-food sector. That plan is based on the vision of ‘an industry attaining optimal levels of efficiency, competitiveness and responsiveness to the market while also respecting and enhancing the physical environment’. The measures in this programme are fully consistent with that vision. Agriculture is not the only contributor to rural development. Forty per cent of the population consider themselves rural dwellers, with most unconnected to farming. The third EU priority – quality of life and diversification – recognises this. It is relevant to all rural dwellers including farmers, particularly in view of the growth in part-time farming. The challenges in the wider context include the provision of alternative and suitable employment opportunities for people living in rural areas and a range of services that people now want and expect locally. In this programme, actions centred on the wider rural community such as the development of rural enterprises based on local natural resources, tourism, village enhancement and environmental initiatives will be delivered in a manner that addresses these challenges and complements onfarm measures. The measures are consistent with the 1999 White Paper on Rural Development and its commitments relating to the economic and social well-being of rural communities. A final introductory point concerns the format and the analysis used in this programme. The format is based on that prescribed by EU legislation. The analysis is based heavily on, and to a large extent repeats, the position set out in Ireland’s rural development strategy. This reflects the fact that Ireland is adopting a single-programme approach for its whole territory.

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3.1.1 General socio-economic context of the geographical area: Definition of the rural area The basis and rationale for the definition of rural areas as outlined in the National Strategy Plan (NSP) is the National Spatial Strategy (NSS), which was adopted in 2002 as part of the National Development Plan 2000–2006. The NSS is a twenty-year planning framework designed to foster more balanced physical, economic and social development across regions and areas. Infrastructural and economic investment under the NSS is targeted on the development of key gateway and hub cities and towns in the different regions. Priorities identified in the NSS for rural areas include the provision of appropriate community infrastructure, the provision of economic opportunities and further the development of leisure and cultural facilities. The National Rural Development Programme will complement the NSS by focusing on areas outside the regional urban targeting of the NSS. These areas account for 59 per cent of the national population (see Table 2a, Appendix 1). A further number of small-to medium-sized towns that do not meet the OECD definition of rural areas, i.e. less than 150 persons/km2 (see map, Appendix1) will continue to be included in rural programming. Many of these towns are located in close proximity to the Greater Dublin Area and so experience significant threat from urban sprawl. The remainder are located in key regional areas where population stabilisation is a priority. The five broad categories of rural areas identified in the NSP demonstrate the different rural characteristics and needs. But to complete the picture of rural Ireland another category must be recognised, viz. peri-urban areas. These are areas close to, and under the influence of, main urban centres. Features include high population densities and levels of commuting to work with relatively low reliance on farming. 1 The five broad rural area types in Ireland as described by the NSS: 1

Areas that are strong – mainly in the South and East where agriculture will remain strong, where currently over 30 per cent of the labour force is engaged in primary agriculture, but where pressure for development is high and some rural settlements are under stress. Many of these settlements are peri-urban in nature and have the highest population densities in this area type of over 40 persons/km2.

2

Areas that are changing – including many parts of the Midlands, the Border, the South and West where population and agricultural employment have started to decline and where replacement employment is required. These areas are characterised by having the lowest level of self-employment outside agriculture at 13 per cent of the available labour force.

3

Areas that are weak – including more western parts of the Midlands, certain parts of the Border and mainly inland areas in the West, where population decline has been significant and the ratio of those aged 65 and over exceeds 15 per cent of the total population of the area.

4

Areas that are remote – including parts of the west coast and the islands. A feature of these areas is that they represent the highest proportion of part-time female workers at 29 per cent of the total female population at work.

1

Irish Rural Structure - Report prepared for the NSS 2002 by NUI Maynooth and Brady Shipman Martin

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5

Areas that are culturally distinct – including parts of the west coast and the Gaeltacht, which have a distinct cultural heritage. Due to their widespread distribution across the other areas, socio-economic needs vary from isolation to peri-urban pressure.

Table 3.1: Rural area typology and profile Area type

Peri-urban Very strong Strong, adjusting Structurally weak Marginal Highly diverse areas and culturally distinct areas

per cent of rural popn

Popn density persons/km2

Elderly dependency ratio

per cent Labour force at work in manufacturing

29 26 14 16

41 28 15 15

193 174 246 266

19 22 14 20

Females at work part-time as per cent of total females at work 25 24 24 20

8 7

17 16

261 240

21 11

29 27

Analysis of age and gender population structure The most recent national census of population 2 recorded an increase in the national population from 3.6 million in 1996 to 4.2 million in 2006, or an increase of 17 per cent. The rate of growth was greatest in urban areas and along the east coast. This growth was accompanied by a continued concentration of population clusters along newly upgraded transport corridors between major cities and surrounding regional towns. Table 3.2: 2006 Population by gender and age structure (percentage) Age group Male Female Total

Under 15 years 10.5 9.9 20.4

15—19 years 3.5 3.4 6.9

20—24 years 4.1 4.0 8.1

25—64 years 27.1 26.5 53.6

65 years and upwards 4.9 6.1 11.0

Total 50.1 49.9 100.0

The demographic profile of the country as a whole is strong when viewed in age terms. However, this profile differs between regions (See Table 1, Appendix 1). The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has projected a national population of 5 million by 2021. This would represent an increase of 19 per cent over the population recorded in 2006. However, regional disparities in this growth are predicted, with the eastern seaboard expected to account for 45 per cent of the growth and the West Region (NUTS 111) accounting for only 12 per cent of projected growth.

2

Central Statistics Office 2006, Census of population

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In and out migration and problems arising from peri-urban pressures and remoteness Traditionally Dublin and the Eastern region have experienced positive migration flows while all other regions recorded negative migration. Based on a recent data set, the CSO estimates that Dublin in particular will experience a negative migration pattern into the future while most other NUTS III regions, particularly the Mid-East, will experience positive migration. 3 In this modelling scenario the Mid-West would be the exception in that it would continue to record a negative migration pattern on into the medium term. External migration plays a significant role in terms of regional population. CSO projections are for an inward migration of over 0.5 million people in the 19-year period to 2021. Again, while these numbers will disperse throughout the eight regions, nearly half will concentrate in the Dublin region, with lowest numbers gravitating towards the Midlands (See Table 2, Appendix). Areas of weak population structure A further priority is the need to halt population decline in more remote rural areas. In the period 1926–2002 significant rural areas at local administration level in 18 out of 26 counties experienced a population decline in excess of 50 per cent. Recent research into population patterns in Ireland shows that some 30 per cent of rural dwellers can be described as living in areas experiencing weak population structure and a consequent diminishing economic base. 4 Rural economy and employment patterns Ireland’s regions are predominantly rural – characterised by medium-sized and small market towns, villages and open countryside. One of the most fundamental challenges facing rural economies is the impact of restructuring in agriculture and traditional industry and the associated need for diversification and growth in the non-farm rural economy. Manufacturing employment, which is predicted to decline in coming years, is also notably more important in rural areas – 12 per cent of employment in non-rural areas compared with 17 per cent in rural, based on data from the Census of Population in 2002. The significant manufacturing sector in the rural economy has been much slower to respond to the positive economic climate. This fact combined with the transitory nature of the construction boom suggests that the long-term sustainability of the present growth in rural employment needs to be underpinned by a wider range of job-creation initiatives. Rural tourism, which has traditionally been a mainstay of rural employment, faces serious challenges. The tendency for tourists to concentrate in the greater Dublin and Eastern region highlights the need for a regionally balanced tourism. 5 When examining regional disparities under gross value added (GVA) per capita the gap in GVA per person between the Border Midland Western (BMW) and Southern and Eastern regions (S&E) has widened each year over the period 1996 to 2002. By 2002, GVA in the BMW region was 69 per cent of the state average, down from 76 per cent in 1996, and although the region accounted for 25 per cent of the people at work, it contributed 18 per cent of the GVA. Off-farm employment patterns A growing feature of farming patterns is the increase in the number of ‘part-time’ farmers. In 1991, some 73.4 per cent of farmers described ‘farm work’ as their sole occupation, with the remaining 26.6 per cent having another (either major or subsidiary) occupation. The trend towards what is generically entitled ‘part-time farming’ is illustrated by provisional CSO data for 3

Central Statistics Office, May 2005, Regional Population Projections 2006-2021 Kearney, B. 2005, Update on Rural Areas since publication of the White Paper on Rural Development 1999 5 Tourism Action Plan Implementation Group 4

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2005, which indicates that farming was the sole occupation for 74,200, or 56 per cent, of holders. The other 57,100 farmers (44 per cent) had another either major or subsidiary occupation. The decision to become a part-time farmer is most common to younger people. It is not common for older farmers to switch to a part-time off-farm job. This has implications for the future viability of remoter rural areas, with an ageing farming population relying solely on agriculture for an income. The most recent Census of Agriculture, carried out in 2000, showed that just under 5 per cent of farms (7,507) were involved in non-agricultural activity on the farm. The breakdown of this figure is outlined below: • • • • •

Forestry Farm tourism Recreational activities Home crafts Other

2,849 farms 1,240 farms 374 farms 173 farms 2,871 farms

Relevant indicators in relation to the rural social economy include the following: • • •

Forty four per cent of farmers have another (either major or subsidiary) occupation in the wider rural economy. The national take-up of DSL broadband at under 4 per cent of the population is significantly below the EU average. The services sector with a GVA at 56 per cent of the national average has scope to contribute further to the rural economy.

Agricultural structures The total land area of Ireland is approximately 6.9 million hectares, of which 4.3 million hectares or 62 per cent is used for agriculture and approximately 710,000 hectares for forestry - about 10 per cent of total land. Seventy nine per cent of agricultural area is devoted to grass, 11 per cent to rough grazing, 7 per cent to cereals and 3 per cent to other crops (potatoes, sugar beet etc). As regards the age structure, 8 per cent of Irish farmers are under 35 years of age and 48 per cent of Irish farmers are over 55 years of age. Figure 3.1 provides a detailed description of the age profile in Irish farming in 2005.

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Figure 3.1 Age profile of Irish farmers, 2005

<35 8% 35-44 19%

>65 24%

<35 35-44 45-54 55-64 >65 55-64 24%

45-54 25%

Given trends in the general economy and the attraction of alternative employment â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as evidenced by the growth in part-time farming â&#x20AC;&#x201C; there is an ongoing need to promote agriculture to young people. This can be done through a combination of incentive measures and an overall increase in the competitiveness and profitability of farming. Farm numbers continue to decline but at a lesser rate than in several other European countries. The most recent data from the CSO for farm structure and size is 2005 when there was a total of 131,400 farms in Ireland. 6 Approximately 4 per cent of farms are over 100 hectares in size with around two in five farms over 30 hectares in size. The average farm size in 2005 was 33.2 hectares. Figure 3.2 below provides a detailed description of farm size in Ireland in 2005.

6

The total number of holders in the state is slightly less than the total number of farms as commercial companies; institutions, etc. are not included in the former.

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Figure 3.2

Farm size structure in Ireland, 2005 >100ha 4% 50-100ha 15%

<5ha 7% 5-10ha 12%

30-50ha 21%

<5ha 5-10ha 10-20ha 20-30ha 30-50ha 50-100ha >100ha

10-20ha 25%

20-30ha 16%

One of the major obstacles to increasing farm size is the low level of land mobility, with only 6,146 hectares of agricultural land sold in 2004, combined with an average sale price of â&#x201A;Ź16,261 per hectare of land in 2004. Figure 3.3 shows the decline in sales of agricultural land as land prices have risen. Figure 3.3 Land prices and estimated agricultural area sold, 1995-2004 18,000 16,000 20,000

â&#x201A;Ź / hectare

14,000 12,000

15,000

10,000 8,000

10,000

6,000 4,000

5,000

2,000 0

0 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 â&#x201A;Ź/hectare

hectares

Source: CSO; Land Sales derived from average transaction size and no. of transactions

12

Quantities sold, hectares

25,000


In order to overcome this difficulty, many farmers have turned to leasing, with about onethird of all farmers leasing some 867,000 hectares in 2003. To encourage older farmers (over 40 years of age) to lease out farmland to younger, more productive farmers, an income tax exemption exists for land leased for longer than five years. The 2000 Census of Agriculture data highlighted a high level of farm fragmentation, with only 28 per cent of farms in a single parcel of land, while 18 per cent of farms consisted of five or more parcels. At farm level, land mobility, consolidation and early transfer of land and flexible quota management are important aspects in facilitating structural change.

3.1.2 Performance of agricultural, forestry and food sectors The agri-food sector continues to be one of the most important and dynamic indigenous manufacturing elements in the Irish economy. It consists of 131,000 family farms and around 800 industrial units spread throughout the country. In 2006 the sector 7 accounted for just over 8 per cent of GDP and employment and almost 10 per cent of exports. Due to its very strong export orientation and low import content, it is responsible for a significant proportion of the country’s net foreign earnings. Although its relative importance in the economy has diminished somewhat, due to the very rapid expansion of some other sectors in recent years, it remains vital to national prosperity. Food – production, exports and structure In 2006 goods output at producer prices was €5.2bn. The main contributors were milk (28.5 per cent), cattle and calves (27.1 per cent), forage plants (12.8 per cent) and pigs (6.1 per cent). In terms of self-sufficiency, Ireland is self-sufficient in beef (820 per cent), pig meat (163 per cent), sheep meat (303 per cent), poultry meat (101 per cent), butter (1054 per cent), cheese (354 per cent) and milk powder (1088 per cent). In the case of cereals, Ireland’s level of selfsufficiency is 90 per cent. Agri-food exports for 2006 were in the region of €8.1bn. Beef, dairy products and ingredients account for over 45 per cent of this amount. The EU-15 accounts for approximately 75 per cent of Irish agri-food exports. Within this, the UK is Ireland’s single biggest market, representing over 46 per cent of sales. Increased trade liberalisation, as a consequence of both recent CAP reforms and the Doha Round of World Trade talks, will lead to a more competitive environment for Irish agricultural exports. Given the importance of beef and dairy product exports to Ireland’s total agri-food exports, issues such as the competitiveness and scale of these sectors will continue to be critical factors. Within the agri-food sector the organic sector in Ireland is comparatively small by EU standards. At present there are just over 1,270 organic operators in Ireland, with just under 40,000 hectares of land under organic production methods, less than 1 per cent of our agricultural land. The market for organic food has grown strongly in recent years. At the end of 2003 the Irish organic market was estimated to be worth €38 million. Last year that figure reached €66 million. Most food companies are in the small-and medium-sized category. The industry as a whole has a reasonable geographic spread and is an important source of employment throughout the country. The meat industry is most strongly represented in the border area, mid-east and 7

Includes primary agriculture, food, drinks and tobacco

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south-east of the country, while the dairy industry is primarily concentrated in the south-east and south-west. Tables 3–10 in Appendix 1 set out in more detail the position summarised in this section. Looking to the future For the agri-food sector, the overall objective is to develop a competitive, consumer-focused sector that contributes to a vibrant rural economy, society and environment. It is clear that further major changes in international and EU policy and in market trends are in prospect and, indeed, under way. These changes will create more competitive EU and world commodity markets and more complex and innovative food product markets. An already demanding and tough marketplace will become even more so. These trends will be intensified by the increased trade liberalisation that will emerge from a possible WTO agreement. To prosper in this new environment will require change in the agriculture and food industry at every level. In particular Ireland must: • • • • • • •

Take advantage of the 'freedom to farm' for the market arising from the decoupling of direct payments Focus on the requirements of the consumer at every stage in the value chain, especially in ensuring the highest standards of food safety Continue, and accelerate, the process of structural change at farm and processor level to achieve the most competitive structures possible Ensure that the knowledge base and technical skills of the sector are developed to place it in a world-leading position Match the above capabilities with an entrepreneurial focus on exploiting market opportunities Encourage the agriculture sector to embrace techniques designed to mitigate climate change and minimise gaseous emissions to the atmosphere Identify the likely future impacts of climate change together with those impacts that are now probable, and prepare a strategy to assist the Irish agriculture sector to adapt to these impacts.

Forestry Ireland’s forestry sector comprises not only an expanding growing sector but also a vibrant forest industry and a modern harvesting and transport sector. The growing sector comprises many small-and medium-sized enterprises that service Ireland’s woods and forests including forest nurseries, consultants, self-assessment companies and forest contractors. Over 90 per cent of all new planting is now undertaken by farmers, which is significantly changing the structure of forest-ownership in Ireland, with some 16,000 private plantations now established. Forestry has provided an alternative enterprise for farmers who are diversifying from the traditional patterns of agriculture and will continue to do so. The processing sector includes conifer sawmills and hardwood sawmills that rely on the growing sector as a source of raw material. Included here also are the panel mills which utilise a combination of small round-wood, recycled wood and wood waste. Finally there is the harvesting and transport sector, which forms the essential link between the growing and processing sectors.

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The following summarises forestry’s contribution in economic and employment terms: • • • • • • •

The sector accounts for 0.3 per cent of GDP. Over 2,000 people are currently employed directly in forestry (not including the labour input from the 15,000 farmers who own private plantations). A further 6,300 people are employed in downstream industries such as saw milling and manufacture of wooden board products. Over 17,000 people are either directly engaged in growing and using forest products or are engaged in related sectors. An additional five jobs created within forestry will lead to an additional three jobs elsewhere in the economy. Labour productivity in forestry measured in gross value added (GVA) per person employed amounted to €49,047, and to €54,691 for the wood-processing sector. The gross fixed capital formation in forestry amounted to €33.8m (including logging) in 2004.

Turning to the future, the overall aim is to develop the sector to a scale and in a manner that maximises its contribution to national economic and social well being on a sustainable basis, and which is compatible with the protection of the environment. A current target is to increase the area under forestry from 10 per cent of land area to 17 per cent. This is under review and is unlikely to increase. In any event, the afforestation programme will have two related objectives: (a) the production of timber and (b) the delivery of public goods. The programme will be underpinned by the MCPFE 8 criteria for Sustainable Forest Management and so will be designed to deliver economic, social and environmental goals. Allied to that, a study is underway to identify the most appropriate lands suited to growing trees, and its outcome will be taken into account. While forestry will not be supported under this programme, it will receive complementary assistance through exchequer funding under the National Development Plan. Forestry will be financed outside the programme, as a higher level of funding will be possible under this approach, and it is considered that this will enhance the likelihood of achieving the current target set for increasing the land area under forestry. Support for forestry under the National Development Plan will be very much in line with the aims of the programme. While there will be assistance for increased competitiveness, the focus will be on the environmental contribution of afforestation. In this context the following factors are relevant: •

8

Forestry, and in particular well-planned forestry, can contribute positively to biodiversity. Existing Guidelines describe practical measures to achieve biodiversity objectives. These include the need to identify existing habitats and fauna of particular interest; the importance of species selection; and the incorporation of open area and retained habitat in the forest. The pattern of Irish forestry is changing to one of smaller forests with greater species diversity, embedded in a mixed landscape of cropland, pasture, wetland and upland. This is yielding a mosaic of different habitat types. Taking account of recent research on biodiversity, the NDP will develop this trend and will address ways to support forestry with enhanced environmental objectives such as the extension of wildlife corridors, riparian planting and a scheme based on provision for forest-environment payments.

Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe

15


Forestry has a significant role to play in combating climate-change, with a target set in Ireland’s National Climate Change Strategy of 1.01 million tonnes of carbon dioxide sequestered per annum by 2010. The latest estimates indicate that the level of sequestration in Kyoto-eligible forests, which are mainly those newly established since 1990, will actually reach some 2.1 million tonnes of CO2 per annum during the first Kyoto commitment period 2008-2012. Forestry also represents a secure and renewable source of energy, which can help reduce our dependence on imported oil, and which has the added advantage of being carbon-neutral.

Based on the level of afforestation established since the mid-1980s, the contribution of forestry thinnings to the national energy supply chain will increase from 0.8 PJ (Peta Joules) in 2006 to 2.6 PJ in 2020. This is indicative also of the potential future contribution of forestry to energy needs.

3.1.3 Environment and land management Irish agriculture is predominantly extensive and grass-based. Tillage occupies some 10 per cent of utilisable agricultural area (UAA); most of the remainder is devoted to cattle and sheep farming. Seventy five per cent of UAA is currently categorised as disadvantaged, and 77 per cent of farmers qualify for less favoured areas (LFAs) payments. Ireland has opted for full decoupling of direct payments from production with effect from 1 January 2005. A general reduction in stocking levels was forecast as a result and this has been shown to be correct; in fact, the decline in sheep numbers is considerably greater than forecast. 9 The likelihood therefore is that, in general, a sector that is already predominantly extensive will now put even less pressure on the environment and biodiversity. (For example, the expected reduction in livestock numbers and consequential reduction in the use of mineral N will deliver significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the sector.) However, a minority of farmers, mainly in the dairying and tillage sectors, are likely to become more intensive in response to market opportunities. Reduction in cattle and sheep numbers since 2000. 10 Table 3.3: Type of livestock Cattle (X 1,000) Sheep (X 1,000)

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

7,037

7,049

6,992

6,999

7,015

6,982

6,9150

7,555

7,330

7,209

6,848

6,777

6,392

5,973

The position in relation to the various environmental elements is set out below. Water quality Ireland’s water quality compares well with that of most other EU countries, although there is evidence of slight or moderate pollution in certain rivers and lakes. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has presented the most recent overview of conditions in the state’s rivers and water bodies in the national report on water quality for the period 2003–2005. The previous EPA report, for the period 2001–2003, had shown an improvement over the 1995– 9

In 2003 FAPRI Ireland predicted that sheep numbers would fall by 23 per cent by 2012 as a result of decoupling; by the end of 2006 numbers had in fact already fallen by 28 10 Central Statistics Office, June Livestock Survey

16


1997 reporting period and reversed a decline in water quality that had been in evidence since this length of channel was first characterised in the late 1980s. The most recent report indicates that Irelandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water quality continues to be of a high standard. The national implementation report on the Phosphorus Regulations published by the EPA in 2005 concluded that of the 496 lakes with updated trophic status information available, 401 (80.8 per cent) currently comply with the targets set. The EPA considered that agricultural activities were the source of the nutrient enrichment affecting most of the non-compliant lakes but pointed to other sources such as sewage discharges in the other cases. Ireland is currently on target with regards to meeting its commitments under the Water Framework Directive (WFD). There have been some local improvements in water quality as a result of the implementation of local authority measure programmes under the Phosphorus Regulations, although the improvement has not been universal. Local authorities will play a key role in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive in Ireland, including in the development and implementation of measures. The River Basin Management projects, which have been established to facilitate implementation of the Directive, will help provide local authorities with the information necessary to protect and improve water quality within their functional areas. The Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) was transposed into national law in 2003. Implementation is being led by the competent authorities, namely the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and local authorities. River Basin District (RBD) projects were established by local authorities in 2003/2004 to support implementation of the Directive. In December 2004 a Characterisation Report was issued for each RBD. In December 2006 programmes of monitoring became operational (led by the EPA). In June 2007 local authorities will publish a summary overview of the significant water management issues in each RBD for the purpose of public consultation leading to the development of draft management plans for RBDs. In June 2008 local authorities will publish for public consultation a draft River Basin Management Plan for each RBD. In June 2009 local authorities will adopt and publish the final River Basin Management Plan (including objectives for all water bodies and programmes of measures to meet those objectives) following consultations and amendments as appropriate. All elements of the programmes of measures will be made operational by the relevant public authorities by 2012 at the latest; and in June 2015 and every six years thereafter the local authorities will review and if necessary update the River Basin Management Plan and the programmes of measures. In 2003 Ireland decided to adopt a whole-territory approach to the implementation of the Nitrates Directive and the necessary regulations were made, identifying the whole national territory as the area for which an action programme would be established and applied in accordance with the Directive. The Directive itself was transposed into national law in February 2006. A revised farm waste management scheme, introduced in March 2006 following the receipt of the required EU state aid approval, provides grant aid to farmers towards investment in, inter alia, additional waste storage if they need it to comply with the Regulations giving effect to the directive. A further scheme provides grant aid, on a pilot basis, for new technology to process animal manures and to spread them in a more environmentally friendly way. Both schemes closed for applications at the end of 2006. The whole-territory approach was designed to ensure a comprehensive approach to the reduction and prevention of pollution from all agricultural sources, from phosphorus as well as from nitrogen. 17


In relation to the farmyard and the prevention of pollution arising from it, under the Regulation all farmers will be legally obliged to: • Minimise the amount of soiled water produced on the holding and take all reasonable steps to ensure that rainwater from roofs, unsoiled paved areas and water flowing from higher ground is diverted to a clean water outfall and prevented from entering onto soiled paved areas, etc • Ensure that storage facilities for livestock manure, other organic fertilisers, soiled water and effluents from dungsteads, farmyard manure pits and silage pits are maintained free of structural defect and are of such standard as is necessary to prevent run-off or seepage into ground or surface water • Ensure that new storage facilities meet the above criteria • Meet the minimum manure storage capacity requirement for livestock manure produced by cattle of 16, 18, 20 or 22 weeks, depending on location. A general requirement of 26 weeks applies for pig and poultry units. In addition to storage and prevention of pollution, the Regulations place exacting requirements on all farm holdings in terms of the land spreading of organic and chemical fertilisers: • Limits on application of fertilisers determined by soil type and crop requirements • Timing and method of land spreading, including closed periods for application of organic and chemical fertilisers • Specific buffer zones for wells, watercourses and lakes within which the spreading of fertiliser is prohibited. While the most recent EPA report shows that Ireland’s water quality is still, in general, of a high standard, Ireland will take the opportunity presented by the new Rural Development Programme to introduce voluntary measures designed to improve water quality in a number of areas: specifically, certain salmon rivers and pearl mussel habitats, and the catchments of certain western lakes. These measures will be delivered in a manner that complements the two proposed interventions under the Operational Programmes of the Regional Assemblies concerning a water source protection measure and treatment programme for local group water schemes. In November 2006 Ireland secured a favourable decision from the EU Nitrates Committee on an application for derogation arrangements to allow farmers, under appropriate conditions and controls, to operate at a level up to 250kg NORG per hectare. Air quality The EPA’s third state of the environment report, ‘Ireland’s Environment 2004’, brings together the most recent information on the quality of Ireland’s environment. It assesses the factors that affect the environment and discusses protection policies, both national and international. In this report the EPA states, ‘Serious outdoor air quality problems do not exist in Ireland. The winter smog problems associated with coal combustion that were common in some cities during the 1980s and early 1990s have been eradicated.’ It also notes that, ‘owing to the success of pollution control, related to stationary sources, emissions from road traffic are now the primary threat to the quality of air in Ireland.’ Agriculture accounts for most ammonia emissions within the Irish economy, coming primarily from animal manure and nitrogen-based fertilisers. The Regulations giving effect to 18


the Nitrates Directive lay down fertiliser limits which will give farmers an economic incentive to use nutrients as efficiently as possible, both through more careful selection of spreading periods and by using spreading technology that reduces exposure to the air. Reductions in ammonia emissions from organic wastes are taking place due to declining numbers of animals. Decoupling under the Common Agricultural Policy is likely to maintain the downward trend in livestock populations in Ireland, and the ammonia emissions ceiling of 116,000 tonnes set by the EU’s National Emission Ceiling Directive 2001/81/EC has already been achieved (figures for 2005 show emissions at 112.67 Kt); in fact it is likely to be significantly exceeded by the target date. Concentrated ammonia emissions from intensive pig and poultry installations can result in higher levels of ammonia deposition locally. Particular attention is paid to the issue of possible ammonia deposition in Natura site areas through the involvement of the relevant environmental authorities in planning decisions related to livestock installations in or adjacent to these areas. The National Climate Change Strategy 2007–2013 notes that the Government has recognised that market-based mechanisms may provide scope to deliver additional emissions reductions. In that regard the Department of Agriculture and Food is conscious of the dual environmental benefits (i.e. reducing both GHG and ammonia emissions) of trailing-shoe manure spreading technology. Accordingly, the Department will promote the use of this technology amongst farmers (through REPS in particular). Consideration is being given to providing financial incentives and favourable tax concessions to agricultural contractors who purchase trailing shoes. Climate change Ireland’s first National Climate Change Strategy, published in 2000, provides for a reduction in methane emissions from the national herd equivalent to a reduction in livestock numbers by 10 per cent below 2010 projected levels. The Strategy provides for an appropriate balance to be maintained between direct reductions in stock numbers and intensification of other measures, including a prioritised research programme to identify means of reducing emissions. It also provides for N2O emissions arising from nitrogenous fertiliser spreading to be reduced by 10 per cent below expected 2010 levels, supplemented by other measures to reduce N2O emissions from soils. Emissions from the sector are forecast to fall substantially through the Kyoto commitment period 2008–2012 to an average 17.644 Mt per annum — some 12 per cent below 1990 levels. These projections assumed that full decoupling of agricultural support from production, which began on 1 January 2005, would lead to significant reductions in animal numbers on Irish farms, with a consequent reduction in emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency has reported that emissions from agriculture decreased from 20.07 Mt in 2003 to 19.88 Mt in 2004, due largely to a reduction in emissions of nitrous oxide from fertiliser use. Agriculture remains the single largest contributor to the overall emissions, where emissions of methane and nitrous oxide account for almost 29 per cent of the national total of CO2 equivalents. However, this is significantly down from 1990 when agriculture contributed 35.9 per cent of the total. While carbon sinks will be created primarily by Ireland’s afforestation measures, which are not included in this Programme, these will be complemented significantly by support through REPS for the creation and maintenance of hedgerows: the programme includes targets for the 19


establishment of 4,800 kilometres of new hedgerows and the rejuvenation of a further 3,200 kilometres. The nutrient management measure, which is one of the eleven core undertakings in REPS, will deliver field-by-field nutrient management planning based on soil tests and the level of farming activity, maximising efficiency in fertiliser use and consequently minimising emissions from that source. Further reductions in emissions will be delivered by the promotion through REPS of minimum tillage and of clover pastures, which reduce the need for nitrogenous fertiliser. To date, national policy has focused primarily on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, i.e. reducing or limiting emissions in line with Ireland’s commitment for the purposes of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. While mitigation action is important in terms of delaying and reducing the impact of climate change, some degree of climate change is already probable, due mainly to current and historic levels of greenhouse gas emissions (the main foreseeable impact at this stage is some water shortages in the south-east of Ireland). Even if significant progress can be made in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions in the short to medium term, current and historic emissions will continue to cause changes in the climate system for the foreseeable future. The need for action on adaptation is therefore beyond question and Ireland recognises this. The Irish authorities have put in place a significant programme of climate change research in the areas of mitigation, adaptation, basic science and observations. Specific objectives for the investment in climate change adaptation research include the provision of analyses of projected climate change and its impacts for Ireland and development of analytical capacity in this area. The Community Climate Change Consortium for Ireland (C4i) Project was established in 2003. Its main objective is to consolidate and intensify the national effort in climate change research by building a capability for carrying out regional climate modelling in Ireland and to provide assistance to Irish scientists utilising climate model output for their analyses. The C4i Project is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (under the National Development Plan), Met Éireann, Sustainable Energy Ireland, and the Higher Education Authority. C4i has enabled the development of a regional climate modelling facility in Met Éireann. The new capacity will contribute to national efforts in climate change research, will support the community of environmental scientists and will assist policymakers in planning to adapt to climate change. Further analysis of climate scenarios is being conducted under the auspices of C4i, which will examine the impacts for agriculture and water management, focusing on river basin districts. This analysis is being carried out by Met Éireann and the National University of Ireland (Maynooth) and will be further developed in the coming years. Increasing attention is being given to the occurrence of extreme events. The impacts of extreme floods, storms and heat waves have been observed globally in recent years. They can be more damaging than gradual or average changes, which are more easily predicted by climate models. New approaches to statistical and probabilistic analysis of extreme events are being developed to better inform decision making on associated risks and likely impacts. The 2004 report of the Flood Policy Review Group recognised the need to devise a clearly defined and comprehensive policy approach to flooding nationally and a precise definition of the roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders involved. The report identified climate change as one of the important elements that need to be addressed when assessing future flood relief measures in Ireland. Following the report, the Government appointed the Office of Public Works (OPW) as the lead agency to implement flooding policy in Ireland. 20


The OPW is currently developing a strategy to manage flood risk in conjunction with other relevant state agencies. To assist in improving the environmental status of the Shannon Callows, particularly as it is affected by summer flooding, OPW (through the Shannon Callows initiative) are coordinating a flood management system that will; • • •

Require Waterways Ireland to set in place, downstream of the callows, auditable management plans for recently restored/unblocked flood control Shannon Callows structures (sluices) See OPW clear/remove trees to restore and increase the capacity of existing flood relief channels, with consideration also being given to further increasing the capacity of these channels by removal of silt banks Include an environmental assessment to establish the optimum approach to remove peat siltation from small channels in the callows themselves that are blocked and which, up to about fifteen years ago, were regularly cleared by Bord na Móna (the Irish Turf [PEAT]Board).

Heavy flooding in Ireland will be addressed in line with the proposed EU Directive on the assessment and management of flood risks once it is formally adopted. Ireland has already carried out preliminary assessment on three river basins at risk of flooding with a view to developing a template for flood risk management plans for river catchments. In accordance with the terms of the new Directive, significant emphasis will be placed on the role of flood plains and sustainable land use practices. Climate change adaptation will also be considered in the first implementation cycle, starting in 2011 with the preliminary flood risk assessment. Under the Stimulus Research Programme, the Department of Agriculture and Food has set aside funding for research 11 designed to improve the understanding of the impacts of climate change on agricultural production at the farm level. This research programme will use mechanistic models to determine the yields of crops and grasses in Ireland under selected climate change scenarios. Where the principal objective will be to determine how climate change will affect agricultural production at the farm level in Ireland it will also examine the implications and alternatives for Irish farmers. The outputs from this modelling will be used by the Rural Economy Research Centre (RERC) to further investigate impacts of climate change and identify sustainable alternatives at farm scale. In relation to forestry, COFORD has approved a joint Ireland-UK proposal involving the use of ecological site classification (ESC) to model the impact of likely climate change scenarios on Irish forests, and how our species selection and other practices should adapt to future climates. This and other relevant research will be revisited at the mid-term review of the Rural Development Programme. Actions under Axis 3 aimed at stimulating adoption of new renewable energy technologies at community level, coupled with initiatives to promote public awareness of the benefit of such technologies will directly contribute to achieving the goals of the National Climate Change Strategy (NCCS) 2000. These initiatives will be reflected in the review of the NCCS currently underway.

11

By Trinity College Dublin, in conjunction with the Rural Economy Research Centre, Teagasc, Athenry, Co. Galway

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Soil quality The total land area in Ireland is 6.9 million hectares of which 4.3 million hectares is used for agriculture and 0.7 million hectares for forestry purposes. Ninety per cent of agricultural land is devoted to grass and 10 per cent to arable agriculture. Dry lowland mineral soils account for about 62 per cent of the agricultural area, while moderately wet mineral soils account for 20 per cent and wet impermeable mineral soils for around 17 per cent. Some 50 per cent of the land area of the country is generally classified as good agricultural land. Of the total arable and grassland area, 36 per cent is farmed under the Rural Environment Protection Scheme, another 47 per cent is farmed extensively outside REPS, 7 per cent is farmed intensively (mainly dairying) and the remaining 10 per cent is used for arable agriculture. The percentage of farmland classified as extensive has relatively low stocking rates and fertiliser inputs. Most of the farmers in extensive production were in receipt of the high rate of payment under the Extensification Premium Scheme in 2004. The REPS and extensive farms are principally involved in beef and sheep production with a small proportion of mixed-dairy and dairy enterprises. The 7 per cent of Irish farmland farmed intensively mostly involves dairy and mixed-dairy production. REPS is designed to reward farmers for carrying out their activities in an environmentally friendly manner and to bring about environmental improvement on farms. One of its main objectives is the establishment of farming practices and production methods that reflect the increasing concern for conservation, landscape protection, and wider environmental problems. The scheme includes measures that directly or indirectly promote the protection of soil. Grassland represents 90 per cent of agricultural land, and in itself is a good soil protector, promoting high soil organic matter, solid structure, high soil biodiversity, etc. Potential threats to soil are seen typically as falling under headings such as erosion, decline of organic matter and soil compaction. While any of these might present a localised soil risk at the level of an individual farm, they are not widespread risks in an Irish context. Agricultural activities are subject to a range of environmental legislation and/or cross-compliance requirements, which address environmental issues, including soil protection. Therefore, where risks to soil arise at individual farm level, they are addressed by legislation or as part of the existing crosscompliance requirements under the Single Payment Scheme. The requirement to maintain land in Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition specifically addresses soil protection, and other requirements, such as the Nitrates Regulations, also contribute indirectly to soil protection. Above individual farm level, the susceptibility of overgrazed commonages to environmental damage, including erosion, was identified as a potential threat. In response, a comprehensive programme to produce and implement commonage framework plans was put in place along with arrangements for appropriate destocking. The proposed EU Soil Framework Directive will set out common principles and a common methodology for identifying and addressing threats to soil including contamination, sealing, erosion, organic matter decline, salinisation, compaction and landslides. In Ireland the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government is taking the lead in this matter with input from other Government Departments, including the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The two Departments will continue to work closely together on the issue of soil protection. 22


Biodiversity At present there are two interlinked programmes of government action designed to protect our natural heritage i.e. Natura 2000. Further detail on these is set out at Appendix 2. The area designated under the Wild Birds and Habitats Directives is some 650,000 hectares of the whole territory, and 15 per cent of agricultural land. Ireland’s National Biodiversity Plan was published in 2002 and an Interim Review was published in 2006. The Plan envisages a major role for agriculture and forestry and the Interim Review records actions already taken. These include: •

• •

The rollout of REPS 3 - the Rural Environmental Protection Scheme – in 2004 which now includes a far greater emphasis on biodiversity and, for example, has specific measures for the conservation and maintenance of hedgerows, with options to rejuvenate existing hedgerows and to establish new ones The implementation by the Department of Agriculture and Food of a co-ordinated programme for the conservation and utilisation of genetic resources in agriculture, food and forestry, overseen by a National Advisory Committee on Plant and Animal Genetic Resources The employment of forest ecologists by both Coillte and the Forestry Service of the Department of Agriculture and Food The completion of over 4,000 Commonage Framework Plans, designed to eliminate overgrazing resulting from excessive sheep grazing levels.

Traditional landscapes in Ireland reflect the fact that Irish agriculture is predominantly grassbased and extensive. Though a small proportion of the more intensive dairy and tillage farmers may intensify further, there are a number of factors that will preserve traditional landscapes: • • •

Decoupling, which will encourage farmers to keep their production at existing levels or even to reduce it The continued high level of participation in the Rural Environmental Protection Scheme and the Less Favoured Areas Compensatory Allowance Scheme The continued growth of part-time farming.

Any risk to the preservation of traditional landscapes is in fact more likely to take the form of abandonment of land as a result of decoupling and the trend towards part-time farming. That risk will be offset by the obligation under the Single Payment Scheme to keep land in good agricultural and environmental condition, but this will be supplemented in the Rural Environmental Protection Scheme by a requirement for a minimum level of farming activity. Less favoured areas (LFAs) account for 75 per cent of our agricultural land and a similar proportion of high nature value areas are situated in them. The maintenance of farming in these areas is therefore extremely important from a biodiversity perspective. Biodiversity trends in bird life are measured by BirdWatch Ireland. Their Countryside Bird Survey 2005 does not show dramatic changes in bird populations. For the 1998–2004 period, BWI measured trends for 57 species. Overall there were significant increases in 18 species and declines in 10. They summarise the results of their Survey as follows: ‘The CBS has shown that most common bird populations have remained stable over the past seven seasons. Relatively few species show significant declines, and it appears that there is some consistency among species occupying similar habitats. However, these results are based

23


on just seven seasons, which is still a relatively short time period. Nonetheless, it is a good baseline for future comparisons. These results will assist in greatly implementing measures to help protect breeding bird populations in Ireland.’ 12

Ireland’s existing agri-environment measure, REPS, protects wild bird and animal populations through several of its elements, particularly the requirements for retention and management of hedgerows and habitats, and supplementary measures designed specifically to conserve bird populations, such as measures for protection of the corncrake and for the growing of food for wild birds through the LINNET 13 project. Other REPS measures aimed at enhancing and protecting biodiversity generally also benefit bird populations through preserving habitats and food supplies: e.g. measures dealing with hedgerows, habitats, field margins, and biodiversity options such as nature corridors, speciesrich grassland, tree planting and environmental management of set-aside. The emphasis on biodiversity will be retained and increased in the agri-environment and Natura measures in the new programming period. The following are some relevant indicators in relation to bio-diversity: • • •

1.1m ha of the UAA is classified as high nature value farmland areas which are defined for Ireland as, ‘those areas where agriculture is a major (usually the dominant) land use and where farming systems support or are associated with high biological diversity’. Less than 1 per cent of UAA is organically farmed. Water quality-gross nutrient balance measured by surplus of nitrogen in kg/ha-is 44kg/ha compared to an EU - 15 average of 55kg/ha.

Renewable energy A range of policies and measures are being implemented by various Government Departments and agencies to ensure the successful development of a sustainable bio-energy industry in Ireland. On the demand side, the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources have announced a new Mineral Oil Tax Relief Scheme, which will deliver some 163 million litres of biofuels per year when fully operational in 2008. Other measures in the renewable energy area include the Greener Homes Scheme and the Grant Aid Scheme for commercial-scale biomass boilers. To link in with these demand side measures, the Department of Agriculture and Food is working to support the supply side of the market by targeting incentives at producers. As energy crops are still a relatively new venture in Ireland, the Department of Agriculture and Food is introducing measures to stimulate production at farm level at an estimated cost of €14 million over the period 2007–2009. The measures include a new national payment of €80 per hectare to stimulate production of energy crops. At present, farmers can avail of an EU premium of €45 per hectare under the EU Energy Crops Scheme, to grow energy crops intended for use in the production of biofuels and biomass. Approximately 2,000 hectares was claimed under this in 2006. As an additional incentive, the new €80 national payment will be paid as a top-up to the existing €45 EU premium and increases the overall premium available to €125 per hectare. It is intended that the €80 payment will apply for three years and will be subject to a maximum payment ceiling per producer over the three years. €6 million has been allocated to this measure over the period 2007–2009. Table 3.4 indicates the area for which provision has been made to 2009. 12

Details of the Countryside Bird Survey are available on the BWI website at http://www.birdwatchireland.ie/bwi/pages092003/consvwork/surveys/countrybs.html 13 Land Invested in Nature, Natural Eco-Tillage

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Table 3.4: area funded for growth of energy crops Year 2007 2008 2009 Total

Allocation € 1.0m 2.5m 2.5m 6.0m

Area (hectares) 12,500 31,250 31,250 75,000

Biomass crops such as willow and miscanthus have considerable potential for heat and electricity generation. Production is undeveloped in Ireland primarily due to high establishment costs, estimated at €2,900 per hectare. A new Bioenergy Scheme has been introduced to provide establishment grants to farmers for up to 50 per cent of the costs associated with establishing miscanthus and willow. The scheme provides a maximum payment rate of up to €1,450 per hectare. The minimum allowable area per applicant is four hectares. The scheme is being piloted in 2007 and it is envisaged that up to 1,400 hectares of willow and miscanthus will be grant-aided. €8 million is being allocated to this scheme over the period 2007–2009. Table 3.5 indicates the area for which provision has been made to 2009. Table 3.5: Area funded for growth of willow and miscanthus Year 2007 2008 2009 Total

Allocation € Area (hectares) 2.0m 1 400 2.5m 1,800 3.5m 2,500 8.0m 5,700

The Research Stimulus Fund Programme, administered by the Department of Agriculture and Food, has been expanded to incorporate biofuels research. The programme facilitates research that supports sustainable and competitive agricultural production practices and policies and adds to a scientific research capability in the agriculture sector. Under the 2005 and 2006 calls for proposals, five projects were selected that related directly to biofuels and energy crops and received total grant assistance of €1.5 million. A further €2.5m is being made available under the Irish Government’s Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation 2006–2013 for research on the farming aspects of bio-energy production.

3.1.4 Rural economy and quality of life Structure of the rural economy As far as possible the data contained in the following sections on the rural economy and quality of life are based on a definition of rural areas used in a recent study on Review of Enterprise Support in Rural Areas carried out on behalf of the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. 14 The study excluded the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) and the Gateway and Hub towns of the National Spatial Strategy (NSS).

14

Review of enterprise support in rural areas, Fitzpatrick Associates, 2004

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Education profile Since the educational profile is a key indicator of the human resource potential of an area it is a core starting point. Twenty one per cent of rural dwellers are likely to leave school after primary level as opposed to just 15 per cent of the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;urbanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; population. 15 The disparity in educational attainment continues on to second level where only 17 per cent of the rural population is schooled to third-level education attainment compared to 23 per cent in the urban or non-study area. However, the proportion of rural school leavers actually going on to third-level education is higher in rural areas (48 per cent) as opposed to non-study areas (41 per cent), according to the Higher Education Authority. 16 The third-level educational profile of rural dwellers would be even more positive but for the fact that traditionally many students with third-level qualifications often did not have the economic opportunity to return to their rural communities to work and live there. Employment profile in rural areas General employment trends in rural areas were identified in the National Strategy Plan and these are examined here in some further detail. Data presented are based on the location of the workers rather than where the work is located. There is an expected heavy reliance on employment in sectors based on natural resources (Table 3.6). The share of employment in traditional manufacturing at 17 per cent in rural areas is significantly higher than the 12 per cent figure recorded for non-rural areas. The high proportion of employment of rural dwellers in the construction industry is noteworthy for two reasons. In the first instance, the vast majority of this construction is urban based and so involves significant commuting from rural communities. Secondly, the current very high level of construction activity is unlikely to be sustained in the medium term. Proportionally, the lower levels of rural employment occur in service sectors such as financial services, real estate, transport etc. Table 3.6: Employment by sector, rural and state, percentages Sector Manufacturing Wholesale/retail Natural resources Construction Health/social work Utilities Education Public administration Other industry Hotels/restaurants Real estate/business Financial/banking

Source: Census of Population, 2002

15 16

Rural study area per Rest of state per cent cent 16.9 11.9 12.6 12.5 11.9 1.6 11.1 6.7 8.8 7.8 7.4 5.9 6.6 6.0 5.2 5.6 5.0 6.4 4.9 4.5 5.9 10.7 2.5 5.2

CSO Census of Population, 2002 Higher Education Authority, College Entry in Focus, fourth survey, 1998

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The size as well as nature of enterprise also differs markedly between rural and urban areas. Forty-three per cent of all employers are located in the GDA and Cork, with 57 per cent distributed throughout the rest of the state. 17 Employer scale is considerably smaller in rural areas where some 65 per cent of enterprises meet the definition of micro-enterprise, i.e. less than 10 employees. Rural areas are dominated by small-scale enterprises with a significant focus on more traditional sectors (see Table 7 Appendix 1). Micro-business formation and tourism Micro-enterprise support structures While there are a number of national enterprise support agencies, including at national, regional, sectoral and local levels, main support for small-scale micro-enterprise is channelled through those discussed in the following section. County enterprise boards The county and city enterprise boards (CEBs) were established in 1993 to provide support to micro-enterprises. There are a total of 35 boards, with typically one operating in each city or county area. The role of the CEBs is to develop indigenous enterprise potential (including indigenous tourism enterprises), stimulate economic activity at local level and promote micro-enterprise formation. To this end the boards are engaged in the following activities: • • • • •

The development of enterprise plans for their respective counties or administrative areas The promotion of an enterprise culture in their areas The provision of business information and advice, counselling and mentoring support The offer of financial and other assistance to individuals, small enterprises and local community groups to assist commercially viable projects The development of management skills in micro-enterprises.

CEBs also assist a more broad range of enterprise types than some of the other enterprise agencies. CEB financial assistance, for example, is not restricted to manufacturing and internationally traded services enterprises, as is the case with Enterprise Ireland.

3.1.5 Local action groups (LEADER) The objective of LEADER, the EU Community Initiative for rural development, is to foster the development of rural areas through the implementation of innovative, locally-based, bottom-up development strategies designed by local groups/bodies made up of a range of local actors (statutory and non-statutory). Such groups typically operate in small towns and rural areas with a population of up to 100,000, which are seen to represent a natural rural ‘region’ in socio-economic and geographic terms. Under both LEADER+ and National LEADER, groups are permitted to provide supports to ‘innovative small firms, craft enterprises and local services’, including tourism, subject to general eligibility and the ‘de minimis’ rules. Local sectoral agreements are in place with the CEBs. LEADER activity includes: • • 17

Support, guidance, and the provision of an advisory service Provision of a range of assistance types for start-up enterprises Revenue Commissioners, 2003

27


• • •

Expansion of existing enterprises including the adoption of new technologies Development of innovative products and local services Provision of a range of assistance types for adding value to local products including support for business networks, collective marketing, local branding initiatives, improved quality and development of processing facilities.

Other organisations such as Údarás na Gaeltachta and the Crafts Council of Ireland offer a range of supports targeted at territorial and sectoral levels. Tourism profile In most rural areas, tourism is an integral component of rural enterprise and both should be developed in an integrated fashion where possible. Tourism-generated employment is difficult to disaggregate since it is often included in outputs for other sectors such as transport and catering etc. Data indicate that the regional spread of overseas tourism closely patterns that of agriculture in rural areas. Available data on GVA estimates for tourism and agriculture from 2000 18 show that 63 per cent of total national tourism revenue was earned by areas outside Dublin and the mid-east. This corresponds to earnings from agriculture by the same rural areas of 88 per cent. Earnings from services by the same areas were much lower at only 45 per cent. This is a clear indication of the importance of both agriculture and tourism to rural areas. While tourism earnings by rural areas indicate a degree of spatially balanced tourism, there is a serious challenge posed by the concentration of tourism in a limited number of areas. Five of the top counties for tourism including Dublin, Galway and Kerry attracted 69 per cent of all overseas tourism revenue in the period, while the bottom five counties, including some in the weak or transitional rural typography categories, earned just 2 per cent of all overseas revenue. This is a stark contrast and underlines the need to prioritise a balanced development of tourism in all rural areas. Countryside Recreation Strategy The rural focus must encompass the totality of the countryside as a provider not just of tourism opportunities but also of a diverse recreational facility for the rural and urban community. Countryside recreation applies to those sporting, recreational and holiday pursuits based on use of the resources of the countryside and which contribute to healthy, active lifestyles. The term countryside includes land, water and air. Recreation in this context applies to sporting and recreational activities that operate in the countryside as defined above. It does not refer to sporting activities, which take place in the countryside on confined courses or pitches specifically designed and constructed for those sports, e.g. golf, football, show jumping etc. A national Countryside Recreation Strategy has been adopted. The purpose of this strategy is to define the scope and vision for Countryside Recreation as agreed by Comhairle na Tuaithe. It sets out the broad principles under which sustainable countryside recreation should be managed. These principles include: mutual respect between users and landowners; respect for the countryside environment; and an approach to access management which recognises the unique nature of land ownership in Ireland. It also seeks to define the roles that various organisations should play in the development and implementation of that strategy. 18

Fáilte Ireland and CSO

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Alternative employment opportunities One of the most fundamental challenges facing rural economies is the impact of restructuring in agriculture and traditional industry and the associated need for diversification and growth in the non-farm rural economy. 19 Over-reliance on traditional sectors (natural resources, manufacturing and construction), which account for almost 40 per cent of rural employment, has not impacted negatively yet due to the recent buoyancy of the national economy. Trends in population growth and the experience of the Western Development Commission (WDC), both with its Western Investment Fund and Look West initiative 20 indicate that businesses and people are willing to relocate to rural areas and contribute to the rural economy. The extent to which this can happen is largely dependent on job opportunities, business prospects and quality of life issues. Several recent studies 21 and evaluations reinforce the urgent need to position rural areas to compete effectively for inward investment and to address their industry and enterprise structure. This can be achieved through supporting innovation in indigenous industry (both high-tech and traditional) and encouraging business set-ups in rural regions to enable them contribute to the knowledge economy. Sectors based on natural resources such as tourism, agri-food and the marine need to be the focus of creative and innovative strategies. Provision of services in rural areas It is clear from the earlier sections examining the broad socio-economic situation of rural areas that an integrated series of responses are necessary, across a range of Government Departments. It is also clear that while the National Spatial Strategy is directed towards strengthening regional balance, a corresponding support for the surrounding rural economy is essential if it is not to lose people and economic activity to the nearest gateway town or city. At government level the need for a focused, integrated response to the needs of rural areas is recognised and a dedicated chapter on support for the rural economy will be included in the National Development Programme 2007–2013. The NDP recognises that a number of critical issues will impact significantly on the development of the rural economy over the coming years. The National Rural Development Programme will form a complementary component within a broad government response. Enterprise development With the decline in primary, traditional and manufacturing sectors, and an increase in dependence on the construction industry, sustainable employment in rural areas is an issue that needs to be addressed. The following sectoral niches offer potential in this regard: • • •

Development of rural micro-enterprises – The development of micro-enterprise is a key area for sustainable employment opportunities in rural areas. What is needed is a steady stream of micro-enterprise start-ups over time. Development of indigenous Irish firms in more traditional sectors – Some traditional manufacturing sectors are becoming more innovative and competitive and these firms can contribute significantly to regional economies. Development of the knowledge economy, hi-tech industries – Knowledge-based industries are not always location dependent – though experience has shown that some have a

19

WDC submission to the consultation on Ireland’s National Development Plan 2007–2013, April 2006 The WDCs Look West initiative promotes the Western Region as a location for business and living Enterprise Strategy Group (2004), Ahead of the Curve: Ireland’s Place in the Global Economy; National Economic and Social Council (2005), NESC Strategy 2006: People, Productivity and Purpose; NUI Maynooth, UCD and Teagasc (2005), Rural Ireland 2025: Foresight Perspectives

20 21

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preference for locating near large centres of population close to third-level establishments and good infrastructure. There are a growing number of Irish high-tech firms that are important to the future of Ireland’s knowledge economy and they should be encouraged and facilitated to establish in regional locations, where possible. Development of infrastructure Broadband – Given the competitiveness and productivity issues currently facing the Irish economy, it is essential that Ireland be among the leading countries in regard to access to broadband infrastructure. In 2005 Ireland’s broadband penetration rate was roughly onequarter the average in competitor countries and the national ranking fell from 18th to 19th place. Broadband should be regarded as a basic utility and ensuring universal access to it should be a key priority for the next NDP. Transport infrastructure – It is equally important for rural communities that weaknesses in road and rail infrastructure are addressed in the next NDP. While there have been significant improvements in recent years, such as the Rural Transport Initiative targeted at rural communities, many rural areas need further investment so as to maximise their growth potential. Tourism development Promoting a wider regional spread of business is a key objective of tourism policy, and a range of programmes and initiatives are being put in place to help address this challenge. However, the international trend towards shorter and more frequent holiday breaks favours urban locations with good access and diversified product offerings. Moreover, recent developments in the provision of tourism accommodation have resulted in hotels gaining market share at the expense of small, rural-based accommodation. Encouraging rural tourism providers to adapt to changing consumer trends and to work together in networks to enhance the variety and depth of the tourism experience in the regions will be important. The Tourism State Agencies, for their part, are in the process of reconfiguring their structures at regional level in order to deliver more targeted services locally, to identify wider infrastructural support measures and to ensure coherence in subnational marketing activity. The further development of niche tourism such as Eco-tourism must also be explored and progressed. International air access and the enhancement of local transport are very important in this context, as is the upgrading of the regional airport network. Services Provision of, and access to, health care is a key issue in securing the quality of life of rural communities and in the economic and social development of rural areas. At the same time, rural areas, especially those with dispersed population, pose unique challenges for the management and utilisation of services. There is also a need to improve significantly community support structures for vulnerable groups such as the elderly, particularly those living in isolated areas. Equally important in this context is access to education. The ability of young people to avail of education and training without having to leave their areas has important consequences for the population profile of rural areas. The availability of a well-educated and flexible workforce facilities economic diversification and attracts income and job-creating opportunities to rural areas. 30


LEADER Population and territory covered by LEADER+ and NRDP during 2000–2006 programming period Ireland has participated in all three LEADER programmes to date. Under LEADER I, seventeen Local Action Groups (LAGs) were appointed to implement the programme. Under LEADER II, these, as well as 17 new LAGs (and three ‘collective bodies’), were appointed. This effectively extended the programme to cover all rural areas of the country. Under LEADER+, 22 LAGs were appointed, each of which ran LEADER II in their particular areas. In rural areas not selected under LEADER+, a national rural development programme (NRDP) was introduced. This programme, which is similarly based upon the LEADER model, is also co-financed by the EAGGF, and operates under the Regional Operational Programmes of the National Development Plan 2000–2006. A further 13 LAGs are involved in running this programme. For the period to 2006, national rural policy was framed within the terms of the White Paper on Rural Development 1999. The White Paper defined rural as all areas outside the five main urban centres, viz Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford. The remit of the 35 LAGs implementing the two LEADER-type programmes extended to cover this complete rural area, which accounted for approximately 99 per cent of the national territory and displayed an average population density of less than 40 persons/km2. Average size of the geographic area covered by individual LAGs was just under 2,000 km2 .embracing a population average of 70,000 persons. The smallest LAG covered a population of approximately 3,000 but this was an exceptional circumstance as the LAG was specifically dedicated to implementation of the LEADER programme on the islands only. The lowest population density covered by an LAG, excluding the islands, was nine persons/km2. Conversely, the most densely populated LAG contained 164,000 people in a pre-dominantly peri-urban location, with a population density of 96 persons/km2. Overall, 10 out of the 35 groups serviced populations greater than 100,000. Three umbrella organisations were funded under the NRDP programme in 2000–2006. Irish Country Holidays and Irish Farmhouse Holidays operated in the rural and agri-tourism sectors, while the community organisation Muintir na Tíre provided a support service to 1,400 community groups nationwide.

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3.2 Strategy chosen to meet strengths and weaknesses Ireland’s vision for the agriculture sector is based on a well-founded belief that the sector can compete with the best in the world when that objective is pursued with sufficient focus, determination and skill. The report of the Agri Vision 2015 Committee identified a number of issues that were crucial to the Irish agri-food sector and on foot of this made a number of recommendations to address these concerns. The report itself indicated that the broad thrust of the Committee’s recommendations would among other things: • • •

Facilitate and encourage market-driven development of the sector Make explicit and provide adequately for agriculture’s role in the production of environmental goods Provide an appropriate framework to encourage an approach to rural development that takes account of the economic and social realities of rural Ireland today.

In response to the recommendations, an action plan was prepared, setting out a new vision for the sector in the light of the major changes impacting on it. The measures in this programme are very mindful of the action plan, which in turn is fully in line with the EU objectives for rural development and the national rural development strategy. Ireland considers that the EU priorities of competitiveness, environmental sustainability and quality of life/diversification are totally consistent with its national aims and that this programme has an extremely important role in their achievement. Prior to considering appropriate support measures, it is desirable to assess the current and future environment for agriculture and the wider rural economy. This is done by means of the SWOT analysis set out below – it is ordered by the axes or priorities prescribed at EU level. Strengths and weaknesses Strengths Axis 1 (Competitiveness) • The agri-food sector is an important and dynamic indigenous manufacturing sector and contributes significantly to the inflow of funds into Ireland. • The sector produces high-quality/high-value products. • It provides a secure supply of quality raw materials for the food industry. • An established advisory network exists. • Both the dairy and beef industries have a comparative advantage in production. Axis 2 (Environment) • Ireland’s excellent rural landscape contributes to its clean, green image. • There is an increasing recognition of the multifunctional role of agriculture. • A high level of participation and success in the agri-environmental schemes benefits both farmers and society in general through the preservation of the environment, improved water quality and the protection of biodiversity. • A decrease in livestock numbers and the consequential fall in fertiliser usage arising from full decoupling will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions 32


• • • •

from the sector. Ireland’s disease free-status gives it a competitive advantage in high-value European markets. There are high compliance levels with EU traceability, labelling, animal health and welfare and hygiene standards. The potential exists for alternative land uses such as forestry. The countryside is a source of considerable natural resources and biodiversity.

Axes 3 and 4 (Quality of life/diversification) • The LEADER approach to rural community development is fully established and covers all of the rural territory. • The population is highly educated, with a dynamic age and economic profile. • A good base exists for enterprise development of natural resources. • Infrastructure at the macro level is rapidly improving. • There is a strong tourism and cultural identity. Weaknesses Axis 1 (Competitiveness) • Certain areas/sectors of Irish farming suffer from low productivity due to their age structure and low education levels. • High agricultural land prices can result in entry barriers to younger/new participants. • In turn high land prices may impact negatively on land mobility, preventing farmers from achieving economies of scale and impacting negatively on their commercial viability. • Ireland needs to maintain and improve its relative competitiveness to ensure that each sector maintains its export markets. Axis 2 (Environment) • Although the problem is low by European standards there is always the threat of pollution damage from agriculture and pesticides. • Post-decoupling the possibility of land abandonment exists in certain rural areas. • Relatively speaking there is a declining importance of agriculture in rural communities. • Land has been lost to urbanisation and infrastructure. Axes 3 and 4 (Quality of life/diversification) • The level of ICT uptake and broadband usage by rural communities is low. • Out-migration from remoter rural areas to large towns and cities results in rural isolation. • There is an over-reliance on more traditional employment sectors.

33


Opportunities and threats Opportunities Axis 1 (Competitiveness) • The decoupling of direct payments from agricultural production offers opportunities for Irish farmers who are able to respond to the market by improving quality and productivity. • EU enlargement has created market opportunities for Irish exporters. Also globalisation, increased world demand and a favourable macro-economic climate have resulted in a growth in world markets. • The organic sector provides opportunities in niche markets, albeit for a limited number of producers. • Potential exists to improve the competitiveness of holdings by increasing scale. • Forestry provides an alternative enterprise for farmers who are diversifying from the traditional patterns of agriculture. Axis 2 (Environment) • The increasing recognition of the multifunctional role of agriculture as both a producer of quality food and a provider of environmental public goods provides an increasingly important justification for the public support of agriculture. • The continued good health and welfare status of our national herd contributes to the development of a sustainable agri-food sector and a vibrant export sector. • Ireland’s green image fits with the direction of consumer preference of high-quality and safe products produced in an environmentally friendly manner. • There is an increasing consumer preference for high-quality and safe products produced in an environmentally sustainable manner. • Following the full decoupling of direct payments from production, the potential exists for alternative land uses, including forestry, renewable energy crops and agri-tourism which are environmentally and economically sustainable and have the potential to mitigate the effects of climate change by delivering further reductions in Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions. • The capability exists to significantly increase carbon sequestration and mitigate climate change through growth in new afforestation. Axes 3 and 4 (Quality of life/diversification) • Economic buoyancy and improved infrastructure provide improved opportunities to live and work in rural communities. • There is greater access to off-farm employment. • Increased scope for on-farm diversification. • There are increased options for rural inhabitants to generate additional income from rural tourism, eco-tourism and other natural resources. • ICT and broadband provide the opportunity to overcome barriers of remoteness and to support high-value-added niche services based enterprise • There is an increased capacity to develop community-based renewable energy and other measures to protect the high nature value of the local rural landscape. 34


Threats Axis 1 (Competitiveness) • The reforms of the CAP under the Luxembourg Agreement and the increasing liberalisation of the sector present substantial competitive challenges to the Irish agriculture industry, which must be addressed in order to ensure agriculture’s economic contribution. • While other sectors of the economy have been growing strongly over the last decade, primary agricultural output has remained static, resulting in a decline in the importance of the sector. • The afforestation levels have declined in recent years. Axis 2 (Environment) • There is an ongoing threat to biodiversity and habitats, leading to a direct impact on wildlife and an indirect impact on the tourism market. • The decrease in the number of agricultural holdings is endangering rural areas, society and landscape. • A potential threat to the environment exists from the overuse of fertilisers and pesticides. Axes 3 and 4 (Quality of life/diversification) • There is an inward economic pull of Gateways and Hubs. • Community identity has suffered through increased commuting activity and outward migration. • There has been a reduction in services and enterprise opportunities due to the disproportionate effect of transport/fuel costs. In considering this analysis, some important general points also need to be borne in mind: •

Farming is an important element of Ireland’s rural and overall economy, providing both direct and indirect employment and forming the mainstay of many rural areas. The sector contains numerous strengths that offer opportunities for it to grow and develop over time. To ensure that the industry develops in an appropriate fashion, it is imperative that the strengths identified are matched to the opportunities that exist in the industry, while efforts are made to address the threats highlighted and to provide further development in areas where weaknesses are identified.

The introduction of decoupling has impacted on Irish agriculture. Tables 8 and 9 in Appendix 1 show changes in livestock units and fertiliser use since 1990. Since the introduction of de-coupling in 2001, with the changeover from the headage to the areabased method of payment calculation, the number of cattle has fallen from 6.408 million in 2001 to 6.191 million in 2005, a decrease of 3.3 per cent. For sheep, the corresponding figures are 4.807 million in 2001 to 4.257 million in 2005, a decrease of 11.4 per cent.

As with the farming sector, the wider rural economy also faces into change. It is essential that rural areas are equipped to meet the coming challenges to local community structures and the altered nature of economic activity in the future.

Agriculture has a significant role to play in producing a variety of public goods. Funding for the agricultural sector is increasingly focused on paying for the production of public 35


goods that would otherwise be under-provided. Public acceptance of this role requires continuing assurance to the consumer and the taxpayer of the real benefits it delivers. In this regard, it is important that public goods are enhanced and not merely preserved. The SWOT analysis identified a number of opportunities that exist in the agri-food sector, particularly in relation to the increasing market opportunities that are arising following the recent EU CAP reforms, the further liberalisation of world markets and the increasing demand for good-quality and safe food. Furthermore, the favourable national conditions that Ireland possesses in the dairy and livestock sectors and the potential for alternative industries to contribute to farm incomes present significant opportunities for Irish farmers. Given this increased world demand for high-quality and high-value agriculture products, the continued good health and welfare status of our national herd remains an important strength, particularly given the importance of export markets. Options to develop alternative sources of income both on and off-farm are now available to an extent not possible in the past. Opportunities for economic and social development in the wider rural economy are also very prevalent. The analysis identified a number of threats that may, if not addressed, impact adversely on the future performance of the sector. The increased competition that the sector is facing as a consequence of trade liberalisation, while presenting opportunities, equally makes it vital that quality and competitiveness issues continue to be addressed by Irish farmers. The inward economic attraction exerted by urban centres, coupled with rising fuel and transport costs, represent a real threat to the economic and social development of rural communities. Accordingly the strengths and weaknesses identified above will be addressed by implementing the measures set out below. The commentary is to a large extent a replication of that already outlined in the national rural development strategy, reflecting the fact that Ireland is operating one national rural development programme. In developing these measures, account has been taken of their merits and the available funding. Axis 1 (Competitiveness) Given the competitive pressures impacting on the agri-food sector it is imperative that the sector adds value and is both innovative and consumer-focused in order to continue to prosper. To address competitiveness issues it is important that measures outlined in this plan address key issues such as structural improvement and on-farm capital investment. Structural improvement A poor age structure and the low level of appropriate education of many farmers have been identified as potential factors inhibiting the development of Irish farming. In order to promote continued structural reform in the agricultural sector and address these issues, thereby improving competitiveness and maintaining farm viability, this programme will put in place a scheme of installation aid to help attract young, trained farmers into the profession. Linked to this support, the programme will also implement an early retirement scheme to facilitate the early retirement of older farmers and farm workers with the aim of creating opportunities for younger farmers to enter farming or to increase/consolidate their holdings.

36


On-farm capital investment Support will be provided for capital improvements in farm structures to ensure that primary agriculture becomes more competitive and market-oriented. A farm improvement scheme will assist farmers with the capital costs of modernisation. Support will be provided for investments that improve the overall performance of agricultural holdings and that respect applicable EU and national standards. The scheme will also provide assistance to producers to meet pig welfare standards and will support investments in alternative enterprises, e.g. horses, deer, rabbits, goats and other equivalent species, in order to assist the further diversification of the agricultural sector in Ireland. Assistance will be provided in the scheme for improvements in dairy hygiene, animal housing and slurry storage. Support will be provided under the Axis for training linked to the agri-environment measure under Axis 2. The measures outlined above will be complemented by exchequer-funded measures in the National Development Plan (NDP) that address training, sectoral capital investment (horticulture, potato and organic sectors) and improved competitiveness in the forestry sector. Axis 2 (Environment) The emphasis on a competitive consumer-oriented agri-food sector cannot be at the expense of the environment or the countryside. Agriculture has a critical role to play in the provision of ‘public goods’ that would otherwise be under-provided and therefore it is necessary to provide support for measures that will contribute environmental benefits. Indeed the European model of agriculture emphasises its multi-functional role and that development must be underpinned by sustainability. Ireland endorses that view and considers that the actions foreseen under Axis 2 must underpin those allowed elsewhere in the rural development framework. The Axis 2 funding is aimed at environmental enhancement, but it also has an economic dimension that is relevant to the other areas. It is important as a platform for actions in other areas such as diversification, agri-tourism etc. The following summarises the measures: Less favoured areas – compensatory allowances In order to continue the sustainable use of agricultural land in less favoured areas while taking account of environmental protection requirements and maintaining the countryside the programme will continue to implement the Compensatory Allowance Scheme. The scheme will further enhance protection for the environment and improvement of the countryside as well as achieving high standards in food safety and in animal health and welfare. Agri-environment – the Rural Environmental Protection Scheme (REPS) As highlighted above there is an increasing recognition of the multifunctional role of agriculture as both a producer of quality food and a provider of environmental public goods. There is also an increasing consumer preference for high-quality and safe products produced in an environmentally sustainable manner. It is important therefore that this programme provides funding to farmers to carry out their farming activities in an environmentally friendly manner and to bring about environmental improvement on existing farms. In this regard, the programme will provide for a scheme to support farmers who, on a voluntary basis, make agri-environmental commitments that go

37


beyond the relevant national and EU mandatory environmental requirements (including all requirements of cross-compliance under the Single Payment Scheme). Natura 2000 To contribute to positive environmental management of farmed Natura 2000 sites and river catchments in the implementation of the Birds Directive, the Habitats Directive and the Water Framework Directive, the programme will provide support to farmers participating in REPS. To encourage the protection of heritage farm buildings, support will be provided to participants under REPs. Organic farming The programme will provide support to promote conversion to organic farming, and in particular to stimulate the production of organic vegetables and cereals. The measures in this Axis will be complemented by support for afforestation and animal welfare by the exchequer under the NDP. Axes 3 and 4 (Quality of life/diversification) The local action groups chosen to implement Axes 3 and 4 will determine the scope and combination of measures selected to address local priorities The ranking of priorities and subsequent measures will differ markedly between peri-urban and more remote rural areas. The balance between economic interventions and quality of life supports is strongly interlinked with existing national rural support measures in the Rural Social Scheme and CLĂ R programme. Consistent with the foregoing, the following group of interventions will be prioritised for funding. Rural enterprise This measure will focus on the creation of new rural micro-enterprises and development of existing initiatives. Examples include the economic development of indigenous rural resources in artisan food, forestry, marine, rural/agri tourism, cultural heritage and community promoted enterprises. Actions to promote research/analysis and development of rural-sourced products and innovative community services also fall under this heading. This priority encompasses the need to support further diversification into non-farming activities by farm families, expansion of the rural tourism initiative to include provision of appropriate infrastructure and a clearer focus on the development of local heritage activities. Development of local infrastructure and services essential to community well-being Lack of adequate cultural and leisure facilities in rural communities is a serious impediment to the development of local rural communities. While the needs of more remote rural communities and peri-urban areas may differ, initiatives will broadly address the provision of amenity and leisure facilities, cultural activities, arts facilities, local sport, community and recreational infrastructure.

38


Village and countryside enhancement Villages and small towns are the focal point for a significant section of the rural community and as such must be a priority for infrastructural development. The focus for improvement will be on the provision of small-scale infrastructure aimed at enhancing the environmental, amenity and surface structural aspects of these communities. Environmentally friendly initiatives and conservation of areas of high natural and cultural value Priorities include the restoration of ancient structures, habitations and protection plans for areas of high natural value such as locally important geological or ecological sites. The development of such sites should be addressed in conjunction with the development of local tourism products. Adaptation of alternative sustainable energy sources appropriate to the specific needs of local rural communities is an important objective under this heading. Training, skills acquisition and animation Priority will be given to measures aimed at enhancing the training levels and skills capacity of rural dwellers. These measures encompass the need to provide community training in relation to enterprise development, ICT awareness and accessing electronic public services, as well as measures to involve other rural dwellers as appropriate, including migrant and other minority groups in community activity. The enhancement of local capacity and innovative potential will be targeted through encouragement of knowledge transfer between local groups and stakeholders. The strategy outlined above is founded on the following allocation of EU co-funded resources between the three broad priorities – 10 per cent competitiveness, 80 per cent environment, 10 per cent quality of life/diversification. This allocation bears in mind the following: •

• •

The baseline analysis indicates the contribution of agriculture and forestry to the environment. It is important to maximise that contribution and to compensate farmers for the public good aspects of their enterprises. It is hoped to build on the success of current relevant successful measures and to deliver results in the areas of climate change (forestry), water quality (agri-environment) and biodiversity (agri-environment, forestry, compensatory allowances in less favoured areas). The European model of agriculture emphasises its multi-functional role and that development must be underpinned by sustainability. Ireland endorses that view and considers that the actions foreseen under Axis 2 must underpin those allowed elsewhere in the rural development framework. The measures under Axis 2 have proven their worth and are already co-funded by the EU. From the financial management and control viewpoint it makes sense to concentrate EU funding on them. There will also be a significant carry-over of commitments to Axis 2 from the current round. The Axis 2 funding is aimed at environmental enhancement, but it is also however has an economic dimension that is relevant to climate change mitigation and other areas. It is important as a platform for actions in other areas such as diversification, agri-tourism etc. The ‘environmental’ support for farmers will be concentrated under this strategy whereas the other priorities will benefit from policies adopted outside of the specific EU rural development remit that will make an important contribution to the economic and social well-being of rural areas. 39


This section has given an overview of the support measures. Detailed descriptions are provided in Section 5.

3.3 The ex-ante evaluation An ex-ante evaluation was carried out by AFCon Management Consultants in liaison with Jim Dorgan Associates and Circa Group Ireland Ltd. It includes an environmental report in line with Directive 2001/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive. The complete ex-ante evaluation is found in Appendix 9 to this programme. A summary of the report is set out at section 4.2 below, along with responses to the recommendations.

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3.4 Impact from previous programming period and other information In 2000–2006, Ireland benefited from both EAGGF Guarantee and EAGGF Guidance. The guarantee element co-funded the four accompanying measures in Ireland’s CAP Rural Development Plan–agri-environment, compensatory allowances (less favoured areas), early retirement and afforestation. The guidance element funded certain measures in Ireland’s two regional programmes. Table 3.7 below summarises expenditure for 2000–2006. The table is limited to EAGGF co-funded interventions. These measures have had a significant impact on agriculture and the wider rural economy. The following are the main achievements: •

Increased emphasis on the environmental aspect of agriculture, with participation in the Rural Environmental Protection Scheme reaching 60,000.

A substantial contribution to the continuation of sustainable farming in disadvantaged agricultural areas. In 2000–2006, 108,000 farmers were supported under the Compensatory Allowances Scheme.

The national forestry estate expanded from 634,000ha in 1999 to 709,000ha at the end of 2005. The target of all new plantings to be 30 per cent broadleaf by 2006 has been achieved.

Under the LEADER programme, 3,100 new jobs have been created and 3,900 existing jobs sustained. LEADER companies have assisted 8,000 enterprises and trained over 30,000 people.

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Table 3.7: Expenditure 2000-2006 Programme

Guarantee Funded Rural Development Programme

Sub-Programme/Measure/Sub-Measure

REPS Compensatory allowances Early Retirement Forestry Total CAP Rural Development Plan (Agriculture)

Expenditure 2000-2006 €m

EU Element €m

1,379.8 1,337.6 515.7 468.5

1,050.4 736.9 292.8 350.8

3,701.7

2,430.9

BMW + SE Regional Operation Programmes* Measure: General Structural Improvement Installation Aid for Young Farmers

21.915

12.703

Farm Waste Management

82.363

50.628

Improvement of Dairy Hygiene Standards

18.079

10.282

Woodland Improvement

26.628

17.779

Measure: General Rural Development Area-Based Rural Development Initiative

37.250

26.000

Total

186.235

117.392

Measure: LEADER+ Programme

75.000

48.750

Measure: Local Enterprise Development

EU Community Initiative

Total 3,962.935 * BMW = Border, Midland & Western Regional Operational Programme * SE = Southern & Eastern Regional Operational Programme

2,597.042

The CAP Rural Development Plan and the Regional Programmes were subject to mid-term evaluation in 2003. A separate evaluation of the LEADER+ Initiative was carried out in 2003/2005. The following summarises the results. CAP Rural Development Plan The overall view of the evaluators, AFCon, was that the plan was progressing satisfactorily although its late start-up and the 2001 foot-and-mouth situation had delayed matters. In the case of the Rural Eironmental Potection Sheme (REPS), the evaluators recognised its significance from an agri-environmental viewpoint. They noted, however, that the participation level was lower than anticipated and that changes might be needed to increase the scheme’s effectiveness. On the Early Retirement Scheme the evaluators felt that the relatively low uptake had lessened its impact. This was seen as disappointing as, in their opinion, this was the one measure in the plan that promoted structural reform in the agricultural sector. Among other suggested changes, the evaluators considered that index linking of future pensions would make this scheme more attractive. 42


The evaluators pointed out that the forestry measure was a very long-term and ambitious policy aimed at transforming national land use in a significant way and at a significant budgetary cost. They suggested that the measure be carefully reviewed to ensure its continuing relevance and cost effectiveness. With regard to the Compensatory Allowances Scheme, its value and importance to less favoured areas was recognised, although questions were asked as to whether the scheme should apply to participants over 66 years of age in particular. As a result of this evaluation, changes were made to REPS and participation levels have increased to around the 60,000-farmer level. The suggestion to index link early retirement pensions was not pursued, as this was not an option under the governing EU legislative framework. Regarding compensatory allowances it was decided not to introduce an upper age limit as this could be construed as discriminatory. A review of the strategy for the forestry sector took place in 2004 and has been under detailed consideration in the meantime. The forestry measures in the National Development Plan have been informed by that consideration. Regional programmes In the case of the rural development measures the evaluators (Farrell Grant Sparks and Fitzpatrick Associates respectively) focused on the larger measures â&#x20AC;&#x201C; installation aid and farm waste management. The evaluators recognised the importance of installation aid as a means to encourage the entry of young educated/trained farmers. They did note, however, the slow uptake of the scheme but appreciated that this was linked to the negative impact of the 2001 foot-and-mouth situation. The importance of the farm waste management scheme from an environmental point of view was appreciated. As with installation aid, the scheme had a sluggish start but the evaluators underlined its increasing importance due to its linkage with the implementation of the Nitrates Directive. Revised terms and conditions for the Farm Waste Management Scheme were introduced in 2004 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; these concerned a consolidation of the grant rate to 40 per cent for all farmers, an increase in the income unit ceiling from 200 to 450, and the investment ceiling was raised to â&#x201A;Ź75,000 per holding. Increased support rates (involving top-up state aid), among other changes, are on offer from 2006. These changes have had a very positive impact on uptake. The foot-and-mouth situation impacted particularly on the rollout of the Area-Based Rural Development Initiative. The evaluators felt that the Initiative would, however, make up lost ground and achieve its objectives in the second half of the programming period. This was indeed the outcome.

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LEADER + The aims and objectives of the EU LEADER Initiative were fully reflected in and delivered by the national LEADER+ programme, particularly in relation to the development of local strategies. The implementation of a themed approach to territorial development and subsequent project selection methodology was consistent and resulted in good physical progress across measures. However, financial expenditure lagged slightly behind and was slow under certain measures, particularly the agriculture one. Subsequently, financial expenditure picked up markedly across all actions and is well on target for the end of the programme. The programme strongly targeted specific groups, notably women and young people – two priority groups at EU level. In line with the experience of initiatives in other areas, the inclusion of young people in LEADER actions continues to provide a challenge. Since the publication of the mid-term evaluation in 2003, a Network Support Unit has been appointed and this has resulted in an increase in activity at group level and sharing of knowledge. Recommendations in the mid-term report concerning the development of more measure-based indicators have been taken up and introduced. Finally, all funding for the programme was committed by December 2006. The following supplementary measures are also relevant in considering impact on rural development in 2000–2006. Rural Social Scheme The Rural Social Scheme (RSS) was introduced by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs in 2004. The aims of this scheme are to provide income support for farmers and fishermen who are currently in receipt of long-term Social Welfare payments, and to provide certain services of benefit to rural communities. Appropriate activities include environmental maintenance work; social care, and up-keep of community facilities. Programme impact • • •

The RSS is providing significant additional resources to maintain and improve local amenities and facilities in rural communities. Communities are benefiting from the skills and talents of local farmers and fishermen. The initial 2,500 places allocated to the scheme have been filled and extra places are being provided.

CLÁR programme The CLÁR programme is a targeted investment programme for rural areas that experienced a decline of more than 35 per cent in population since the foundation of the State. Districts in 23 counties qualify. CLÁR contains a range of measures to accelerate the development of physical, community and social infrastructure. These include village, community and schools enhancement, electricity conversion, broadband, roads, water supply and sewerage disposal.

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Programme impact The programme has had a significant influence on leveraging on other funding. Of the total funding of â&#x201A;Ź151.7 million, committed to the programme from 2002 to spring 2006, 47 per cent was provided by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, while the remaining 53 per cent was leveraged from other public and community sources.

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4.

Justification of the priorities chosen having regard to the Community strategic guidelines and the national strategy plan as well as the expected impact according to the ex-ante-evaluation

4. 1

Justification of the priorities chosen, having regard to the Community strategic guidelines and the national strategy plan

Ireland’s priorities under the National Strategy Plan are fully consistent with those set at EU level. From the agri-food perspective, Ireland’s objective is to develop a competitive consumer-focused sector that will contribute to a vibrant rural economy, society and environment. In overall terms this will be achieved by encouraging the optimum level of efficiency, competitiveness and responsiveness to the demands of the market while respecting and enhancing the physical environment. This approach is closely aligned with the focus at EU level that, in the case of agriculture, is to develop a competitive and sustainable sector. Insofar as competitiveness is concerned, the emphasis in the programme will be on improving human potential through restructuring measures (early retirement and setting-up support). It will be backed up by support for onfarm capital investment. The restructuring support will help new entrants to the sector while that for capital investment will assist farm modernisation and adaptation to the needs of the market. In the context of sustainability, the EU strategic guideline pertinent to the environmental objective stresses three issues – water quality, biodiversity, and climate change. Ireland attaches particular importance to these matters and will build on the success of current measures – agri-environment, Natura, disadvantaged areas – to underline and support the public good aspect of agriculture. As explained in the National Strategy Plan, the bulk of funding under this programme will be devoted to this priority and the reasons advanced therein merit repetition: •

• •

The baseline analysis indicates the contribution of agriculture to the environment. It is important to maximise that contribution and to compensate farmers for the public good aspects of their enterprises. It is hoped to build on the success of current relevant successful measures and to deliver results in the areas of climate change, water quality and biodiversity. The European model of agriculture emphasises its multi-functional role and the important development being underpinned by sustainability. Ireland endorses the European view and considers that the actions foreseen under the environmental objective must underpin those allowed elsewhere in the rural development framework. The measures under the environmental objective have proven their worth and are already co-funded by the EU. From the financial management and control viewpoint it makes sense to concentrate EU funding on them. There will also be a significant carry over of commitments under this axis/objective from the current round. The Axis 2 funding is aimed at environmental enhancement, but it also has an economic dimension that is relevant to the other areas. It is important as a platform for actions in other areas such as competitiveness, diversification, agri-tourism etc. The ‘environmental’ support for farmers will be concentrated under this programme whereas the other priorities will benefit from policies adopted outside of the specific EU 46


rural development remit that will make an important contribution to the economic and social well-being of rural areas. For Axis 3 the objective is to provide sufficient economic activity in rural areas to offset declines in traditional economic sectors and improve recreational and village infrastructure to enhance quality of life for rural dwellers. These priorities were identified and quantified in the National Strategy Plan and the measures to deliver on them are specifically selected to complement rural social and structural deficits prioritised for wider government action in the NDP. The measures were also chosen to maximise value add impact on existing complementary programmes in the DCRGA such as Community Development Programmes, Small Farm Holders Initiative, Rural Social Scheme, CLÁR infrastructure programme and Department initiatives supporting the Gaeltacht and the Islands.

4.2 Expected impacts deriving from the ex-ante evaluation with regards to the priorities chosen This section sets out a summary of the ex-ante evaluation and the responses to the recommendations contained in it. Also included is information on the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) and the responses to it. Both the evaluation and SEA extended to measures that are not in this programme but are being pursued separately under the NDP. The information on those measures is, however, retained here, as the measures involved are complementary to the programme. Summary of ex-ante evaluation The following is the executive summary of the independent evaluation. The full report is found in Appendix 9. Introduction The ex-ante evaluation of the national Rural Development Plan (RDP) for the programming period 2007–2013 is based on and elaborates on the Ireland Rural Development National Strategy Plan (2007–2013) and Council Regulation 1698/2005 (the ‘Regulation’) on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The draft plan has now been subjected to an ex-ante evaluation and strategic environmental assessment covering: •

Analysis of the problems that the proposed programme seeks to address

The proposed response (measures)

The anticipated results and impact of the programme

The extent to which the Community’s priorities have been taken into account in the programme

The quality of procedures for programme management including monitoring and evaluation.

The RDP is a plan that seeks to identify specific problems associated with the rural economy and rural environment and respond to those problems with measures that are appropriate, effective and in line with the requirements of the Regulation. The plan is not a comprehensive 47


rural development plan and does not address each and every rural development issue and especially infrastructural deficits. Conformity of RDP with Regulation 1698/2005 The draft plan conforms to the requirements of EC Council Regulation 1698/2005 and meets the priorities defined under ‘The Community Strategic Guidelines for Rural Development Policy’. It also reflects the priorities defined under the National Strategy Plan for Rural Development and Government priorities for the development of agriculture and food as well as protection of the rural environment. It is consistent with other relevant strategy documents such as the DAF’s document, AgriVision 2015 and the White Paper on Rural Development. The draft plan examines the current-issues and problems facing agriculture and the rural economy (Chapter 3) as part of a lead-in to a SWOT analysis. Based on the SWOT analysis a range of measures are proposed under each axis that address identified problems. The objectives, rationale and actions under each measure are elaborated, as is the proposed financial allocation. The overall structure and content of the plan follows closely the provisions of the Regulation and reflects the requirement of the Regulation that development policy should accompany and complement the market and income support policies of the common agricultural policy and that rural development policy should also take into account the general objectives for economic and social cohesion policy set out in the Treaty and contribute to their achievement while integrating other major policy priorities as spelled out in the conclusion of the Lisbon and Göteborg European Councils for competitiveness and sustainable development. Problem identification The draft plan provides significant background analysis of the socio-economic environment underpinning the plan and this informs the subsequent problem identification. The problems that need to be addressed can be summed up in terms of the three axes in the RDP: there is a threat to the competitiveness of Irish agriculture from a number of sources, there needs to be incentives to preserve and enhance the rural environment and countryside, and supports are needed to create employment and generate economic and social activities and infrastructure in rural areas. The competitive problems arise from two sources. On the one hand, there is a reduction in market aids and supports and a more open EU market for agriculture. On the other hand, demand for land for non-agricultural purposes and alternative employment is raising the cost of the principal inputs for commercial agriculture. These problems are superimposed on fragmented farm structures and a generally ageing agricultural work force. The decline in price supports for agriculture and the introduction of decoupled payments will tend to reduce agricultural activity and the consequent agricultural load on the environment. Unless action is taken, this may tend to the abandonment of land, which generates other environmental problems. Meanwhile, there will be a core of active farms that generate emissions, and the Nitrates Directive will raise the standards with which farms have to comply. In relation to rural society in general, many areas suffer from a poor demographic structure and from inadequate infrastructure, social facilities and employment opportunities. Many of these problems are not addressed by the ‘mainstream’ policies of national and local government entities.

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Objectives Axis 1 The first Axis of the RDP is aimed at improving the competitiveness of farm and forest enterprises through support for restructuring and innovation. This axis includes support for training, installation aid, early retirement, food quality and downstream food and forestry activities. Measures under this axis have the objective of promoting structural changes at farm level as well as investment in key sectors. This is supported by training measures that are seen as essential in meeting the challenges of an increasingly competitive environment. Combined, the measures under Axis 1 respond to identified issues that impact on the competitiveness of the agriculture and food sectors and aim to progress restructuring and investment for the challenging era ahead. Axis 2 The second Axis of the RDP is directed at preserving, and where possible enhancing, the environmental, biodiversity and amenity values of the countryside. The Compensatory Amounts (CAs), previously paid on a headage basis in the LFAs are now decoupled. Some farmers may respond by reducing agriculture to a minimum, but maintaining environmental standards will be a condition of the payment and this should at least conserve the countryside against abandonment. For the medium term, most farmers will probably continue farming on an extensive basis and the CAs should support them in doing so. On the other hand, major improvement in the management of the countryside is the role of the Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS) and the afforestation measures. The REPs will be improved, which should make it more attractive to farmers, and make it more capable of providing environmental benefits. The forestry measures aim to expand forestry, but subject to conditions that will ensure an enhancement of the countryside. Aid will be given for schemes likely to have a high value in terms of appearance, environment or amenities. Axis 3 The broad objectives of Axis 3 are to improve the quality of life in rural areas and encourage diversification of economic activity in rural areas including diversification into non-agricultural activities. The measures under Axis 3 encompass a range of initiatives that are designed to promote economic activity in rural areas and also stimulate broader community initiatives aimed at improving the overall quality of life for rural dwellers. The measures will be implemented using the LEADER approach that emphasises a ‘bottom up’ approach and area-based local development strategies. Measures The draft RDP proposes expenditure of €7.055 billion over a seven-year period, of which €2.339 billion will be from the EAFRD and €4.716 billion from the National Exchequer. In line with the requirements of Council Regulation 1698/2005, the plan is structured around three-core objective: improving competitiveness, improving the environment and improving the quality of life in rural areas. This is reflected in the plan with measures allocated among three axes corresponding to the above objectives. The axes and financial allocations are as follows: Axis 1 Competitiveness envisages total expenditure of €665 million, of which €234 million will be from the EAFRD. Under this Axis issues relating to the competitiveness of the agriculture and food industry are addressed, particularly structural problems. The proposed measures are in the main a continuation of measures included in the RDP but with some changes in approach and design. Most of the funding is allocated to the Early Retirement Scheme (€418) and a complementary scheme of Young Farmer Installation Aid (€63). In total the two measures account for 72 per cent of total planned expenditure under the axis. Other measures planned under this axis are farm improvement – designed to promote investment in modern facilities in key sectors – and support to the forestry sector. 49


Axis 2 Improving the environment envisages expenditure of €5,965 million, of which €1,871 will be from the EAFRD. Measures under this Axis focus on ways of improving the environment but with farmers and farms at the core. The measures proposed are measures included in the current RDP but with modifications and improvements based on the up-to-date problem analysis. The main measure proposed is the continuation of the REPS/Natura 2000 measure for which €2,982 has been allocated, representing 50 per cent of expenditure under the axis. The next most important measure in terms of expenditure levels is the Compensatory Allowances measure, with planned expenditure of €1,799 million or 30 per cent of expenditure under the axis. The remaining measures cover forestry initiatives with a predominantly environmental focus, for which €934 million is allocated, and animal welfare with an allocation of €250 million. Axis 3 Improving the quality of life in rural measures includes a range of measures that are aimed at having a more sustainable rural economy with an improved quality of life. The measures build on similar type measures implemented under the LEADER programme in previous programmes and have a total allocation of €425 million, of which €234 million is from the EAFRD. While the measures here are primarily aimed at improving the quality of life in rural areas they also support and complement the objectives of Axis 1 and Axis 2. Impact assessment Axis 1 The issue of competitiveness is well analysed in the plan but the link between the proposed measures and the identified problems could be strengthened. Seventy two per cent of expenditure is allocated to the problem of age structure and farm size but it is unclear from the analysis if this is the main competitive issue facing agriculture and food. While the Installation Aid Scheme (IAS) is likely to achieve results in terms of attracting young farmers, the continuation of the Early Retirement Scheme (ERS) is problematic and the low uptake in the current scheme is of concern. While the measure is well intended it may be that uptake is opportunistic depending on the individual circumstances of farmers who may have been considering exiting. The farm improvement measure is generally good and should achieve results, though there may be an issue with deadweight in some areas. Consideration could be given to increasing the allocation to organic farming. In relation to forestry, the measures proposed are directed at encouraging actions that are important for realising the potential of forestry. These are in line with the overall objectives of the Draft RDP and complementary to the forestry measures in Axis 2. However, the issue of whether the low rates of plantation now being recorded are capable of supporting a competitive industry needs further exploration. Axis 2 With 80 per cent of expenditure under Axis 2 the RDP is primarily a plan to address environmental priorities, especially as some of the measures under Axis 1 and Axis 3 are also environmental in nature. While the measures under Axis 2 are directed towards the environment they contribute significantly to farm incomes and thus to the maintenance of a farming community. The CAs are a valuable contribution to farm incomes in the less favoured areas (LFAs) and as such help attain important Community and national objectives for rural development, including population stabilisation and maintenance of farmland in good environmental condition. However, the reaction of farmers to decoupling needs to be monitored carefully, and on farms where activity declines to minimal levels the scheme may prove to be redundant. As it is the scheme is complementary to the single farm payment (SFP) and consistent with most other policy initiatives such as REPS. It is not consistent with the ERS or with the forestry programme, although the adverse impact in both cases is likely to be small. 50


The proposed REPS measure builds on the success and experience of previous REPS measures but is not just a simple follow-on from the previous programme. It will be implemented against a background of a totally changed CAP Pillar 1 and a new farming regime. Lessons learned from the previous measures have been taken into account in the design of the current measure, which is considered to be attractive in terms of both flexibility and monetary reward. The national forest programme is consistent with the objectives of the EU in relation to forestry and supports national rural development policy in providing alternative income and employment in rural areas. Forestry also provides important carbon sequestration and alternative energy potential and, when carefully managed, can generate important amenity and biodiversity values. The forestry measures will promote the size of the national forest, which is low by European standards, and will address some deficiencies of Irish forests and enhance some opportunities through targeted interventions. The forestry schemes are complex and expensive but there is no alternative to heavy subsidisation backed up by careful supervision as envisaged in the draft RDP. The major difficulty with the programme at the moment is the low rate of take up which may be aided by the forthcoming increase in the premiums and some deficiency in the management of the existing forest estate. Any additional resources for forestry that might become available should be focused on measures designed to enhance the commercial value of the forests, such as reconstitution and the measures in Axis 1. Axis 3 The combined measures under Axis 3 represent an attempt to deliver a significant community based rural development programme using the LEADER approach. Unlike the other two axes, which are mainly comprised of existing and well-proven measures, Axis 3 is quite innovative and challenging. The general definition of Axis 3 including the problem identification would benefit from further analysis and a clearer outlining of the problem being addressed and overall objectives. Also the issues and measures covered under Axis 3 and Axis 4 cover only a part of overall public support for development in rural areas and indeed part of the needs. In the context of a new National Development Plan 2007-2013 it would be very desirable to see a document that incorporated all the proposals affecting rural development together, and evaluated together. The specific proposals under Axis 3 and Axis 4 are generally good but we feel the links between analysis, problem identification and proposed measures to respond to problems could be made clearer. Community added value A contribution of â&#x201A;Ź2.339 billion is expected, reflecting approximately 33 per cent of the overall programme cost. However, the added value of community involvement in the programme goes beyond the funding available. The programme is guided by the Communityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s overall approach to rural development that seeks to combine objectives of competitiveness, improvement of the environment and improvement of the overall quality of life in rural areas.

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Implementation arrangements and monitoring and evaluation While the proposed implementation arrangements are generally satisfactory and do not require changes, there are significant concerns with the identification and selection of indicators. It would seem that this area of the plan is largely incomplete and that a systematic approach to defining useful indicators and agreeing how such indicators can be compiled is required. In relation to assessing impact in particular the use of special surveys may need to be considered. Specific recommendations • A summary of the RDP, setting out context, problems identified, proposed responses would significantly improve the subsequent reading of the plan. While the programme has quite detailed analysis, the flow from problem identification to proposed response on an overall basis and at Axis level is not as clear as it could be. • The draft RTDP provides considerable analysis at section 3.1 but the SWOT analysis and problem(s) identification following could be more comprehensive. Clearly identified problems under each axis should be identified so that the appropriateness of the measures as responses at axis level can be better evaluated. • Expenditure on some elements of the Farm Improvement Measure should be reviewed to ensure absence of deadweight. • The Farm Improvement Measure and the level of funding should be reassessed at the midterm stage in the light of the level of uptake. The measure is likely to prove attractive given the emphasis on restructuring at farm level. • The actual expected impact of the ERS on competitiveness should be more fully justified. • Despite decoupling, CAs probably still work to support farming in the LFAs, thus helping to maintain the countryside. Some of the conditions for qualifying for the payment need to be reviewed. In cases where farmers reduce activity to minimal levels, the CA will probably not have a positive effect on countryside maintenance. • The overall objective of Axis 3 and how measures under it contribute to this objective should be more clearly elaborated. • Some issues not dealt with under the programme may need to be considered. • There is a need to further define indicators of outputs, results and impact for each of the measures proposed in the RDP. This will require a structured approach and co-ordination between the DAF and the implementing divisions. Response to Ex-Ante Evaluation The following address the main points: • While the evaluation raises issues on specific measures and aspects, it is noted that it endorses the overall approach of the programme and the allocation of funding between the three priorities. It should be noted that the evaluation covered some measures and related funded that will be pursued outside the remit of the programme. This is because they will be financed solely by the exchequer. • On the concern about low rates of forestry plantation, it needs to be borne in mind that forestry is a long-term project and that afforestation rates can fluctuate significantly from year to year. The mix of measure in this programme will assist competitiveness and environmental enhancement. They will be kept under review and, where necessary, changes will be proposed in the light of progress and available funding. The suggestion that any additional resources should focus on Axis 1 measures merits caution. There is a need for a balanced approach, bearing in mind the primary aim of achieving and maintaining a sustainable level of afforestation. 52


• •

• •

In relation to the Early Retirement Scheme the aim, of this scheme is to address the issues identified as impeding competitiveness (lack of commercial viability due to small farm size, low-level productivity due to poor age structure, low education level and lack of land mobility) through encouraging the transfer of land to younger, trained farmers or established farmers who wish to enlarge their holdings. An Expenditure Review conducted by the Department of Agriculture and Food in 2004 indicated that the scheme had value, as a restructuring measure, particularly in the more intensive farming areas of the south and east. Take-up of the current scheme was proportionately higher in those areas. However, take-up of the current scheme throughout the country was depressed by uncertainty about the details and outcome of decoupling, and by controversy over the level of pension. Now that the farming situation has stabilised after decoupling, and a higher rate of pension is proposed for the period of the programme, take-up can be expected to increase again, though not to the levels of the 1994-1999 schemes, which attracted over 10,500 participants. Regional disparities in uptake have been recognised in the programme, with a lower size of holding required in less favoured areas (LFAs). The suggestion that a summary of the programme should be provided has been noted. While the programme has been prepared in accordance with the prescribed template, the intention is to provide a summary once it is adopted. The national rural development strategy is also relevant as it provides an overview of the programme’s context and contents. In line with the evaluators’ recommendation, the SWOT analysis and problem identification at Section 3.2 has been substantially extended. The analysis has been done on the basis of the three axes set out in the rural development regulation. As with all measures, the on-farm investment measure – including the Farm Improvement Scheme – will be kept under review. As regards possible deadweight, this will be borne in mind, although the terms of the farm improvement scheme and its limited grant rates should guard against this. The evaluators’ argument that Compensatory Allowances in less favoured areas may not have a positive effect on countryside maintenance when farm activity is reduced to a minimum level has been taken on board. The measure has been amended to provide for a minimum stocking density of 0.15 livestock unit per hectare. The position regarding Axis 3 and its measures has been elaborated as part of the extended SWOT analysis provided at Section 3.2. In line with the evaluators’ recommendation, the performance indicators for the axes and their measures have been further defined to the extent possible from current information. The managing authority will liase with the implementing divisions and other appropriate bodies to ensure the timely provision of indicator data as the programme progresses.

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Summary of strategic environment assessment (SEA) Background Statutory Instrument (S.I.) No. 435 of 2004 transposed the SEA Directive into Irish law. The environmental authorities specified in this instrument are: • • •

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (DEHLG) where significant effects are possible for the architectural or archaeological heritage or for nature conservation The Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources (DCMNR) where significant effects are possible for fisheries or the marine environment.

The statutory instrument prescribes the SEA procedures and their related timescales. Screening of Rural Development Programme This formal screening considered that an assessment was both necessary and desirable. The programme falls within the remit of Article 9(1) of SI No. 435 of 2004 – which sets out the general circumstances in which an assessment is obligatory. In addition, the EU Commission advised that an assessment was required. Throughout the consultative process on the rural development programme and related strategy, stakeholders were advised of the need for a strategic environment assessment. The SEA was undertaken as an integral part of the consultation on, and the preparation of, the programme with the ex-ante evaluation and the environmental report carried out in tandem by the SEA/plan-making team. Scoping of the SEA In August 2006 the three environmental authorities were informed of the intention to have an independent environmental assessment undertaken on the rural development programme. They were advised of the provisional view that this should cover the issues cited in the SEA Directive (Annex 1 of 2001/42/EC) and with a particular focus on water and air quality, climate change, biodiversity and population. The DEHLG offered suggestions on the possible coverage of archaeological and heritage issues while the EPA offered general advice on the matters to be covered in an environmental report. Based on the scoping exercise and internal consideration, it was decided that the scope of the environmental assessment should seek coverage of all the issues cited in the Annex to the SEA Directive without weighting being attached to them. Evaluation (SEA) report The environmental assessment was conducted in parallel with the ex-ante evaluation of the rural development programme. A copy of the report is found in Appendix 10. The following material is taken from its Executive Summary and summarises the potential environmental effects and findings: 54


Anticipated environmental effects arising from Axis 1 measures Axis 1 measures are intended to enhance the competitiveness of benefiting farms and this may increase adverse environmental effects on these farms. While ‘traditional’ lower intensity farming with fewer inputs are now being replaced by more efficient and productive agricultural practices the potential for adverse effects on the environment may increase somewhat. However, the Axis 1 objective of having a younger, better-trained farming community should have positive benefits as they are more likely to be environmentally aware and to have the necessary farm management skills and capability to reduce or eliminate any significant (negative) environmental effects that increased farm productivity might have. The central theme of the Farm Improvement Measures is to promote diversification of farm activities that are supported in a manner that promotes higher standards for environmental protection, health, safety, and animal welfare. Maintenance of diversification of land use also has an impact of maintaining and protecting established landscapes. These all have potentially positive environmental effects of varying significance. The programme also proposes to encourage the manufacture of downstream value-added forest products. In principle downstream timber processing can have environmental effects, but the scale of these measures is relatively insignificant. Potential adverse effects, if any, will be controlled by the normal planning process. Other forest measures will be monitored by the Forest Inspectorate. Where production facilities result these will be subject to development consent from the local authority in whose administrative area the enterprise is to be established. Anticipated environmental effects arising from Axis 2 measures (a) Improving the Environment and the Countryside (primarily nature-conservation related measures) The programme plans to continue a range of extensive supports for habitat and species conservation. Measures include the strengthening of the Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS), Natura 2000 payments and payments linked to the Water Framework Directive which promote and support farming practices that are environmentally sensitive and sustainable. Under the new programme it is now proposed to expand the scheme to include eligibility to intensive farming activities, thereby bringing a greater and wider degree of biodiversity protection, and environmental protection generally, than applied heretofore. The measures will, as is the intention, make a ‘significant’ contribution to the conservation of natural habitats and to the conservation of the floral and faunal species these habitats support. As such, both the REPS and Natura 2000 measures for the protection of designated sites (a full listing of which is provided in Appendix 2 of the RDP) are environmental protection measures and represent the single most important elements of the Draft RDP as regards the protection of biodiversity. With sufficient resources and application, the measures should be at least capable of arresting the rate of decline in biodiversity in these areas while also providing for the possibility of regaining some species lost to Ireland and strengthening the status of others. The measures will have positive impacts on biodiversity beyond national boundaries in that they afford protection to a range of migratory species and act to conserve the habitats such species use for that part of their life cycle spent in Ireland.

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(b) Improving the Environment and the Countryside (Afforestation related measures) In promoting afforestation, including broadleaf woodlands, the measures will afford the opportunity for greater diversity of land use and the greater biodiversity that can follow over time. Insofar as the forests and woodlands are also intended to be promoted as recreational assets they have the potential to provide benefits of some significance for encouraging an active lifestyle and consequent benefit to human health. Climatic benefits will also accrue as tree growth sequesters carbon while also providing substitute materials for a wide range of products including construction products such as timber-frame housing, all in a manner that is essentially carbon neutral. Forest output will include wood fuel. As elsewhere in Europe, Ireland is making rapid strides towards the use of carbon neutral wood as a substitute for imported hydrocarbons as a fuel source. The principal potential adverse effects of forestry are in relation to watercourses. Strict adherence to appropriate planting practices such as adequate set back from watercourses are essential for avoidance of siltation, soil disturbance, acidification of waters and nutrient runoff. It is noted, however, that the Code of Best Forest Practice addresses both the issue of water quality protection in particular and also archaeological issues (deep soil disturbance) that might arise. Anticipated environmental effects arising from Axes 3 and 4 measures The overall priority for the Axes 3 and 4 measures is to stimulate economic and social activity in all rural areas. The range of actions to deliver this priority was chosen to deliver the optimum economic and social impact while demonstrating internal as well as external complementarity at Axis level. The essential objective of the various measures is to make a useful contribution to maintaining a viable rural population while also maintaining quality of life in a valued rural environment. As such, the Axes 3 and 4 measures will make a positive contribution to population and health. Similarly, by supporting the retention and development and of a viable rural community, aspects such as the existing built environment and the rural landscape can be maintained and enhanced. Equally adverse environmental impacts such as significant land abandonment and the loss of material assets that such abandonment represents can be reduced or avoided. The principal negative impact identified is the inevitable growth of traffic as a consequence of a more vibrant rural community. As a counterbalance to this, however, it is recognised that by rooting jobs and social infrastructure locally the necessity to commute long distances can be greatly reduced. Environmental impacts associated with the development of the various tourism facilities, recreational buildings, small business premises etc. will all be subject to planning consent prior to construction and as administered by the relevant local authority in each area. This affords the opportunity to apply (as is the norm) appropriate planning consent â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Conditionsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; to reduce any adverse effects. Alternatives to the programme An examination of the Draft RDP suggests that collectively the measures proposed will do much to progress rural development in both an economically sustainable and environmentally 56


sustainable manner. The principal alternative to the Draft RDP would be not to implement the programme (termed the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Do-Nothing Scenarioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;), or to drop substantial elements of it. Of particular concern in the absence of the programme would be the potential for widespread abandonment of farmland and its environs as a consequence of a further more pronounced shift to off-farm income activity in response to the decline in more traditional farm output and income. It is self-evident that the Do-Nothing Scenario would likely result in significant adverse environmental effects across a wide range of environmental parametres (biodiversity, population, climate etc). Monitoring environmental effects of proposed programme It is a requirement under SEA that provision is made for monitoring the environmental effects of a plan or programme over its lifetime. This is central in ensuring that adverse environmental effects are quickly identified, quantified and addressed in a timely and effective manner. This Environmental Report therefore, makes a number of recommendations in respect of monitoring. The principal recommendation is that the Department of Agriculture and Food should establish and oversee a comprehensive, integrated, environmental monitoring programme. That programme should ideally be based on a sophisticated geographical information system (GIS).

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Consultation on evaluation (SEA) report The consultation process commenced on 7 November 2006 with notices in the national press and on the Department’s websites. The Northern Ireland Authorities were also informed. The following summarises the responses: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) • •

• • • •

The report examined one/two alternative scenarios. Other possible alternatives might usefully be considered. The proposed monitoring programme requires detailed consideration. The inclusion of existing monitoring programmes such as national surface and groundwater programmes is recommended. There should be a clear distinction between the programme’s objectives and the environmental ones as per the SEA Directive. The Water Framework Directive and associated plans and measures should be referred to in the programme. Groundwater, surface water and coastal and estuarine environments also merit mention. The report refers to the requirements for environmental impact assessments for individual forestry developments. The cumulative impacts of adjoining forestry developments may not, however, be adequately addressed by those assessments. In terms of the preservation of rural landscapes and traditional agricultural landscapes, there may be merit in a pilot assessment of such landscapes. The evaluator’s views on some issues are open to question. In some cases, impacts might be positive or negative; flood risk is a realistic threat to low-lying agricultural land.

Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government • • •

The Department welcomes the provisions promoting protection of the aquatic environment and, in particular, the new measures in REPS and Axis 4 for the protection and improvement of threatened water bodies In the case of forestry there is potential for significant negative impact on water quality, influenced by the types of trees planted and the soil types chosen. Concerns include acidification, nutrient runoff, sedimentation and dangerous substances Two key control measures relating to afforestation have the capacity to substantially mitigate against the generation of any significant adverse environmental effects arising from the proposed measures. These are: the ‘Code of Best Forest Practice’ and the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive 85/337/EEC. Work underway by the Western River Basin District project may result in further controls on forestry in sensitive areas Forestry plantation needs to take into account all potential impacts on water quality and biodiversity.

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Department of the Communications, Marine and Natural Resources •

There is scope to introduce a more detailed plan for more rivers and lakes to take the opportunity presented by the new Rural Development Programme to introduce voluntary measures designed to improve water quality in a number of areas: specifically, certain salmon rivers and pearl mussel habitats, and the catchments of certain western lakes. There seems to be a lot of reference to protection of birds and hedgerows under Biodiversity sections yet no reference to the need for protection of aquatic habitats, particularly salmon habitats (protected species) or the benefit that the aquatic riparian corridor can provide as a habitat and continuum for flora and fauna.

Agri/environmental groups • • • • • • • • •

With no targets set for species mix to move from the current model of fast-growing species, the 30 per cent broadleaf planting target has been abandoned. Proposed ‘Requirements’ on forestry operations impacting on water-quality arising from the scientific identification of, inter alia, phosphate and silt releases are confined to SACs and are voluntary rather than statutory. Definition of peat soils used by the Forest Service fails to address the organic content of the soils, as recognised in the Nitrates Regulation 2006, affecting environmental impacts and calculations of value of forestry for carbon sequestration. SEA underestimates or even ignores the environmental impact of the current industrial plantation forestry policy that prevails in Ireland. There are concerns about choice of location, soils and species. There is no protection for Native Woodland Resources. There is a dependence on monocultures, with a focus on low-quality, fast-growing species at the expense of high-quality broadleaf plantations and high-quality end-use. There is a high dependence on significant and sustained use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers. No measures are included to ensure equal application of controls to reforestation.

Response to strategic environmental assessment As legally required the definitive response will be set out once the programme is adopted. The following, although necessarily provisional, provides a clear indication as to that response and as to the manner in which the SEA has been taken into account in preparing the programme: •

On consideration of possible alternative approaches, it is accepted that the environmental report limited itself to one/two scenarios. However, two important and related factors have to be borne in mind. Firstly, the regulation provides a set menu of possible support measures under each of its objectives. Secondly, this programme provides for 80 per cent of total co-funded expenditure under the ‘environmental’ objective – the maximum allowable. The combined effect is to reduce the scope for alternatives. While the restrictions reduce the potential for alternatives at a macro level, it is appreciated that they do not preclude consideration of possible alternatives at measure level to maximise potential benefit. Based on discussions with the EPA and other suggestions, certain measures have been adapted to this end. In the case of agrienvironment, the measures proposed under REPS, Natura 2000 and Organic Farming will continue to develop a set of pro-active elements to restore and enhance the environment 59


• •

and biodiversity and to accommodate developments in agricultural policy and emerging environmental issues. A number of issues relating specifically to forestry were raised as part of the SEA consultation process, i.e. water-quality, species selection, use of fertilisers and herbicides, reforestation and soils definitions. All applications are subject either to full EIA screening (if below 50ha) or full EIA (if above 50ha or if demanded). It is also worth remembering that the size of individual plantations is now quite small – less than 10ha on average. Statutory consultation with prescribed bodies is also part of the approval process, with full public consultation in many instances. In addition, the new GIS map-base will be extensively used not just to evaluate proposals against a range of opportunities and constraints, but also to guide the preparation and submission of such applications in the first place. The GIS system will assist in targeting investment in areas of high scenic sensitivity and converting established forests to fit better within the landscape. On the forestry side, guidelines in relation to preservation of water quality have been drawn up, with specific requirements to be introduced for protection of the freshwater pearl mussel. Any further requirements identified as part of the implementation of the Water Framework Directive will of course be incorporated. In relation to species selection, it is intended to maintain the target of 30 per cent broadleaf afforestation for the new programming period, with specific schemes promoting this and more favourable rates of premium applying. The native woodland resources will continue to be protected and expanded through a dedicated Native Woodland Scheme. Use of fertilisers and herbicides in forestry establishment is extremely low by agricultural standards, often requiring no more than one or two applications over a full rotation of 40100 years. A new Statutory Instrument has recently been introduced to control the use of aerial fertilisation in established forestry. Reforestation is not grant-aided and forms no part of the programme. Conditions applying to reforestation are stipulated in accordance with the Forestry Acts (which are currently under review). In relation to soils definitions, the question here is how to define a ‘peat’ soil. The approach used in Irish forestry is well established internationally and, at the Commission’s request, a new paragraph has been inserted into the RDP explaining the situation in more detail. Initial discussions have taken place with Bord na Móna in terms of a holistic response to the future management of cut-away bogs, in which careful planting of woodlands will play an important role. The potential for easing flood-risk in this fashion (such as into the Shannon) will also be explored. At a ‘local’ level, riparian planting will be encouraged under the new Agro-Forestry scheme and this can have a significant and positive effect on localised flooding and soil-erosion. The need for an effective and flexible monitoring system is recognised. Given the programme’s emphasis on environmental measures, its objectives and those of the SEA Directive are to a very significant extent compatible. In monitoring progress, use will be made of existing data sources. These will also be utilised to discern possible unforeseen effects and the need for appropriate response. Assessment of ‘environmental’ progress will be an inherent feature of annual reports etc. on the programme. In terms of broader level monitoring, the National Forest Inventory has just completed fieldwork that will provide excellent baseline information not just in terms of productivity, but also in terms of forest health and ecology. In addition to its relevance to the current programme, the monitoring system will also inform any successive programme.

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• •

REPS and the Natura measures will involve the collection of environmental data about each holding which will form the basis for detailed individual farm plans. This collection of data will feed into an ongoing analysis of the effects of the measures. The plans and measures adopted under the Water Framework Directive will be taken into consideration as the programme progresses. A new Supplementary Measure in REPS is designed to address water quality issues, in particular lake catchments. Since farming is only one of the factors affecting water quality in these areas, the REPS Supplementary Measure will be complemented by actions under Axis 3. Following the 2004 report by the Flood Policy Review Group, the Office of Public Works (OPW) was appointed as the lead agency to implement flooding policy in Ireland. The OPW is currently developing a strategy to manage flood risk, in conjunction with other relevant state agencies. The strategy is likely to involve non-structural measures such as storage and better flood forecasting and warning, but will also include structural works, particularly where flooding is already a problem. Developments here will be closely monitored and where necessary reflected in the programme measures.

In the context of the SEA and the environmental impact of the proposed Axis 2 measures the Department of Agriculture and Food considers that the following summary of the achievements to date and independent evaluations is also relevant: (A)

Agri-environmental measure (REPS)

Improvements since REPS commenced in 1994 • • • • • • •

Almost 60,000 farmers, farming 2m hectares in the scheme, farm to individual farm plans prepared by a professional 4,000km of new hedgerow contracted for establishment 2,700km of hedgerow contracted for rejuvenation 13,700ha contracted for new on farm habitat creation 17,000 farmers opted to provide nature corridors by increasing all field margins from 1.5m to 2.5m 7,000ha contracted for the establishment of traditional hay meadow 12,000ha contracted for the establishment of species-rich grassland.

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Evaluation report on REPS in 1999 The 1999 evaluation was carried out by Fitzpatrick and Co. and concluded that the scheme, as designed, has many attributes. It applies a set of standard environmental requirements to be met by participating farms, which together make substantive inroads towards achieving optimal environmental sustainability on farming units. A range of areas is covered, ensuring real improvements on participant farms, although the nature of improvements, correctly, depends on the nature of individual farms. The scheme furthermore ensures that these advancements may be guaranteed for a period into the future.

Mid-term evaluation report 2003 This report was compiled by AFCon, independent consultants who established that: • • • • • •

Soil quality has been protected through nutrient management planning and grassland management. Chemical contamination of soils has been prevented or reduced through the limitations on nutrient input implemented by nutrient management plans. The biodiversity measure has been successful in protecting habitats that may have been otherwise lost. Hedgerow quality has attributed to avian diversity on farmland in general. The visual appearance of farms is much improved. Maintenance of stonewalls and retention of hedgerows has a positive impact on the landscape. Research done by Teagasc found that more archaeological features have been maintained on farms because of REPS. Prior to this, some of these were destroyed due to land improvement associated with more intensive farming.

The report concluded that REPS has a positive effect on the landscape by improved visual appearance, better management of designated areas of high nature value, and appreciation of historical and cultural values. Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) report 2006 This study of REPS was carried out by Danny Cambell, W. George Hutchinson and Riccardo Scarpa and concluded that the scheme delivers: • •

Improvement of wildlife habitats, hedgerows, farmyard tidiness and cultural heritage Improvements to biodiversity-enhanced recreational opportunities, rural development and contributions to farmers’ incomes and the broader rural economy.

The report further concludes that the total benefits provided by the REPS are likely to exceed the costs associated with it and on this basis the scheme would seem to be justified. (B)

Less favoured areas (LFAs)

The scheme places emphasis on maintaining the rural population in less favoured areas (LFAs), through an environmentally friendly approach, which focuses on the proper management of low intensity pasture systems, i.e. extensive farming. As regards the overlap between REPS and LFAs (average of 100,000 qualifying applicants per annum), it is important to note that in 2000 there were 27,000 REPS applicants who also qualified under LFAs – 27 per cent. By 2006 the figure had increased to 41,000 – 41 per cent. 62


Of the land area referred to above, 5.15 million hectares are designated as less favoured, with a total utilised agricultural area (UAA) of 3.67 million hectares, and represents almost 75 per cent of agricultural land nationally. For the duration of the Plan applicants were obliged to comply with good farming practice (GFP), which laid down the environmental requirements for the scheme. Good farming practice is common-sense farming and is described as the standard of farming that a reasonable farmer would follow in the region concerned. Care of the environment is an integral part of GFP, with particular emphasis on grassland and nutrient management. Environmental issues were also central to the 1997 National Strategy for Sustainable Development, e.g. nutrient management through the reduction of both fertiliser application rates and stocking densities. Also, among the main environmental challenges identified by the Department of the Environment was halting the decline in water quality, through proper nutrient management. The environmental issues mentioned in the previous paragraph are addressed by the LFAs through the obligation of having a minimum stocking density per forage hectare of 0.15 livestock units. The main beneficial effect arising has come via a corresponding reduction in stocking levels, attributable to the abolition of the overall link between animal production and receipt of compensatory allowances. This has resulted in a reduction in the use of artificial fertilisers and the amount of animal waste produced, which in turn has improved both soil and water quality. Empirical evidence is provided by national livestock data as follows: • • •

Cattle numbers have decreased by 4.8 per cent during the life of the Plan, from 6.408 million to c. 6.100 million. Sheep numbers have decreased by 14.7 per cent, from 4.807 million to c. 4.1 million. Fertiliser usage has decreased by 3 per cent, from 1.545 million tonnes to c. 1.5 million tonnes.

While the reductions in cattle numbers and fertiliser use have contributed significantly to the achievement of Ireland’s targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with Kyoto undertakings, there is a risk that further decline in sheep numbers would lead to some loss of diversity and traditional landscape in certain areas. The position is being closely monitored, therefore, and Ireland is proposing actions under agri-environment to prevent stocking levels from falling below sustainable levels.

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5.

Description of Axes and Measures proposed for each Axis

Measures proposed for each Axis As set out in Ireland’s Rural Development National Strategy 2007–2013, the programme will contribute to each of the three objectives detailed in Article 4 of the Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005, namely: • • •

Improving the competitiveness of agriculture by supporting restructuring, development and innovation (Axis 1) Improving the environment and the countryside by supporting land management (Axis 2) Improving the quality of life in rural areas and encouraging diversification of economic activity (Axis 3).

Beneficiaries will be limited to those complying, where appropriate, with the minimum pay legislation. The programme will provide support through the following Measures:

Axis 1–Improving the competitiveness of the agricultural and forestry sector MEASURE CODE

111 112 113 121

MEASURE

Vocational training and information actions Setting up of young farmers Early retirement of farmers and farm workers Modernisation of agricultural holdings

Axis 2–Improving the environment and the countryside MEASURE CODE

212 213 214

MEASURE

Payments to farmers in areas with handicaps, other than mountain areas Natura 2000 payments and payments linked to Directive 2000/60/EC Agri-Environmental payments

Axis 3–The quality of life in rural areas and diversification of the rural economy MEASURE CODE

311 312 313 321 322 323 33

MEASURE

Diversification into non-agricultural activities Business creation and development Encouragement of tourism activities Basic services for the economy and rural population Village renewal and development Conservation and upgrading of the rural heritage Training and information for economic factors under Axis 3

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Axis 3â&#x20AC;&#x201C;LEADER MEASURE MEASURE CODE 341 Skills-acquisition and animation measure 41 Implementing local development strategies 421 Implementing co-operation projects 431 Running the Local Action Group The position re the horizontal indicators is set out in the table below: HORIZONTAL INDICATORS Indicator Economic development

Measurement GDP per capita, expressed in PPS (EU25=100)

Baseline 138.9

Projection 140.7 (2008)

Employed persons aged 15-64 as a percentage of the population of the same age group Unemployment Rate of unemployment, i.e. unemployed persons as a percentage of economically active population

67.6 per cent

70 per cent by 2010

4.3 per cent of labour force

Maintain

Employment rate

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5.1 Axis 1: Improving the competitiveness of the agricultural sector Summary of actions Under this Axis, Measures are designed to meet the objective of improving the competitiveness of the agriculture sector through: • Achieving the transfer of land to young trained farmers better able to meet the new challenges facing Irish agriculture • Providing training to beneficiaries under the Natura 2000 (measure 213) and Agrienvironment (measure 214) Measures under Axis 2 to optimise delivery of commitments undertaken • Encouraging the transfer of holdings from older farmers to young farmers setting up in farming • Support of capital improvements in farm structures, ensuring that primary agriculture becomes competitive and market-oriented. The following table summarises the baseline situation and the targets for Axis 1.

Indicator

Measurement

Baseline

Target

Training and education in agriculture

Percentage of farmers with basic and full education in agriculture

35.9 per cent of farming, fishing and forestry workers have medium or high educational attainment

38 per cent

Age structure in agriculture Labour productivity in agriculture Labour productivity in food industry Labour productivity in forestry

Ratio: farmers under 35years of age/farmers aged 55 years or over Gross value added per annual work unit (GVA/AWU) Gross value added per person employed in food, drink and tobacco industry Gross value added per employee in forestry

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10 per cent of farming, fishing and forestry workers have completed some form of third-level education 0.26

14 per cent

0.15

€19,515 GVA per AWU

Increase

€156,224

Increase

€49,047

Increase


Vocational Training and Information Actions (REPS Training) Legal basis: Articles 20(a)(i) and 21 of Regulation 1698/2005. Point 5.3.1.1.1 of Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 1974/2006 Measure Code: 111 Rationale for intervention Training will be provided to beneficiaries under the Natura 2000 (measure 213) and Agrienvironment (measure 214) Measures under Axis 2 to optimise delivery. Objectives of the measure The objective is to provide participants with information on environmental benefits arising from the Agri-environment and Natura 2000 Measures and clarification on all relevant measure requirements at individual farm level; additionally, to equip farmers with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement comprehensive environment actions. Scope and actions The provision of training in farming systems compatible with good environmental practice is an important requirement of the scheme. Under the scheme, beneficiaries under the Axis 2 Agri-environment and Natura 2000 Measures will be required to attend approved education courses. Beneficiaries who have not attended a training course in the 2000 to 2006 programming period will be obliged to attend an appreciation Training module. The appreciation module must meet a standard set of criteria, including a minimum of 10 hours duration. Additionally, all beneficiaries will be encouraged to attend at further one day training/demonstration modules in years one and two of the five-year Natura 2000 or Agrienvironment contract. The estimated expenditure for attendees is €1.25m per annum. The cost of delivering appreciation courses is circa €1,500 per course and it is projected that 300 courses would be held annually at a total projected cost of €450,000. In addition 600 modular courses per year at €750 per course will cost €450,000. In total training courses will cost €900,000 per annum. Beneficiaries Farmers participating in the Agri-environment Measure and the Natura 2000 Measures under Axis 2 Description of the operations (including types of training) These courses are designed to provide new or prospective beneficiaries under Measures 213 and 214: • An introduction to Measures 213 and 214 and an understanding of their objectives and measures • Explanation requirements in general and under the individual measures, covering areas such as nutrient management, farming practices, record keeping, etc. • General information such as compliance checks and penalty provisions 67


• • •

Education on the consequences of agricultural pollution and its avoidance (including reference to climate change awareness, and mitigation of and adaptation to its effects) An appreciation of the importance and preservation of National Heritage Areas, Natura 2000 sites, archaeological features, wildlife habitats, etc. A practical demonstration involving a visit to an approved REPS demonstration farm.

Demonstration farms provide opportunities for participants in the scheme to see and examine how a model environmentally friendly farm is operated. Visits to these farms form an integral part of education programmes. An estimated 60 demonstration farms spread geographically across the whole territory will be established at an estimated annual cost of €200,000. Details on coverage of support The support will be available to all participants of the Natura 2000 and Agri-environment Measures under Axis 2. A payment rate of €130 is proposed for attendance at the 10-hour appreciation module. Additional payment proposed is a maximum of €100 per annum for training/demonstration modules attended in the relevant Agri-environment contract year. The proposed training is comprised of courses for which no normal education system or programmes are in place. Definition of bodies providing the training and information actions (These can be public authorities or private bodies selected through a call for proposals) The training will be provided by professional agriculturalists who are approved by the Department of Agriculture and Food for the purposes of drawing up farm plans under the Natura 2000 and Agri-environment Measures under Axis 2. All courses must be approved by the Department of Agriculture and Food in advance and full details of course tutors, participants and syllabus must be provided. State aid schemes used for co-financing Rate of support (up to 100 per cent): 100 per cent Demarcation role with other EU financial instruments The measure is linked solely to actions under this programme and does not duplicate or conflict with possible other training actions. Financing

− Total Cost: €14m − Public Expenditure: €14m

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Transition arrangements (including estimated amount) Not Applicable

Quantified targets for EU common indicators Type of indicator Output Result Impact

Indicator Target Number of participants to training 60,000 Number of training days received 180,000 Number of farmers or forest holders that successfully ended a training activity 60,000 Change in gross value added per annual work unit Not applicable

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Setting Up of Young Farmers (Young Farmers Installation Scheme) Legal basis Articles 20(a)(ii) and 22 of Council Regulation (EC) 1698/2005 Articles 13 and 14, Annex II, point 5.3.1.1.2 of Regulation (EC) No 1974/2006 Measure Code: 112 Rationale for intervention The continued rejuvenation of the Irish farming sector is one of the priorities of Irish agricultural policy. This scheme will assist those interested in pursuing farming as a career by offsetting the set-up costs associated with such set-up and also provide a mechanism for encouraging investment on such farms. Objectives of the measure The objectives of the scheme are: (i) to achieve the transfer of land to young, trained farmers better able to meet the new challenges facing Irish agriculture, (ii) to off-set the set-up costs faced by young people when establishing themselves in farming, and (iii) to provide assistance for the investments required on such holdings. Scope and actions The scheme will encompass a single payment to eligible applicants in order to fulfil the principal objectives set out above. A business plan will be required from each applicant. Participants will be required to continue farming for five years from the date of set-up and to farm the land transferred or its equivalent during that period. Beneficiaries Applicants between the age of 18 and 35 setting-up in farming for the first time on or after 1 January 2007 and not later than 31 December 2013 and subject to compliance with off-farm income ceiling. Definition of setting up Applicant must be set up on at least 20ha (non less favoured area) or 15ha (less favoured area) for a minimum period of seven years and be an applicant for a herd number or other Department identifier. The seven-year period is designed to ensure that the applicant has a long-term hold on the land concerned. The provisions in relation to minimum land areas shall not apply, however, in the case of intensive enterprises. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Intensive enterprisesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; are defined as those holdings, which involve the production of pigs, poultry, mushrooms, rabbits, protected horticultural crops or nursery stock. In such cases, applicants will be deemed to be set up when they become established on holdings with production facilities of at least 20 production units (in contrast to the land area requirements applicable to non-intensive enterprises). Where the intensive enterprises concern pig or poultry production, applicants will have to confirm that the holdings are in compliance with the spread land requirements of the 2006 Nitrates Regulations.

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Summary of requirements of business plan. This includes, in relation to in case of investments requirements to comply with existing Community standards within a 36 months grace period, and details on frequency and treatment of reviews of the business plan. The business plan shall be required to contain: • Description of present situation of the agricultural holding including the agricultural output and specific milestones and targets for the development of the activities of the new holding • Details of investments, training, advice or any other action required for the development of the activities of the agricultural holding • Indication of three development options chosen by the applicant from a list of such options. Applicant will be required to complete two of these options within two years of the date of set-up and the final option within four years of the date of set-up. An initial application, including business plan, shall be required to be submitted within a certain period running from the date of set-up. Penalties will be applicable where applications are received late or where development options are not completed within the periods specified above. Entitlement to aid will be lost where application is not received within sixteen months of date of set-up. A review shall be carried out by the Department in the fifth year following the date of set-up. The grant will be recouped if the applicant is not farming the land transferred, or its equivalent, at the time of review. The possibility exists to benefit from the grace period in order to reach the occupational skills and competence requirements. Applicants shall be required to complete occupational skills and competence requirements within two years from date of set-up. The possibility exists to combine different measures through the business plan giving access of the young farmers to these measures. Eligible applicants will be able to apply for investment grants under the farm modernisation measure. Amount of support €15,000 paid on completion of education, property and income requirements. Choice of payment Single premium. Quantified targets 4,200 farmers Financing − Total Cost: €63.00m − Public Expenditure: €63.00m

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Transition arrangements (including estimated total amount) Not applicable. Quantified targets for EU common indicators Type of indicator Output

Indicator Number of assisted young farmers

Result

Increase in agricultural gross value added in supported farms €8.5m per annum Net additional value added expressed in PPS €1.5 million per annum Change in gross value added per annual work unit €1,020 per annual mwu

Impact

Target 4,200

Additional programme specific indicators and quantified targets: (1) Number of beneficiaries: 4,200 (2) Land area transferred: 1,890,00ha 22 (3) Applicant farm size: 50ha (4) Ages of transferees: <=35 (5) Level of training of applicant: Fetac Level 6 or equivalent (6) Number of beneficiaries who are transferees in ERS: 2,730 (7) Number of transfers to family members: 2,100 (8) Total volume of direct investment: €30m

22

Excludes intensive enterprises

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Early Retirement of Farmers and Farm Workers (Early Retirement Scheme) Legal basis Articles 20 (a) and 23 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 Article 14 and point 5.3.1.1.3 of Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 1974/2006. Measure Code: 113 Rationale for intervention The strategy for the development of a competitive agricultural structure in the coming years provides for the introduction of policies that will target structural change and aid the development of agricultural holdings. The report of the Agri-Food 2010 Committee identified weaknesses in Irish Agriculture as: lack of commercial viability because of small size, low level of productivity due to poor age structure and low education level, and lack of land mobility. This scheme aims to address these issues by assisting those interested in retiring early from farming transferring their land to younger trained farmers who commit to the development of their holdings. In light of experience acquired in the implementation of previous schemes of early retirement the transferee age limit has been increased, up to 50 in certain circumstances. Regional disparities have also been recognised, with a reduction in the size of agricultural holding required in less favoured areas. The estimated uptake under this scheme is lower due to recent changes in Irish agriculture including the effect of the introduction of the Single Payment Scheme. Objective of the measure The objectives of this measure are to complement the Setting up of Young Farmers measure [Young Farmers Installation Scheme (2007–2013)] by encouraging the transfer of holdings from older farmers to younger trained farmers setting up in farming under that scheme and to reassign land from retiring farmers to established farmers who wish to enlarge their holdings. Scope and actions The scheme will encompass the payment of an annual pension to eligible applicants for a maximum period of 10 years in order to achieve the objectives set out above. Beneficiaries The beneficiaries: transferors, farm workers and transferees are defined as follows: A transferor must: • Be between the ages of 55 and 66 on the date of admission to the scheme; pension payments will not be made after a participant’s 66th birthday • Have practised farming for at least ten years immediately before retirement • Be farming an area of not less than 5 hectares of agricultural land, except in the case of intensive enterprises (e.g. pigs, poultry or horticulture) • Undertake to cease all agricultural activity.

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On the date of submission of a valid application by the transferor, the transferee must: (1) be approved for payment under the Young Farmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Installation Scheme (2007â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2013)[YFIS] or have submitted a second stage application for payment (YFIS2) that results in the issue of an approval for payment and fulfil the conditions of that scheme which include the following: (a) Be less than 35 years of age (b) Succeed the transferor(s)/owner(s) as head of an agricultural holding which must be at least 20 hectares of agricultural land (non less favoured area) or, at least 15 hectares (less favoured area) of agricultural land, except in the case of intensive enterprises. Or (2)(i) be a farmer who fulfils the following conditions: (a) Be less than 45 years of age (b) Be farming a minimum of 5 hectares of agricultural land and enlarge that holding by becoming a transferee (c) On completion of land transfer and enlargement, farm a holding of at least 20 hectares of agricultural land (non less favoured area), or at least 15 hectares (less favoured area) of agricultural land, except in the case of intensive enterprises where a minimum level of production will be required (d) Be compliant with the off-farm income ceiling of â&#x201A;Ź50,000 which is designed to focus the scheme on those young farmers with a greater dependence on farming who are most likely to remain in farming (e) Meet the educational requirements. Or (2)(ii) be a farmer who fulfils the following conditions: (a) Be approved as a Transferee under a previous Early Retirement Scheme (ERS1 or ERS2) (b) Be between 45 and 50 years of age (c) Be farming a minimum of 5 hectares of agricultural land and enlarge that holding by becoming a transferee (d) On completion of land transfer and enlargement, farm a holding of at least 20 hectares of agricultural land (non less favoured area), or at least 15 hectares (less favoured area) of agricultural land, except in the case of intensive enterprises where a minimum level of production will be required.

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A farm worker must on the date of submission of a valid application by the transferor: • • • •

Be aged between 55 and 66 years of age Have devoted at least half of his/her working time to farm work, during the preceding five years, as a family helper or farm worker Have worked on the transferor’s agricultural holding for at least the equivalent of two years full-time during the four-year period preceding the early retirement of the transferor Belong to a social security scheme.

Link with national retirement schemes Early Retirement support shall be granted as a supplement taking into account the amount of any national retirement pension to which the transferor is entitled. All applicants for the early retirement scheme including those in joint-management (even though only one pension may be payable) must have applied for any normal retirement pension paid by the State to which they may be entitled and must notify the outcome of their application. If they become entitled to any such pension after they enter the Early Retirement Scheme, they must apply for it and notify the outcome of their application. Link with the young farmers setting up measure Farmers who are eligible and approved for payment under the Young Farmers Installation Scheme (2007–2013) are eligible transferees under the Early Retirement Scheme. Duration of the aid The total duration of early retirement support cannot exceed 10 years for the transferor and for the farm worker. It shall not go beyond the 66th birthday of the transferor and the normal retirement age of the farm worker. Use of the possibility to transfer released land to a body, which undertakes to reassign it at a later date Not proposed. Type of assistance The pension will be at a flat rate of €9,300 per annum for the first 5 ha plus €300 per ha Thereafter up to a maximum of 24 hectares. This will give a pension rate as follows (Table for illustrative purposes): Area of Farm Transferred (Hectares) 5 10 12 16 20 24

Pension (€) €9,300 €10,800 €11,400 €12,600 €13,800 €15,000

Farm workers may be eligible for a pension of €4,000 per annum.

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Amount of payments The maximum amount per farmer is €15,000 euro annually and €150,000 in total. When a farm is transferred by several transferors, overall support for early retirement shall be limited to the amounts provided for one transferor. The maximum amount per farm worker is €4,000 annually and €40,000 in total (no maximum limit of number of workers). Where, in the case of a transferor, a retirement pension is paid by the Member State, early retirement support shall be granted as a supplement, taking into account the amount of the national retirement pension. Financing − Total Cost: − Public Expenditure:

€ 418m € 418m

Transition arrangements (including estimated total amount) Expenditure relating to commitments – with their same terms and conditions–undertaken in the 1994–1999 and 2000–2006 programming periods with payments to be made after 31 December 2006 will be eligible in the 2007–2013 programming period. Estimated total public expenditure in respect of the 1994–1999 period is €53m with a further €200m in respect of the 2000–2006 period. Quantified targets for EU common indicator Type of indicator

Indicator Number of farmers early retired

Output

Result Impact

Number of farm workers early retired Number of hectares released Increase in agricultural gross value added in supported farms Net additional value expressed in PPS Change in gross value added per full time equivalent

Target 2007–2013 500 pa (2007–2013); 3,500 in total 1 pa (2007–2013); 7 in total 16,500 ha pa (2007-2013); 115,500 in total €5m pa (cumulative) €2.87m pa (cumulative) €1,210 pa (cumulative)

Additional programme specific indicators and quantified targets (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

Number of Transferors: 3,500 Number of Transferees: 4,100 Ages of Transferors: >=55 Ages of Transferees: <=35, <=45 or <=50 depending on category of Transferee Transferees farm size after transfer: 35 ha

Level of training of transferee Category A – FETAC Level 6 or equivalent Category B – 180-hour course or equivalent or a minimum of five years farming experience, depending on age.

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Modernisation of Agricultural Holdings (On-Farm Investment) Legal basis Articles 20(b)(i) and 26 of Council Regulation (EC) 1698/2005 Article 17 and point 5.3.1.2.1 of Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 1974/2006 Measure Code: 121 Rationale for intervention The agri-food industry faces significant opportunities and threats. There must be a focus on market orientation and competitiveness at all levels. This must be done in a manner that ensures the highest level of food safety and with regard to the environment and animal welfare. This measure addresses the need for associated capital investment at farm level. Objectives of the measure The objectives are: (i) to ensure that the agriculture sector in Ireland becomes more competitive and market-oriented; (ii) to promote higher quality and greater efficiency in production on Irish farms; (iii) to promote diversification of activities, for example horse breeding, on Irish farms, thereby providing other sources of agricultural income; (iv) to promote higher standards of animal welfare and protection of health and safety on Irish farms; and (v) to ensure higher environmental standards on Irish farms and reduce overall greenhouse and transboundary gas emissions from the agriculture sector. Scope and actions Unless covered by another specific exchequer-funded measure in the NDP, farmers in all farming sectors will be eligible to participate, regardless of the level of farm income. The type of investments involved is set out below. On-farm grain storage and related ancillary equipment will also be supported. This measure will include aid for investments that will encourage the development and use of modern highly specialised, cost-efficient and laboursaving facilities and equipment. For example, there is a need for handling facilities, including mobile units incorporating scales, and fencing (to facilitate improved pasture management and paddock grazing) specific to the sheep sector as well as handling facilities, exercise arenas and fencing for horses/deer. In addition, a manure-processing facilities scheme will be introduced having regard, inter alia, to the positive effects that such processing would have on air quality in Ireland. The provisions of Article 2(3) of Commission Regulation 1974/2006 will be respected in the application of this measure. In this regard it is relevant that Ireland has adopted a full decoupling approach in relation to direct support under Pillar 1. Beneficiaries All eligible farmers subject to compliance with minimum educational requirements or farming experience Description of the requirements and targets with regard to the improvement of the overall performance of the agricultural holdings The performance indicators for the scheme shall include environmental and quality measures, together with targets in regard to the type of investments carried out (see below).

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Primary production sectors All eligible sectors Type of investments (tangible-intangible) (a) Animal housing, handling and related facilities (including specialised slurry handling/spreading facilities) (b) Sheep handling and weighing facilities, including mobile units, specialised equipment and dedicated internal and perimetre fencing (c) Investments in regard to diversification of farm enterprises, including handling facilities, exercise arenas and fencing for horse/deer breeding and production (d) Investments relating to improvement of dairy hygiene (e) Investments which improve animal welfare standards including the conversion of sow housing to meet new EU animal welfare standards (see below), the installation of rubber mats on slats/cubicle beds, etc (f) The installation of water storage equipment on farms for the recycling of rainwater; (g) The installation of equipment designed to improve occupational safety (h) On-farm grain storage (i) New and developing technology for the processing of manure. Designation of the newly introduced Community standards (and of existing standards in the case of young farmers receiving setting-up support) for which support may be granted, justification related to the specific problems involved in complying with these standards and duration and justification of the grace period per standard concerned Commission Directives 2001/88/EC and 2001/93/EC amending Directive 91/630/EEC laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs (farmers required to implement standards concerned by 1 January 2013). These requirements became law for all new built or brought into use facilities after 1 January 2003 and will apply to all current facilities after 2013. Type of aid Grant based on percentage of eligible expenditure by farmer, subject to maximum investment ceiling and subject to application of the Departmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s standard costings, where appropriate. These costings will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Aid intensity (a) Farm Improvement (i) Forty per cent standard grant-rate with top-up grant for young farmers of 10 per cent, subject to an overall maximum eligible investment ceiling of â&#x201A;Ź120,000 per holding, with a separate â&#x201A;Ź120,000 investment ceiling per holding for investments in relation to dairy hygiene. The scheme will establish separate lists of eligible items for this purpose. Each holding will be entitled to grant-aid up to the maximum of each separate investment ceiling during the course of operation of the scheme. (ii) Twenty per cent or 40 per cent grant rate for mobile equipment depending on the type of equipment.

78


(b) Manure Processing Facilities Forty per cent grant-rate for the installation of manure processing facilities, subject to a maximum eligible investment ceiling of €1 million per holding with a view, inter alia, to the improvement of air quality in Ireland. The scheme will have three primary objectives, namely: • To improve the quality of air in Ireland • To assist in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions • To encourage the introduction of new and developing technologies for the processing of manure. Applications that do not meet the three criteria above will not be eligible for funding. To ensure compliance with the approach, all applications will be subject to a strict assessment for compliance with the above objectives. Applications solely involving the disposal of excess nitrogen would not meet the assessment criteria above and therefore would not be eligible for grant-aid. (c) Pig Welfare Forty per cent grant-rate subject to maximum eligible investment ceiling of €300,000 per holding for improvements in relation to the protection of pigs (sow housing). Certain fixed items may also be subject to maximum eligible investment ceilings. Financing − Total Cost: − Public Expenditure:

€163m €85m

Transition arrangements (including estimated support) This is a new scheme. Coherence with Pillar 1 Operations covered by this measure do not and will not qualify for support in Ireland under the schemes listed in Annex 1 of Regulation (EC) no 1974/2006. Quantified targets for EU indicators Type of indicator Output Result

Impact

Indicator Target Number of farm holdings supported 10,000 Total volume of investment €205 million Number of holdings introducing new products or techniques 8,000 Net additional value expressed in PPS €5 million per annum Change in gross value added per annual work unit €1,500 per annum

79


Additional programme specific indicators and quantified targets (1) Number of beneficiaries: 10,000 (2) Average grant paid: â&#x201A;Ź8,500 (3) Level of investment carried out: â&#x201A;Ź205 million (4) Livestock housing grant-aided: 5,500 square metres (5) Fodder storage capacity grant-aided: 25,000 tonnes (6) Number of assisted holdings improving storage/land-spreading of farm manure: 100 (7) Storage capacity for animal waste grant-aided: 12,500 cubic metres (8) Number of holdings meeting new animal welfare standards: 50 (9) Number of holdings reducing exposure to noxious substances, odours, dust, extreme climatic conditions outdoor/indoor, lifting of heavy loads, aberrant working hours or improving safety standards: 9,950 (10) Number of applicants constructing/extending dairies or milking premises: 200 (11) Annual trend in watercourse pollution: n/a (12) Annual trend in raw milk quality (TBC and SCC): n/a

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5.2 Axis 2: Improving the environment and the countryside Summary of actions Under this Axis, Measures are designed to protect and enhance natural resources and landscapes in rural areas. In so doing they will contribute to the EU priority areas of: • Biodiversity and the preservation and development of high nature value farming and forestry systems and traditional agricultural landscapes • Water • Climate change. The Measures will contribute to the implementation of the Natura 2000 network, to the Gotebörg commitment to reverse biodiversity decline by 2010, to the objectives laid down in Directive 2000/60/EC establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy and to the Kyoto Protocol targets for climate change mitigation. The Measures chosen are designed to meet the Axis 2 objective through: • Ensuring continued agricultural land use, thereby contributing to the maintenance of a viable rural society • Promoting environmentally friendly farming practices • Preserving the farmed landscape. The following table summarises the baseline situation and the targets for Axis 2. Indicator

Measurement

Baseline

Target

Biodiversity: population of farmland birds

Trend of index of population of farmland birds UAA of high nature value farmland areas Surplus of nitrogen in kg/ha Production of renewable energy from biomass

95.9

100

Biodiversity: high nature value farmland areas Water quality: Gross nutrient balances Climate change: Production of renewable energy from agriculture and forestry Afforestation: Area determined under forestry Soil: Areas at risk of soil erosion Soil: Organic Farming Climate change: GHG emissions from agriculture

Index 2000=100 1.1m hectares 83kg/ha

1.1m hectares 75kg/ha

145 kToe

370kToe

Hectares of trees planted

10.29 per cent of land area

Ton/ha/year

0.16

11.29 per cent of land area *0.16

UAA under organic farming (thousand ha) Emissions of methane and nitrous oxide from agriculture and measured in 1000t of CO2 equivalent

37.5

220

Methane: 11,398 Nitrous Oxide: 7,584

9,791 6,625

81


Axis 2 Measures Payments to Farmers in Areas with Handicaps, other than Mountain Areas (Less Favoured Areas Compensatory Allowances Scheme) Legal basis Article 36(a)(ii) of Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 Measure Code: 212 Rationale for intervention In order to avoid land abandonment, compensatory allowances seek farming in agriculturally disadvantaged areas. The Compensatory encourages sustainable use of agricultural land in less favoured areas environmental protection requirements. The scheme ensures continued thereby contributing to maintaining the countryside.

to compensate those Allowances Scheme and takes account of agricultural land use,

Objective of the measure Farmers in less favoured areas face significant handicaps deriving from factors such as remoteness, difficult topography and poor soil conditions. They tend to have lower farm productivity and higher unit production costs than farmers in other areas. Without financial support, these lower returns from farming would pose a significant threat to the future viability of these farming communities. Support under the scheme, therefore, will contribute to: • Ensuring continued agricultural land use, thereby contributing to the maintenance of a viable rural society • Maintaining the countryside • Maintaining and promoting sustainable farming systems, which in particular take account of environmental protection requirements. Type of support The scheme will provide support for farmers in less favoured areas to compensate for additional costs and income foregone related to maintaining agricultural production in such areas. The scheme will operate on an annual basis and, to qualify for compensation, farmers must: • Undertake to adhere to environmental protection requirements consistent with their statutory obligations • Undertake to farm in the LFA for five years from the first payment of a compensatory allowance • Adhere to the requirements of Council Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 on crosscompliance, which cover 18 Statutory Management Requirements relating to the Environment; Public, Animal and Plant Health; Notification of Diseases and Animal Welfare • Farm three hectares or more of LFA land • Maintain a minimum stocking level of 0.15 livestock unit equivalent per forage hectare for at least three continuous months each year.

82


Level of support Aid will continue to be differentiated to reflect the differing levels of severity of permanent handicap experienced within the LFAs. LFA land is sub-divided into three land classification categories as follows: • More severely handicapped (lowland) • Less severely handicapped (lowland) • Mountain type land. Levels of payment will, as a rule, be based on eligible forage area declared in the Department of Agriculture and Food’s Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS). Payment rates will be as follows: More severely handicapped (lowland) €95.99 per hectare up to 45 hectares Less severely handicapped (lowland) €82.27 per hectare up to 45 hectares Mountain type land €109.71 per hectare on first 10 hectares or part thereof and €95.99 per hectare on remaining hectares, subject to an overall payment ceiling of 45 hectares. Target group Applicants for compensatory allowances will be required to: • Be a registered herdowner, i.e. a person who currently holds a herd number issued by the Department of Agriculture and Food • Occupy and farm a minimum of three hectares of forage land in a disadvantaged area • Undertake to remain in farming for five years from the first payment of a compensatory allowance • Comply with good agricultural and environmental conditions. Payment will also be made in respect of land under energy crops subject to the following conditions: • • •

The maximum area of eligible land under energy crops will be 10 hectares. The minimum requirement of 3 hectares forage area remains. The applicant will be required to meet the minimum stocking density of 0.15 livestock units per forage hectare declared.

In the case of applications covering land under energy crops, the following adjusted rates apply: • €37.27 per hectare for less severely handicapped lowland (including coastal areas with specific handicaps) • €50.99 per hectare for more severely handicapped lowland • €64.71 per hectare for mountain type grazings (first 10 hectares or part thereof) and €50.99 per hectare on the remainder.

83


Target area The scheme will continue to apply to all the less favoured areas in Ireland, as first listed in Council Directive 75/272/EEC with subsequent reviews and amendments of the list contained in the Annexes to Directive 85/350/EEC, Directive 91/466/EEC and Directive/96/52/EEC as last amended by Commission Decision C (1999) 709 of 23 March 1999. This designation will apply until at least 2010. Financing

− Total Cost: − Public Expenditure:

€1,799m €1,799m

Transition arrangements To be eligible for co-financing under the EAFRD, any payments relating to the 2006 scheme or earlier years made after 31 December 2008 must conform with the terms and conditions of this scheme including adherence to the requirements of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1782/2003 on cross-compliance. Quantified targets for EU common indicators

Input

Output

Results

Indicator Amount of public expenditure realised: • Total • EAFRD Number of supported holdings in areas with handicaps • More severely handicapped • Less severely handicapped Agricultural land area supported: • More severely handicapped • Less severely handicapped

Target at 2010

No. of LFA farmers in REPS Area under successful land management contributing to:

50,000

Improvement in biodiversity • Improvement in water quality • Climate change • Improvement in soil quality 84

771m 210m

80,000 20,000

4.075 million Hectares 1.080 million Hectares

A reduction in the rate of decrease in the number of farmers in the designated areas A continued recovery in the vegetation on commonage land An improvement in soil, water quality and the management of land through the requirement to f ll li


â&#x20AC;˘

Impact

Avoidance of marginalisation and land abandonment

Reversing biodiversity decline Maintenance of high nature value farming and forestry areas

85

follow cross compliance and good agricultural and environmental condition Preserving high amenity value countryside into the future Farmers being able to survive in farming while preserving biodiversity


Natura 2000 payments and payments linked to Directive 2000/60/EC Legal basis Articles 36 (a)(iii) and 38 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 Point 5.3.2.1.5 of Annex II of Regulation 1974/2006. Measure Code: 213 Rationale for intervention: The legal basis for selection and designation of Natura 2000 sites is Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 and Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992. These provide for the establishment of a network of protected areas throughout the European Community. In Ireland these sites are selected and designated by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. These Directives were transposed into Irish law through the European Communities (Natural Habitats) Regulations 1997. The Wildlife Act of 1997 (as amended in 2001) is the main statute governing the protection of wildlife in Ireland and takes into account the Birds and Habitats Directives. As part of the designation process, a series of notifiable actions were developed which include a list of activities that may alter, damage, destroy or interfere with the integrity of the site. Landowners were advised of these notifiable actions, and must comply with the restrictions on them as part of cross-compliance under SMR1 and SMR5. NPWS develop Conservation Plans for these Natura sites, which outline the conservation issues and objectives for the management of the site. These Conservation Plans do not prescribe farming activities to achieve the conservation objectives, but are used for guidance when preparing farm plans under Natura and agri-environment measures. Support for farmers is necessary to help address specific disadvantages in the areas concerned with the implementation of Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds and Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora 23 in order to contribute to the effective management of Natura 2000 sites. Objectives of the measure To contribute to positive environmental management of farmed Natura 2000 sites and river catchments in the implementation of the Birds Directive, the Habitats Directive and the Water Framework Directive Beneficiaries Farmers actively farming designated Natura 2000 sites Scope and actions To compensate farmers with utilisable agricultural land in designated Natura 2000 sites for the mandatory restrictions related to the designation. To put in place a management plan outlining farming activities which are compatible with the protection of the site. Natura is classified into two land types in Ireland and will be delivered under two themes: 23

OJ L 206, 22.7.1992, p 7. Directive as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 284, 31.10.2003, pg 1)

86


(1) Privately owned land with SAC and/or SPA designation (2) Lands farmed in Common (Commonage land) with SAC and/or SPA designation. A minimum stocking density of 0.15 livestock units per hectare is required as a condition of eligibility. In exceptional circumstances this minimum stocking density requirement may be dispensed with where it is necessary on grounds of environmental sustainability. 1. Privately-owned Land with Natura designation Objective To provide a comprehensive approach to the conservation of privately-owned designated Natura 2000 sites. Scope and actions This payment is justified by the mandatory requirements placed on the farmer as a result of the Natura designation, i.e. compliance with the restrictions on notifiable actions as defined above. To be eligible for this payment, farmers must also undertake additional voluntary commitments under the agri-environment measure, REPS, provided for under Article 39. The restrictions on notifiable actions resulting from Natura designation are separate and distinct from the voluntary commitments under agri-environment, and no action will be eligible for both payments. Relevant baseline GAEC/Cross compliance requires a farmer to comply with the mandatory notifiable actions for Natura 2000 sites which are designated under Directives 79/409/EEC and 92/43/EEC. While these notifiable actions restrict changes in land use of the site, they do not outline the management practices necessary to conserve the site. GAEC does not require the engagement of an environmentalist for the management of these sites. Core actions Participants in this Measure must comply with the mandatory requirements for Natura 2000 sites, which comprise notifiable actions (Details set out in Appendix 2) communicated to the farmer in the designation process. In addition, in order to meet the requirements under this Measure, farmers must engage the services of an environmentalist to provide advice on appropriate farming practices compatible with the conservation of the site. Compliance with the restrictions on these notifiable actions and the engagement of an environmentalist are in addition to the requirements of the agrienvironment measure under article 39(a) (iv). (These Natura designated sites are not farmed in isolation but are part of the farm holding and the management practices of the whole farm. Ireland requires an integrated farm plan embracing Natura 2000 and Agri-environment requirements.) To ensure a uniform approach in the delivery of the Natura element of farm plans giving effect to the restrictions on notifiable actions, farming conditions for the following habitat types have been developed and must be complied with: • Conditions for the conservation of the Burren • Blanket bogs, heaths and upland grasslands • Sand dune and machair areas • Shannon Callows, Wet Grassland and Corncrake Habitat. 87


For other habitat types in designated areas for which specific farming conditions have not yet been developed, the planner must contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) section of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government for instructions on any conditions appropriate to the site, and must incorporate any such conditions into the Natura element of the farm plan. If specified conditions have not yet been determined by NPWS for specific habitat types, the planner must set down appropriate environmental conditions in the individual farm plan, in consultation with the environmentalist. Amount €77 per hectare up to 40 hectares; €29 per hectare on next 40 hectares; €22 per hectare on next 40 hectares and €5 per hectare for each hectare above 120 hectares. The payment structure for this Measure, and for the Organic Farming and Agri-Environment Measures is degressive. This has been an accepted feature of Ireland’s previous programmes and is designed to ensure the best use of considerable but limited funds and to maximise the engagement of the farming population with environmentally friendly farming practices. The payment structure reflects the fact that the marginal effort and cost required to meet the requirements of the scheme will in most cases diminish with farm size (economies of scale) as will the environmental benefits per hectare (diminishing returns in terms of environmental effort). The mid-term evaluation of the programme will consider, inter alia, the effect of this payment structure on demand for these Measures among farmers with larger holdings. Participants must carry out the full range of Actions set out in the agri-environment measure (Measure 214) on the same land parcels. Therefore the Natura payment is cumulated with the agri-environmental payments. Follow up Compliance will be checked during on-farm audits, and non-compliance will result in application of penalties. These Natura 2000 sites are also subject to additional monitoring and checking in accordance with cross-compliance provisions relating to the Birds and Habitats Directives.

88


2. Lands farmed in Common (Commonage land) with Natura designation Objective To provide a comprehensive approach to the conservation and/or regeneration of designated commonage land Scope and actions This payment is justified by the mandatory requirements placed on the farmer as a result of the Natura designation, i.e. compliance with the terms of the Commonage Framework Plan(s) applying to his/her holding. Following guidance from the European Commission in 1997 when Ireland identified weaknesses in the management of commonage land, consisting mainly of overgrazing by sheep, a framework plan was prepared for each commonage in the state–some 4,300 plans in all. Approximately 450,000 hectares of commonage land was surveyed by specially trained teams to identify the condition of the land and prescribe necessary actions for environmental sustainability. Each Framework Plan includes the following: — • Outline of the general site description and current land use • Map the habitat types on the site and their current condition • Reductions in ewe numbers necessary • Overall objective for conservation. On Natura commonage, full compliance with the terms of the Framework Plan is mandatory. Under the Natura measure, the farmer must engage both an approved planner and an environmentalist in the preparation of a farm plan for Natura 2000 commonage. The framework plan sets out the environmental condition of the commonage and appropriate agricultural activity to ensure environmental sustainability, including, where necessary, a reduction in the grazing pressure to be achieved by reducing sheep numbers. Approximately 60 per cent of commonage land designated under Natura 2000 is subject to mandatory Natura 2000 restrictions on notifiable actions. To protect against the possibility of the submission of payment claims in respect of dormant commonage shares, eligibility for payment will normally (exceptions in the case of inheritance, setting up young farmers and transferees under the Early Retirement Scheme) be restricted to commonage shares declared on IACS in the five years preceding the date of the REPS application. Relevant baseline Farmers must abide by the restrictions on notifiable actions for the retention of Natura 2000 habitats. GAEC also limits the maximum number of stock a farmer can maintain in line with the information outlined in the relevant Commonage Framework Plan. GAEC does not, however, require a management regime for the grazing of animals, e.g. periods of grazing and limits on numbers of grazing animals to a specific site. Core Actions Within the overall framework plan, each active shareholder is allocated a grazing entitlement, pro-rata to the share he or she has been actively using on the commonage. • Shareholders may not exercise other shareholders’ rights. • Each active commonage shareholder shall undertake works and grazing restrictions on commonages in proportion to his/her owned share in the commonage. 89


Farmers must abide by the restrictions on notifiable actions (see appendix 2) for the retention of Natura 2000 habitats, which are eligible costs under Measure 213. In addition to abiding by the GAEC requirement to implement the reduced stocking requirement set out in the relevant Commonage Framework Plan, farmers must implement sustainable farming practices, prepared by the approved planner and environmentalist, which contribute to the maintenance of the habitat and avoidance of land abandonment. This may require a farmer to maintain a sheep flock that is economically unviable. As these designated Natura commonage sites are not farmed in isolation, but are part of the larger farm holding and the management practices for the whole farm, Ireland requires participants to have an integrated farm plan embracing Natura 2000 and agri-environment requirements on the non-designated area of the farm. To ensure a uniform approach in the delivery of the Natura element of farm plans giving effect to the notifiable actions, farming conditions for the following habitat types on commonages have been developed and must be complied with: • Conditions for the conservation of the Burren • Blanket bogs, heaths and upland grasslands • Sand dune and machair areas.

Amount €282 per hectare up to 40 hectares, €29 per hectare on next 40 hectares. €22 per hectare on next 40 hectares and €5 per hectare for each hectare above 120 hectares. The payment on the first 40 hectares exceeds the amount in the Annex and is justified on the basis that agrienvironment payments cannot be cumulated with the Natura 2000 Commonage payment on the same land parcel and that the farming conditions the farmer is required to follow were established prior to the commencement of this programming period by an assessment of the commonage land (the commonage framework plans) by qualified agricultural and environmental professionals. This payment is also justified to protect against land abandonment in these peripheral areas where commonage is found. Follow up Compliance will be checked during on-farm audits, and non-compliance will result in application of penalties. These Natura 2000 sites are also subject to additional monitoring and checking in accordance with cross-compliance provisions relating to the Bird and Habitats Directives.

Description of the methodology and the agronomic assumptions used as reference point for the calculations justifying additional costs and income foregone resulting from the disadvantages in the area concerned related to the implementation of Directives 79/409/EEC and 92/43/EEC The calculation of the Natura 2000 payment does not include any transaction cost element and is set out in Appendix 3. In duly justified circumstances where it is shown to the satisfaction of the competent authority that the Natura 2000 payment does not fully compensate the farmer for actual losses and the cost of compliance, an additional payment may be made under the National Scheme operated by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government in the form of a state aid. 90


Evidence as referred to in article 45(2) of the implementing rules allowing the Commission to check consistency and plausibility of the calculations The costings have been independently verified by Teagasc. Financing − Total Cost: − Public Expenditure:

€465m €465m

Transition arrangements (including estimated amount) There are no transition arrangements.

91


Quantified targets for EU common indicators Type of indicator

Output

Result

Impact

Indicator Number of supported holdings in Natura 2000 areas/under WFD Supported agricultural land under Natura 2000/under WFD Areas under successful land management Reversal in biodiversity decline Maintenance of High nature value farmland Improvement in water quality Contribution to combating climate change

Target 10,000

300,000ha

300,000ha Improve framework plans (FP) by one damage category 300,000ha Indirect link with target to improve FPs by one damage category To complement cross-sectoral initiatives

Additional Natura indicators

No. of participants with Commonage/Natura land No. of REPS participants with commonage Average Area of Commonage per REPS participant Context â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Total number of farms using commonage No. of REPS participants with enclosed Natura land No. of farmers availing of conservation of wild birds habitat

DAF

17,200

20,000

DAF

8,390

10,000

DAF

25ha

25ha

CSO 2000 DAF

11,800

11,800

11,100

12,500

DAF 2006

47

1000

Number of farms involved in Natura per county Total number of farms per county with commonage Average area of commonage per farm claiming Natura Average area of designated commonage nationally Number of farms required to reduce stock numbers under Natura Average reduction of ewes per farm under Natura Total number of farms with privately-owned SAC claiming Natura Average area of privately-owned SAC per farm claiming Natura Total number of farms with privately-owned SPA claiming Natura Average area of privately-owned SPA per farm claiming Natura

92


Agri-Environmental Payments (Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS), Organic Farming, Heritage Farm Buildings and Maintenance of the Visual Appearance of the Farmyard) Legal basis Articles 36(a) (iv) and 39 of Regulation 1698/2005 Article 27 and point 5.3.2.1.4 of Annex II of Regulation 1974/2006. Measure Code: 214 Integrated Measure In accordance with Article 70(7) of Regulation 1698/2005 and Article 42 of Regulation 1974/2006 the agri-environment measure will comprise an integrated measure. The supplementary measure in relation to Heritage Farm Buildings is classified under measure code 323 of Axis 3 [Article 52(b)(iii) of Reg. (EC) no. 1698/2005 + Point 5.3.3.2.3 of Annex II of Reg (EC) No 1974/2006]. The expenditure in respect of this supplementary measure will be attributed to Axis 2 as the dominant axis. Action 8 of the agri-environment measure is classified under measure code 323 of Axis 3. Although compliance with these actions will be required under the REPS measure it is not proposed to make payments. The level of support for the mandatory undertakings is reduced accordingly in Appendix 3 of the Programme, but it will be open to the applicant to undertake additional biodiversity options. The additional biodiversity measure under Action 8 (Traditional Orchards) falls within Axis 2. Rationale for intervention Agri-environmental payments play an important role in supporting sustainable development in rural areas and in responding to society’s increasing demand for environmental services. This measure should encourage farmers to introduce or continue to apply agricultural production methods compatible with the protection of the environment, the landscape and its features. Objectives of the measure • To promote − ways of using agricultural land which are compatible with the protection and improvement of the environment, biodiversity, the landscape and its features, climate change, natural resources, water quality, the soil and genetic diversity − environmentally-favourable farming systems − the conservation of high nature value farmed environments that are under threat − the upkeep of historical features on agricultural land − the use of environmental planning in farming practice • To protect against land abandonment • To sustain the social fabric in rural communities • To promote conversion to organic production standards 93


Scope and actions The proposed scheme builds on the success of actions in the 2000â&#x20AC;&#x201C;2006 programming period, with an increasing emphasis on pro-active environmental and biodiversity objectives. Farmers will be obliged to carry out their farming activity in accordance with farming conditions relevant to land classification for a minimum period of five years. Where part of a holding comprises lands designated under Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds, Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora and agricultural areas included in river basin management plans pursuant to Directive 2000/60/EC, agrienvironment commitments shall, where appropriate, take account of the conditions laid down for support in the areas concerned. Increasing the number of farmers converting to organic production methods is prioritised. Farmers complying with Council Regulation 2092/91 as amended on Organic Farming shall be eligible for financial support through a stand-alone organic sub-measure. All general programme scheme participants shall be obliged to have a farm nutrient management plan prepared. If the farmer has obtained a derogation from the national Regulations implementing the Nitrates Directive, 24 his/her REPS nutrient management plan prepared in accordance with the derogation shall be acceptable for such period as the derogation remains in force. A minimum stocking density of 0.15 livestock units per hectare is required as a condition of eligibility. In exceptional circumstances this minimum stocking density requirement may be dispensed with where it is necessary on grounds of environmental sustainability. Where the relevant mandatory standards or requirements, established pursuant to Articles 4 and 5 of Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 and its Annexes III and VI, as well as of the minimum requirements for fertiliser and plant protection product use and of other relevant mandatory requirements established by national legislation 25 are amended, the agri-environment contract shall be adjusted to take account of any such legislative changes. If the beneficiary does not accept such adjustment, the commitment shall expire and reimbursement shall not be required. Where application for REPS is made for farms benefiting from derogations under the nitrates directive, these applications will be subject to detailed examination to establish in what way each farm is in a position to fulfill each of the requirements of the mandatory undertaking. Where a requirement is obligatory under the terms of the derogation or cannot be fulfilled due to management practices related to grassland or to the absence or greatly reduced presence of features such as internal field boundaries, wildlife habitats or sites of historical and/or archaeological interest, the level of support for the mandatory undertakings shall be reduced accordingly but it will be open to the applicant to undertake additional biodiversity options.

24

Council Directive 91/676/EEC of 12 December 1991 concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources 25 See Appendix 4 on listing of national legislation

94


Specific actions A General Programme for all applicants consists of: â&#x20AC;˘ A set of mandatory undertakings required in respect of their entire farm holding, outlined below â&#x20AC;˘ Supplementary Measures (detailed below) for which beneficiaries can draw down additional payment in accordance with the cumulation of aid programme provisions; and a dedicated stand-alone Organic Farming sub-measure. General Programme mandatory requirements General Programme participants must apply core measures in respect of the total area of their holding for a five-year period, together with at least two additional undertakings to be selected from the tables of listed options below. Individual farm plans are drawn up by professionally qualified planners 26 approved by the Department of Agriculture and Food. DESCRIPTION OF CORE ACTIONS ACTION 1 Follow a farm nutrient management plan prepared for the total area of the farm ACTION 2

Adopt an appropriate grassland and soil management plan for the total area of the farm

ACTION 3

Protect and maintain watercourses, waterbodies and wells

ACTION 4

Retain wildlife habitats

ACTION 5

Maintain farm and field boundaries

ACTION 6

Restrict the use of pesticides and fertilisers in and around hedgerows, lakes, ponds, rivers and streams

ACTION 7

Establish biodiversity buffer strips surrounding features of historical and archaeological interest

ACTION 8

Maintain and improve visual appearance of the farm and farmyard

ACTION 9

Produce tillage crops respecting environmental principles

ACTION 10 Undertake training under Axis 1 as provided for under Measure 111 ACTION 11 Prepare, monitor and update agri-environmental plan in consultation with planner and keep such farm and environmental records as may be prescribed by the Minister

26

A suitable University degree in Agricultural Science is required, and planners must submit trial plans to an acceptable standard before they are approved.

95


Legal basis for actions Action

Measure Code

Legal Basis

ACTION 1 Follow a farm nutrient management plan prepared for the total area of the 214 farm

Articles 36(a) (iv) and 39 of Regulation 1698/2005 Article 27 and point 5.3.2.1.4 of Annex II of Regulation 1974/2006.

ACTION 2 Adopt an appropriate grassland and soil management plan for the total area 214 of the farm

Articles 36(a) (iv) and 39 of Regulation 1698/2005 Article 27 and point 5.3.2.1.4 of Annex II of Regulation 1974/2006.

Options 2A Traditional Hay Meadows 2B Species Rich Grassland 2C Mixed Livestock Enterprises 2D Use of Clover in Swards 2E Use of Trailing Shoe 2F Control of Invasive Species 214 ACTION 3 Protect and maintain watercourses, waterbodies and wells. Options 3A Increased Watercourse Margin 3B No Bovine Access to Watercourses 3C Use of Planted Buffer Zones ACTION 4 Retain wildlife habitats

214*

Options 4A Creation of New Habitat

214*

4B Tree Planting

216#

4C Nature Corridors

214*

4D Establish Farm Woodland

216#

96

Articles 36(a) (iv) and 39 of Regulation 1698/2005 Article 27 and point 5.3.2.1.4 of Annex II of Regulation 1974/2006

*Articles 36(a) (iv) and 39 of Regulation 1698/2005 Article 27 and point 5.3.2.1.4 of Annex II of Regulation 1974/2006

# Articles 41(a) of Regulation 1698/2005 Article 29 and point 5.3.2.1.6 of Annex II of Regulation 1974/2006


ACTION 5 Maintain farm and field boundaries

214

Options 5A Coppicing of Hedgerows 5B Laying of Hedgerows 5C Plant New Hedgerows 5D Additional Stone Wall Maintenance

214* 214* 216# 214*

ACTION 6 Restrict the use of pesticides and fertilisers in and around hedgerows, lakes, ponds, rivers and streams ACTION 7 Establish biodiversity buffer strips surrounding features of historical and archaeological interest

214

214

* Articles 36(a) (iv) and 39 of Regulation 1698/2005 Article 27 and point 5.3.2.1.4 of Annex II of Regulation 1974/2006

# Articles 41(a) of Regulation 1698/2005 Article 29 and point 5.3.2.1.6 of Annex II of Regulation 1974/2006 Articles 36(a) (iv) and 39 of Regulation 1698/2005 Article 27 and point 5.3.2.1.4 of Annex II of Regulation 1974/2006 Articles 36(a) (iv) and 39 of Regulation 1698/2005 Article 27 and point 5.3.2.1.4 of Annex II of Regulation 1974/2006

Options 7A Increased archaeological site margins ACTION 8 Maintain and improve visual appearance of the farm and farmyard Options 8A Establish Traditional Orchard of specified varieties of Irish origin (non-commercial)

323

Article 57 of Regulation 1698/2005 and point 5.3.3.2.3 of Annex II of Regulation 1974/2006

216

Articles 41(a) of Regulation 1698/2005 Article 29 and point 5.3.2.1.6 of Annex II of Regulation 1974/2006

8B Install Bird or Bat Boxes

ACTION 9 Produce tillage crops respecting environmental principles Options

214

9A Green Cover Establishment 9B Environmental Management of Setaside 9C Increased Arable Margins 9D Low Input Cereals/Root Crops 9E Minimum Tillage Crops 97

Articles 36(a) (iv) and 39 of Regulation 1698/2005 Article 27 and point 5.3.2.1.4 of Annex II of Regulation 1974/2006


ACTION 10 Undertake training Undertake training in environmentallyfriendly farming practices ACTION 11 Prepare, monitor and update agrienvironmental plan in consultation with planner and keep such farm and environmental records as may be prescribed by the Minister Supplementary Measure Traditional Orchards

214 linked to measure code 111

214

214*

Supplementary Measure Conservation of Animal Genetic Resources

214*

Supplementary Measure Riparian Zones

214*

Supplementary Measure LINNET (Land Invested in Nature, Natural Eco-Tillage) Habitats

214*

Supplementary Measure Low-Input Tillage Crops

214*

Supplementary Measure Minimum Tillage

214*

Supplementary Measure Traditional Grazers

214*

Supplementary Measure Clover Swards

214*

Supplementary Measure Conservation of Wild Bird Habitat

214*

Supplementary Measure Lake Catchments

214*

Supplementary Measure Mixed Grazing Supplementary Measure Heritage Buildings

214* 323 for actions as part of integrated agrienvironment measure 98

Articles 36(a) (iv) and 39 and Article 20(a)(i) of Regulation 1698/2005 Article 27 and point 5.3.2.1.4 of Annex II of Regulation 1974/2006. Articles 36(a) (iv) and 39 of Regulation 1698/2005 Article 27 and point 5.3.2.1.4 of Annex II of Regulation 1974/2006. * Articles 36(a) (iv) and 39 of Regulation 1698/2005 Article 27 and point 5.3.2.1.4 of Annex II of Regulation 1974/2006.

Article 57 of Regulation 1698/2005 and point 5.3.3.2.3 of Annex II of Regulation 1974/2006.


Biodiversity undertakings To achieve increased biodiversity at farm level, enhancement of the eleven basic Measures is desirable. Because farmers are offered a choice from a series of optional undertakings, each farmer is given the opportunity to select the works most appropriate to the environmental or landscape features of the farm in question. At least two biodiversity options must be included in the farm plan, one of which must be a category 1 option. (The difference between the two category options is directly related to the cost of implementing the actions at farm level. To deliver a category 1 option, a farmer incurs a higher cost than for a category 2 option. Where the same action is available as a category 1 or a category 2 option, the difference is the area devoted to the action. For example, the area of traditional hay meadow to qualify for category 2 option is approximately one third of the area required under category 1.) The objective of these mandatory undertakings is to further enhance the promotion of biodiversity on farms by encouraging farmers to select environmental options best suited to their own farm. Core Measures

Category 1 Options

Category 2 Options

2A Traditional Hay Meadows 2B Species Rich Grassland 2D Use of Clover in Swards

2A Traditional Hay Meadows 2B Species Rich Grassland 2C Mixed Livestock Enterprises 2E Use of Trailing Shoe 2F Control of Invasive Species 3A Increased Watercourse Margin 3B No Bovine Access to Watercourses 3C Use of Planted Buffer Zones 4B Tree Planting 4C Nature Corridors

1

Nutrient management

2

Grassland management

3

Protection of watercourses

4

Retain wildlife habitats

4A Creation of New Habitat 4B Tree Planting 4D Establish Farm Woodland

5

Maintain farm and field boundaries

6

Restrict the use of pesticides and fertilisers in and around hedgerows, lakes, ponds, rivers and streams

5A Coppicing of Hedgerows 5B Laying of Hedgerows 5C Plant New Hedgerows 5D Additional Stone Wall Maintenance There are no biodiversity options in relation to Measure 6

7

Establish biodiversity buffer strips surrounding features of historical and archaeological interest Visual appearance of farm and farmyard

8

9

Produce Tillage Crops respecting environmental Principles

5A Coppicing of Hedgerows 5B Laying of Hedgerows 5C Plant New Hedgerows 5D Additional Stone Wall Maintenance

7A Increased biodiversity Buffer Strips surrounding features of Historical and Archaeological interest 8A Establish Traditional Orchard of specified varieties of Irish origin 9A Green Cover Establishment 9B Environmental Management of Setaside 9C Increased Arable Margins 9D Low Input Cereals/Root Crops 9E Minimum Tillage Crops

99

8B. Install Bird or Bat Boxes 9A Green Cover Establishment 9C Increased Arable Margins 9D Low input cereals/root crops


In circumstances where, on environmental grounds, the options available are deemed to be inappropriate to the holding, alternative environmental requirements will be specified on a case-by-case basis and included in the farm plan.

Supplementary Measures Supplementary Measure

Traditional Orchards

Supplementary Measure

Conservation of Animal Genetic Resources

Supplementary Measure

Riparian Zones

Supplementary Measure

LINNET (Land Invested in Nature, Natural Eco-Tillage) Habitats

Supplementary Measure

Low-Input Tillage Crops

Supplementary Measure

Minimum Tillage

Supplementary Measure

Traditional Grazers

Supplementary Measure

Clover Swards

Supplementary Measure

Conservation of Wild Bird Habitat

Supplementary Measure

Lake Catchments

Supplementary Measure

Mixed Grazing

Supplementary Measure

Heritage Buildings

100


4.2.3 Agri-Environmental Payments Sub-Measure–Organic Farming Participants: • Must be engaged in the organic production of animals intended for human consumption and/or • Must be engaged in the production of organic crops intended for human consumption and/or animal feed • Must comply with the conditions of Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2092/91 as amended, and register with the Department of Agriculture and Food as an organic operator and be subject to annual inspection. Confirmation that the cross-compliance requirements are identical to those provided for by Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 The cross-compliance requirements which affects the implementation of this measure are identical to those provided for in Regulation (EC) No. 1782/2003. Description and justification of the different types of commitments, based on their expected environmental impact in relation to environmental needs and priorities ACTION 1: Follow a farm nutrient management plan prepared for the total area of the farm This measure promotes the efficient use of nutrients in an environmentally friendly manner. It involves a systematic evaluation of all the nutrient sources available and required on the farm and sets limits on the application rates for chemical fertilisers, organic fertilisers and other nutrient sources. Objective: This measure promotes the efficient use of nutrients in an environmentally friendly manner and complements mandatory measures to protect water resources from pollution from agriculture. Scope and actions For non-derogation farms 27, systematic evaluation of the entire nutrient sources available and required on the farm. Measure sets limits on the application rates for chemical fertilisers, organic fertilisers and other nutrient sources. Includes soil sampling analysis and interpretation related to specific fertility of various soil types on holding. Where a nitrates derogation is granted, the nutrient management plan will be acceptable for participation in REPS. Additional Category 1 biodiversity commitments will be required for all farmers farming to a derogation from the nitrates directive. (Since a derogation is available only to farmers with at least 80 per cent grassland, this consideration will be relevant to grassland farmers only.) Relevant baseline: Total quantity of fertilisers applied must not be more than the crops need. Farmer must meet requirements in relation to animal manure management, planning and building regulations, water and air. Farmers using less than 170kg of organic N/ha must respect this limit as set down in the Nitrates Regulation on a whole-farm basis. Farmers using more than 170kg of organic N/ha must respect the limits set down in their Nutrient Measure Plan on a field-by-field basis.

27

Those farms that have not obtained a derogation from the general limit of 170 kg NORG laid down in Council Directive 91/676/EEC of 12 December 1991 concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources

101


Core actions: for grassland farmers Soil sampling and analysis are not GAEC requirements for any farmer operating at or below 170kg of organic N/ha. The soil sampling, analysis and interpretation by the REPS planner provides the base-line data on the specific fertility of the various soil types on the individual farm and allows the targeting, on a field-by-field basis, of nutrient application including optimum recycling of farm-generated organic fertilisers. This action will also lead to benefits of biodiversity by restricting its use on plots of conservation interest. Derograted farmers must choose a relevant category 1 option from the list. Core actions: for arable farmers Soil sampling and analysis are not GAEC requirements for any farmer operating at or below 170kg of organic N/ha. The soil sampling, analysis and interpretation by the REPS planner provides the base-line data on the specific fertility of the various soil types on the individual farm and allows the targeting, on a field-by-field basis, of nutrient application including optimum recycling of farm-generated organic fertilisers. Arable farmers may elect to reduce nutrient inputs by 30 per cent from the recommended crop fertilisation rates or alternatively undertake actions on 6 per cent of the arable area of the holding in accordance with the requirements of the LINNET supplementary measure below, but as part of their basic undertaking and without the payment for the supplementary measure that is available to grassland farmers. (Fertiliser use on the area devoted to the LINNET action will be reduced by up to 100 per cent. On the remainder of the holding, fertiliser use will not exceed crop requirements as set out in the nutrient management plan.) Amount/ha: â&#x201A;Ź25 (grassland farmers); â&#x201A;Ź60.2 (arable farmers) Follow up: Compliance with these limits will be checked during on-farm audits, and noncompliance will result in application of penalties. If the farmer exceeds the planned stocking rate or exceeds the land productivity a penalty will apply. Farmers will also be penalised where they exceed the planned chemical Nitrogen and phosphorus allowance ceilings. Additional biodiversity options: none

ACTION 2: Adopt an appropriate grassland and soil management plan for the total area of the farm Excessive poaching and overgrazing of grassland can result in siltation and nutrient enrichment of surface waters. The adoption of a specific grassland and soil management plan by farmer participants will ensure a balance between agricultural and environmental demands. Objective: To promote a sustainable grassland and soil management plan that protects habitats and minimises poaching, overgrazing and soil erosion Scope and actions Only applicable to grassland farms. Planners in preparing individual farm plans will set out actions for the maintenance of grassland habitats that are sensitive to or damaged by poaching, over- or under-grazing, flooding and soil erosion. The planner will also assess the condition of the soil structure and recommend an appropriate management regime going beyond the requirements of GAEC.

102


Relevant baseline Wildlife Act 1976/2001. Statutory requirements for waste and water management. Forage must be conserved in a manner that maximises quality and yield. The nutrient requirement for forage production must be adhered to. Undergrazing and overgrazing must be avoided. During the winter period GAEC allows a farmer to outwinter at a stocking density of two livestock units per hectare. GAEC requires the control of invasive species to the extent that land remains capable of agricultural production. Core actions Farmers must adhere to five-year plan for the maintenance of grassland and soil quality. The core winter period is identified during which the outwintering of livestock cannot exceed one livestock unit per hectare. The plan will specifically outline how and where animals are to be outwintered. Amount/ha: €10.20 in respect of grassland farmers Follow up: Compliance with the core wintering and stocking density will be checked during on-farm audits, and non-compliance will result in application of penalties.

Additional biodiversity options • Traditional hay meadows Objective: To provide greater biodiversity by allowing grasses and wild flowers to mature and seed in situ Core action: Select and maintain 0.4 ha or 8 per cent of holding (whichever is greater), subject to a maximum of 1.6 hectares as a traditional hay meadow. Amount: €7/ha 28 Baseline: Forage produced and conserved in a manner that maximises quality and yield • Species rich grassland Objective: To provide greater biodiversity through a specific grazing plan, which maximises diversity rather than forage production Core action: Select and maintain 0.4 ha or 8 per cent of holding (whichever is greater), subject to a maximum of 1.6 hectares as a species rich grassland. Amount: €7 per hectare Baseline: Grassland grazed in a manner that avoids both over-and under-grazing • Use of clover in swards Reseeding land to maintain high clover levels. Objective: To reduce the dependence on nitrogenous fertilisers by the incorporation of white clover into grassland swards

28

This payment, and other payments which require action on areas of the farm up to a maximum, are not based on the maximum area itself but are averaged on a per hectare basis on the first 20 hectares of the holding

103


Core action: Incorporate clover into 25 per cent or 5 hectares, whichever is the lesser, of the grassland swards of the farm. Amount: €23 per hectare Baseline: There is no requirement under GAEC to maintain white clover as a component of grassland. •

Use of trailing shoe technology (using latest technology for increasing N cycling efficiency)

Objective: To improve the recycling of organic nitrogen on livestock holdings and to contribute to reduced nitrous oxide, ammonia emissions and odours. Core action: Spread all slurry using the trailing shoe technology Amount: €10 per hectare Baseline: No requirement under GAEC to use this technology •

Selected control of invasive species

Objective: To enhance identified non-Natura 2000 habitats in the interest of biodiversity by managing high rush, bracken, gorse, hazel and blackthorn populations in grassland habitats using targeted chemical/manual means. Retain carefully managed dispersed population of these species in these habitats for enhanced biodiversity. Core action: Select and maintain 0.5 ha or 10 per cent of holding (whichever is the greater) subject to a maximum of two hectares as a scrub mosaic. The removal of selected species by manual grubbing or spot treatment with selective herbicides will be required. Amount: €12 per hectare Baseline: GAEC allows the non-selective control (mechanical grubbing) of these species, with no requirement to consider biodiversity benefits. GAEC does not require the management of existing scrub populations. What is required is that existing populations do not expand/encroach on to utilisable agricultural land to such an extent that it cannot be used for agricultural purposes. This measure targets the management of areas with high densities of existing scrub species to maximise biodiversity potential and is not targeted to control species encroaching from hedgerows.

ACTION 3: Protect and maintain watercourses, waterbodies and wells Riparian margins are an important habitat to a wide range of flora and fauna. The development of streamside vegetation strengthens channel banks and acts as a buffer strip to intercept overland flow of nutrients. Buffer zones around wells also contribute to the protection of water quality.

104


Objective: Protect water quality and enhance biodiversity along watercourses by avoiding nutrient enrichment and siltation of water from agriculture and allow natural streamside vegetation to develop. Scope and actions: Planners in preparing individual plans will identify all watercourses and wells on the holding identify current practices and prescribe a work schedule for the protection and enhancement of these watercourses, waterbodies and wells. Relevant baseline: The spreading of fertilisers in the buffer zones adjacent to waterbodies is not permitted. Farmers can graze livestock up to the watercourse edge. There is no requirement to fence or remove the build-up of silt. Core actions: Grassland farmers are required to fence off watercourses and wells, leaving a margin of 1.5 metres. Arable farmers are required to leave an uncultivated strip of 3m wide along watercourses. All farmers are required to remove silt from watercourse and scrape bottom and sides to original depths in accordance with their management plan. Amount: €29.3 (grassland farmers); €20.5 (arable farmers) per hectare Additional biodiversity options • Increase watercourse margin Objective: To create a wider margin adjacent to water bodies to intercept overland flow of nutrients and enhance biodiversity. Core action Increase the width of fenced watercourse margin to 2.5 metres. Amount: €8 per hectare Baseline: The spreading of fertilisers in the buffer zones adjacent to water bodies is not permitted. Farmers can graze livestock up to the watercourse edge. There is no requirement to fence or remove the build-up of silt. • No bovine Access to watercourses Objective: To protect water quality and avoid physical damage to the watercourse by preventing bovine access to watercourses. Core action: Provide an alternative source of drinking water to bovines. Amount: €5 per hectare Baseline: Under GAEC there is no restriction preventing bovines from drinking from watercourses. • Use of planted buffer zone Objective: To reduce the risk of nutrient loss into watercourses & protect vulnerable soils & catchments

105


Core Action: Plant 500 square metres or 1 per cent of the holding (whichever is the greater) to a maximum of 2,000 square metres of willow/alder buffer strips of a minimum five metre width, adjacent to identified watercourses. Amount: â&#x201A;Ź8.5 per hectare Baseline: Planted buffer zones are not a requirement of GAEC. ACTION 4: Retain wildlife habitats Wildlife habitats may be on any area of a farm, but the most important ones are often areas peripheral to normal farming operations. These areas have largely been undisturbed by drainage, ploughing, re-seeding nor have they been subjected to heavy fertiliser or herbicide use. Thus they retain their unique characteristics. Some habitats have developed naturally during the 10,000 years since the last Ice Age and are irreplaceable, while other habitats have developed as a result of centuries of traditional farming practice and are dependent upon the continuation of that management. Land set aside for wildlife habitat use will have to be kept in good condition. The wildlife habitats protected under GAEC are those designated under the birds and habitats directives, commonages governed by a commonage framework plan and nationally designated natural heritage areas. Agri-environment actions, on the other hand, require that habitats identified on farms other than those to which GAEC applies must also be retained and managed. The retention of these areas under REPS, which could otherwise be lost, makes a significant contribution to the Irish landscape and wild flora and fauna. All the habitats identified on a farm must be clearly marked on the farm map prepared by the planner. The habitats to be retained are diverse in nature ranging from small ponds to large areas of blanket peat. Objective: To retain wildlife habitats, and traditional farm boundaries, and promote farming practices that and beneficial to wildlife and conservation Scope and actions: The planner must identify all habitats on the farm, other than those to which GAEC applies (national heritage areas, commonage land under the Commonage Framework Plan and Natura). The planner must specify how these habitats are to be retained and managed. Relevant baseline: Compliance with requirements applicable to Natural Heritage Areas, Natura sites and Wildlife Act 2001. There is no mandatory requirement to retain habitats outside these designations. Core actions: All habitat areas must be identified and mapped during the REPS planning process. This requires the nomination of a minimum of 3 per cent of the farm in the case of grassland farmers and 2 per cent of the farm in the case of tillage farmers for wildlife habitat. The plan will detail how these habitats are to be retained and managed. This restricts the farmer from utilising this land to its full agricultural potential. Amount: â&#x201A;Ź21.5 per hectare for grassland farmers; â&#x201A;Ź19.2per hectare for arable farmers Follow up: Compliance will be checked during on-farm audits, and non-compliance will result in application of penalties.

106


Additional biodiversity options: • Creation of new habitats Objective: To create new habitats on farms, thus increasing the area of the farm under habitat protection and increase biodiversity Core action: Fence and maintain a minimum of 0.2 hectares or 4 per cent of the holding, whichever is the greater, subject to a maximum of 0.8 hectares, as habitat. Amount: €23 per hectare Baseline: GAEC does not require the creation of new habitat. This measure goes beyond the requirement of the core action to retain wildlife habitats. • Tree planting The actions under this measure are non-productive and are in accordance with the requirements of Measure 216. The option is linked to the achievement of commitments under Agri-environment Measure 214 and is included as an integrated measure. Objective: To encourage the planting of native broadleaf trees which have a significant impact on biodiversity and landscape. Core action: Plant one tree per hectare to a maximum of 40 hectares. The trees must be protected from livestock by suitable fencing. Amount: €13 per hectare per annum up to a maximum of 20 hectares over 5 years Baseline: GAEC does not require the planting of trees. • Establishment of nature corridors Objective: To protect our extensive range of field margins as they are an important source of plant diversity. This action provides the opportunity to increase field margins to 2.5m and links their protection with the protection of habitats. The synergy provided by both actions will deliver enhanced biodiversity and allow wildlife to move between identified habitats. Core action: Increase grassland field margins by 1metre on whole farm. Prohibition on the application of fertilisers and pesticides within 2.5 metres of hedgerows and stonewalls. Amount: €9 per hectare Baseline: There is no GAEC requirement to establish nature corridors. • Establishment of farm woodland The actions under this measure are non-productive and are in accordance with the requirements of Measure 216. The option is linked to the achievement of commitments under the Agri-environment Measure 214 and is included as an integrated measure. Objective: To create small woodlands on farms and thereby increase biodiversity and enhance the visual landscape.

107


Core actions: Establish and maintain a farm woodland with native tree species a minimum of 1,000 square metres or 2 per cent of holding, whichever is the greater, subject to a maximum of 4,000 square metres. Amount: €23 per hectare Baseline: There is no GAEC requirement to establish farm woodlands.

ACTION 5: Maintain farm and field boundaries Linear boundaries that include stonewalls, earth or stone banks, hedgerows and mature trees give the Irish landscape its distinctive character and field pattern. These provide important habitats for flora and fauna and function as linear corridors permitting wildlife to move between habitats such as woodlands, wetlands etc. The vast majority of field divisions in Ireland are comprised of earth banks, stonewalls, hedgerows and other similar natural boundaries and contribute significantly to a high-quality landscape. It is a specific requirement of the Agri-environment scheme that these features be maintained for the duration of participation. Objectives: To record, maintain and enhance immovable boundary fences, stonewalls and hedgerows in the interest of stock control, bio-security, wildlife and the scenic appearance of the area Scope: The planner will identify and map all immovable boundary features (internal and external) on the farm. The plan will specify an annual schedule of works for the maintenance of these features in the interest of stock control, bio-security, wildlife and the scenic appearance of the area. The majority of field divisions are comprised of earth banks, stonewalls, hedgerows and other similar natural boundaries. Relevant baseline: GAEC does not prohibit the removal or replacement of immovable boundary features. GAEC requires that external boundaries be stockproofed when livestock are present in the field. The provision of the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2001 prohibits the cutting of hedgerows during the bird-nesting season – 1 March to 31 August. Core actions: All immovable boundary features must be retained and maintained in accordance with a specific annualised programme of work. This maintenance will extend to 140 metres of hedgerow per hectare, subject to an overall maximum of 5,600 metres per farm. In the case of stonewall maintenance it will extend to 70 metres per hectare, with an overall maximum of 2,800 metres. Where a mix of hedgerow and stone-walls exist on a farm, a prorata mix of these features can be selected for maintenance. External boundaries must be maintained stockproof at all times. Amount: €30.20 per hectare for grassland and €10 per hectare for tillage Follow up: Compliance will be checked during on-farm audits, and non-compliance will result in application of penalties.

108


Additional biodiversity options • Coppicing of hedgerows Objective: To rejuvenate selected hedgerows in the interest of biodiversity and the visual landscape Core action: To identify and coppice a minimum of three metres of hedgerow per hectare per annum, subject to an overall maximum of 300 metres of hedgerow coppiced per holding. The coppiced hedgerow must be fenced to exclude browsing animals. Amount: €31.5 per hectare Baseline: GAEC does not require coppicing of hedgerows. • Laying hedgerows Objective: To rejuvenate by laying selected hedgerows in the interest of biodiversity and the visual landscape Core action: To identify and lay a minimum of two metres of hedgerow per hectare per annum, subject to an overall maximum of 200 metres of hedgerow lay per holding. The laid hedgerows must be fenced to exclude browsing animals. Amount: €30 per hectare Baseline: GAEC does not require laying of hedgerows. • Planting new hedgerows The actions under this measure are non-productive and are in accordance with the requirements of Measure 216. The option is linked to the achievement of commitments under Agri-environment Measure 214 and is included as an integrated measure. Objective: To establish new hedgerows in the interest of creating immovable boundaries, biodiversity and the visual landscape Core action: To establish a minimum of three metres of hedgerow per hectare per annum, subject to an overall maximum of 300 metres of new hedgerow established per holding. The new hedgerow must be fenced to exclude browsing animals. Amount: €32 per hectare Baseline: GAEC does not require the planting of new hedgerows. • Additional stonewall maintenance Objective: To provide for the opportunity to maintain additional traditional stonewalls on the farm over and above the minimum requirement of 70 metres per hectare. Core action: Maintain/repair an additional three metres of stonewall per hectare per annum, up to an overall maximum of 300 metres over the contract period. 109


Amount: €23 per hectare Baseline: There is no GAEC requirement to retain or maintain stonewalls. GAEC requires an external stockproof boundary. This requirement is additional to the core action of maintain farm and field boundaries.

ACTION 6: Restrict the use of pesticides and fertilisers in and around hedgerows, lakes, ponds, rivers and streams The improper and/or inappropriate use of pesticides and fertilisers can dramatically upset the balance of flora and fauna, resulting in a major reduction in biodiversity. Pesticides, apart from reducing biodiversity, may leave residues in water that are harmful to humans and animals. Fertiliser entering waterbodies adds to nutrient enrichment, resulting in eutrophication and unwanted plant growth that impedes water flows. This measure specifically relates to the loss of production in the field margins adjacent to hedgerows and stonewall boundaries. Objective: To protect water resources and habitats Scope and actions: The planner must identify on the farm map the areas on the farm where fertilisers and pesticides must not be applied and provide a schedule of work for the control of excessive vegetation adjacent to watercourses. Relevant baseline: Cross-compliance/GAEC requires that fertiliser must not be used within 1.5m of any watercourse. There is no Cross-compliance/GAEC restriction on the spreading of fertilisers adjacent to hedgerows and stonewalls. Cross-compliance/GAEC requires that pesticides must be stored and used safely in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions. Comply with statutory maximum pesticide residue limits. Core actions: Pesticides must not be applied within 1.5m of field boundaries and hedgerows. Fertilisers and manures must not be applied within 1.5m of field boundaries and hedgerows. Excessive vegetation must be cleared from watercourses in accordance with environmental specifications. Amount: €10per hectare (grassland farmers); €10.50 per hectare (arable farmers) Follow up: Compliance will be checked during on-farm audits, and non-compliance will result in application of penalties. There are no additional biodiversity options for this action.

ACTION 7: Establish biodiversity buffer strips surrounding features of historical and archaeological interest The countryside of Ireland contains a rich heritage of historical and archaeological monuments, and the surrounding land, because of traditional farming methods, is rich in biodiversity. Mechanised farming practices and changes in land use can threaten this ancient landscape. Objective: To retain and maintain biodiversity surrounding any features of historical or archaeological interest not listed in National records (i.e. lime kilns and ruins of traditional dwellings). 110


Scope and actions: The planner must identify and map all features of historical and/or archaeological interest on the farm and specify the areas to be established as buffer strips around them. Relevant baseline: No GAEC requirement to establish buffer zone for biodiversity around such features. GAEC requirement is to comply with The National Monuments Act 1994—do not remove or damage monuments or sites listed in the Records of Monuments & Places. Core action: This buffer strip (20m in grassland (5m in arable)) surrounding the site shall be managed in the interests of biodiversity and landscape protection. Amount: €8 per hectare on grassland farms; €1.30 per hectare on arable farms Follow up: Compliance will be checked during on-farm audits, and non-compliance will result in application of penalties. Additional biodiversity options •

Increased biodiversity buffer strips surrounding features of historical and archaeological interest

Objective: To further retain and maintain biodiversity surrounding any features of historical or archaeological interest not listed in National records. Core action: Increase the buffer zone by a further 50 per cent Amount: €10 per hectare Baseline: GAEC requirement is to comply with The National Monuments Act 1994—do not remove or damage monuments or sites listed in the Records of Monuments & Places.

ACTION 8: Maintain and improve visual appearance of the farm and farmyard The countryside of Ireland contains an important record of Irish history—a rich heritage of historical and archaeological monuments. Mechanised farming practices and changes in land use can threaten this ancient landscape. Objective: To retain traditional farm buildings and harmonise the visual impact of the farm with the surrounding countryside Scope & actions: The planner must identify the traditional farm buildings (of limestone, granite or sandstone and/or with slated roofs) on the farm and prescribe how they are to be maintained. The planner must also outline those actions that will minimise the impact of the farm buildings and yard in the landscape. Relevant baseline: There is no GAEC requirement in relation to the upkeep of farm buildings or their integration into the landscape. Litter Pollution Act, GAEC: removal of traditional stone farm buildings, gates, gateposts and piers is not recommended. Core actions: The farmer must retain and maintain traditional farm buildings according to the annual programme of work. ‘Maintenance’ refers to the work necessary to protect the fabric 111


of a building and to keep it weatherproof. It does not include any work to put right significant defects or decay, or anything required to-bring a building in poor repair back to good condition. Some maintenance works will be required annually. Others â&#x20AC;&#x201C; such as clearing of gutters and vegetation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; may need to be undertaken several times per year. The Heritage Council has advised that maintenance is more appropriate to an annualised work plan. Maintain other farm buildings by the use of appropriate materials, which reflect the traditions of the area and are in keeping with minimising their impact on the landscape. Appropriate planting around the farmyard must also be undertaken to integrate the buildings into the landscape and enhance biodiversity. Amount: No claim; this is an entry-level requirement

112


Additional biodiversity actions • Establish a traditional orchard The actions under this measure are non-productive and are in accordance with the requirements of Measure 216. The option is linked to the achievement of commitments under Agri-environment Measure 214 and is included as an integrated measure. Objective: To establish and maintain orchards using varieties of native Irish origin. This will protect our genetic resource, increase the biodiversity of the local landscape and provide additional habitat for wildlife on the farm Core action: Establish a 500-square-metre traditional orchard with specified native Irish varieties. The produce from this plot is not commercial. Amount: €11 per hectare Baseline: There is no requirement under GAEC to conserve Ireland’s genetic resources. • Install bird/bat boxes Objective: To encourage and maintain bat and bird populations in and around the farmyard Core actions: Erect and maintain eight nest boxes or equivalent at suitable locations around the farmyard. Amount: €11 per hectare

ACTION 9: Produce tillage crops respecting environmental principles Tillage land, especially when intermixed with grassland, provides an important habitat for many seed-eating birds such as larks and finches and is also a safe habitat for ground-nesting birds. Objective: To encourage tillage farming practices and production methods that reflect the increasing concern for conservation, landscape protection and wider environmental problems Scope and actions: Tillage land is an important habitat for many seed-eating birds, e.g. larks and finches, and ground nesting-birds. The planner must assess the current management techniques for crops grown on the farm and prescribe how straw and stubble must be managed, and prescribe for the establishment of uncultivated margins. Relevant baseline: GAEC prohibits the depletion of soil organic matter, the erosion of soils and damage to soil structure. GAEC does not require an uncultivated margin to be maintained. Core actions: Straw and stubble burning is prohibited. Farmers must leave an uncultivated field margin of 1.5 metres from all permanent field boundaries and three metres from watercourses. Monitor soil management plan. Amount: €38.20 per hectare for arable farms – core action not applicable to grassland farms; therefore no claim

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Follow up: Compliance will be checked during on-farm audits, and non-compliance will result in application of penalties. Additional biodiversity options • Green cover establishment Objective: To provide an over wintering crop cover, which will utilise residual soil nutrients following the harvest of a cereal, or oil, seed crop Core Action: Establish a sown green cover crop, which is ploughed in as a green manure in spring. • Category 1 requirement is 14 hectares or greater of green cover. • Category 2 requirement is 7 hectares or greater of green cover. Amount: € 25 per hectare Baseline: Under GAEC, green cover can be established through natural regeneration or by sowing grass or a winter cereal crop, which can be subsequently harvested. • Environmental management of set-aside Objective: To provide food and safe nesting sites for ground-nesting birds Core action: Maintain as set-aside a minimum of 0.3 hectares or 10 per cent of the farm, whichever is the greater, subject to a maximum of four hectares. A minimum of 25 per cent of the area set aside must remain unmown each year, rotating this unmown area annually. Mowing of set-aside must be carried out in a bird-friendly fashion, i.e. from the centre out, and pesticide use is restricted to spot treatment of persistent perennial weeds. Application of fertilisers not permitted. Amount: €23 per hectare Baseline: Under GAEC, all set-aside lands can be mown using standard mowing techniques and practices. Fertilisers can be applied in accordance with crop requirements. Pesticides can be used as necessary. • Increased arable margins Objective: To create different types of environmentally friendly crop margins, thus creating more space for the characteristic plants and animals associated with arable farms to survive. Core action: Farmers must maintain three metre conservation margins (i.e. 1.5 metres wider that core measure requirement) on specific arable fields identified in the REPS plan. These margins must remain in situ for the duration of the contract. • Category 1 requirement is 14 hectares or greater with these margins. • Category 2 requirement is 7 hectares or greater with these margins. Amount: €23 per hectare Baseline: There is no requirement under GAEC to establish or maintain uncultivated field margins in tillage crops.

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• Low-input cereals Objective: To contribute to the conservation of seed-eating bird species by encouraging the production of low-input spring cereals in grassland-dominated farms. Core action: Farmers must establish a spring cereal crop on 10 per cent of the holding subject to a maximum of two hectares. The crop cannot be undersown with grass or clover, nor can it be harvested as whole crop silage. Amount: €37 per hectare Baseline: GAEC requirement is to maintain a minimum level of land activity that permits agricultural production to continue. There is no GAEC requirement to establish spring cereals on grassland farms. This option is only available on grassland farms, which have no existing tillage enterprise. •

Minimum tillage

Objective: To encourage the use of minimum tillage practices, thereby improving soil structure and increasing soil organic matter. This will also contribute to the protection of soil biota. Core action: Farmers must establish cereals using minimum tillage techniques. • •

Category 1 requirement is 14 hectares or greater. Category 2 requirement is 7 hectares or greater.

Amount: €23 per hectare Baseline: Under Irish conditions minimum cultivation techniques are not necessary to meet GAEC requirements.

ACTION 10: Undertake training in environmentally friendly farming practices Objective: To provide participants with information on the environmental benefits arising from agri-environmental actions and clarification on all the relevant scheme requirements Scope and actions: Participants are required to familiarise themselves with the agrienvironmental scheme requirements on an ongoing basis. Detailed documents are provided to each participant on entry into the scheme and there is an onus on all participants to inform themselves of any changes in the regulations governing GAEC or Statutory Management Requirements of the Single Payment Scheme which may require an amendment of individual farm plans. Relevant baseline: There is no GAEC requirement to attend compulsory training associated with participation in agri-environment measures. Core actions: Acquire the knowledge and skills to comply with the core requirements of REPS. Participants must attend a formal training course provided for under RDP, Measure 111 before the end of Year 2 of their REPS contract. Amount: €4.40 per hectare for continuous updating of knowledge and skills to participate effectively in the scheme 115


Follow up: Verification of attendance at mandatory training course under Measure 111 will be checked before payment is made. Non-attendance will result in the freezing of payment until the commitment is honoured.

ACTION 11: Prepare, monitor and update agri-environmental plan in consultation with planner and keep such farm and environmental records as may be prescribed Objectives: To record management information and practices undertaken throughout each year of the REPS contract in the prescribed Agri-environmental Record Sheets. Scope and actions: The timely recording of relevant management information has long been considered the keystone for effective farm management. Use of records as a management tool will result in a consequent improvement in the efficiency and viability of the farm unit. The implementation cost of this commitment to the farmer is the time and cost involved in having a farm-specific plan prepared and maintaining records over and above SPS requirements. The keeping and production of agri-environmental records by the farmer is a key part of on-farm compliance inspections. Relevant Baseline: Comply with annual record keeping under GAEC. Core actions: The REPS participants must keep annual agri-environmental records by recording details of the core actions and commitments required under the agri-environmental farm plan. Records required include: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Field-by-field details of land spreading of animal and other waste whether stored or imported Particulars regarding the ‘wintering’ of animals Newly constructed facilities Farming practices followed to avoid poaching and overgrazing. Works carried out for the protection and maintenance of watercourses. Works undertaken to retain undesignated habitats Length of repair and maintenance work carried out on farm and field boundaries Details of how noxious weeds were controlled Details of works carried on archaeological/historical features Dates and other particulars of remedial/maintenance works carried out to maintain appearance of the farm and farmyard Details of tillage crop production system Details of training courses or demonstrations attended Details of any unplanned environmental works carried out Undertakings/grazing regime/conservation measures followed to protect Natura 2000 land and other nationally designated areas Works carried out under supplementary measures.

Amount: €16.50 per hectare Follow up: Compliance will be checked during on-farm audits, and non-compliance will result in application of penalties.

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Supplementary Measure—Traditional Orchards Many varieties of native Irish fruit trees in existence are almost extinct and preserved only in seed banks. This measure will provide an incentive to ensure the survival of this unique resource. Native varieties of fruit trees may help to develop, through plant breeding techniques, new fruit cultivars, or increase the disease-resistant properties of modern varieties. Objective: To establish orchards with traditional varieties of native fruit trees. This will contribute to the protection of our plant genetic resource and will increase the biodiversity of the local landscape and provide a habitat for wildlife on the farm Scope and actions: This supplementary measure is available nationwide and requires participants to select specific varieties of native fruit trees to establish an orchard. The orchard must be a minimum of 500 square metres. Relevant baseline: There is no GAEC requirement to plant orchards. Amount: €300 per orchard per annum Follow up: Compliance will be checked during on-farm audits, and non-compliance will result in application of penalties. Supplementary Measure – Conservation of Animal Genetic Resources Local animal breeds play a significant role in maintaining the rural environment. Supporting the conservation of these genetic resources will allow for the long-term survival of this valuable genetic material, which could otherwise become extinct. These genetic resources represent a significant element of the cultural heritage of farming in Ireland. Costings on the rearing of animals (bovines, ovines and equines) of local breeds indicate that there is substantial opportunity costs (income) foregone with the rearing of such noncommercial breeds. There are also additional administrative costs associated with registering the animals with Breed Societies etc. Opportunity cost foregone (per LU) Administration costs (per LU) e.g. society membership, registration Transaction cost

Bovines Ovines €658 €154 €100 €90

Equines €80 €120

nil

€40

nil

The objective of this supplementary measure is to assist farmers participating in REPS to rear farm animals of local breeds, indigenous to the area, that are in danger of being lost to farming. Supplementary Measure – Riparian Zones Many Irish rivers and their tributaries are habitats for aquatic species (including salmonid and pearl mussel species) that are important nationally and in the wider European context. The development of riparian zones provides a suitable habitat for flora and fauna that sustain food webs important in the river ecosystem. The objective of this supplementary measure is to provide shade to overly exposed designated river channels and water bodies, to stabilise riverbanks and to intercept nutrients transported in overland flow.

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Supplementary Measure – LINNET 29 Habitats Over past decades, farming enterprises have become increasingly specialised in response to market demands. This has resulted in a decline in traditional mixed farming systems. These changes, together with a reduced acreage of spring cereals, have increased the pressure on populations of farmland bird species because of a reduced food supply over winter. The objective of this supplementary measure is to alleviate the trend of landscape homogenisation and simplification by encouraging the small-scale production of cereal plots, especially in areas dominated by grassland. Supplementary Measure – Low-Input Tillage Crops The maintenance of the cereal or root crop for the five-year duration of the REPS contract is a significant cost of complying with the prescribed management practices in this measure. This will contribute to more efficient on-farm utilisation of organic fertilisers. The objective of this supplementary measure is to alleviate the trend of landscape homogenisation and simplification by encouraging the small-scale production of cereal plots, especially in areas dominated by grassland. Supplementary Measure – Minimum Tillage Continuous arable production can deplete soil organic matter (carbon), leading to a weakening of soil structure and an increase in the potential for soil erosion, run-off and associated loss of soil biota. Minimum tillage will also reduce emissions of greenhouse gas both from reduced impact on the soil and from a reduction in on-farm fuel consumption. Supplementary Measure – Traditional Sustainable Grazing This supplementary measure encourages sustainable grazing practices in marginally farmed areas and contributes to the conservation of flora and fauna on specific habitats. The farmed landscape and associated flora and fauna of Ireland require continued active farming for its survival. The objective of this supplementary measure is to contribute to the National Biodiversity Plan via maintenance of specific habitats for conservation of flora and fauna and prescribing grazing breeds most suitable to marginal land and the maintenance of farming on lands most vulnerable to abandonment. Supplementary Measure – Clover Swards The objective of this supplementary measure is to contribute to the delivery of water quality, by promoting and encouraging the practice of incorporating clover into suitable grassland, in order to reduce dependency on nitrogenous fertilisers. The incorporation of clover into suitable swards can significantly reduce the dependence on chemical nitrogen, which, in turn, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from that source.

29

LINNET is an acronym for Land Invested in Nature, Natural Eco-Tillage

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Supplementary Measure – Conservation of Wild Bird Habitat The corncrake is a globally threatened migratory bird which was formerly widespread in hay meadows throughout Ireland. In recent decades it has become restricted to wetlands and poor farmland, possibly because of changing farming practices. The objective of this supplementary measure is to enhance the habitat structure and availability of breeding sites for the corncrake. BirdWatch Ireland will be directly involved in the delivery of this supplementary measure. Supplementary Measure – Lake Catchments The restrictions on fertiliser applications in proximity to water bodies under the general scheme provisions contribute positively to water quality. However, in some specific lake catchments additional environmental management can contribute to enhanced water quality. Improved water quality can enhance the social and economic vitality of rural communities through the development of recreational and amenity potential. A measure is proposed under Axis 4 using a bottom-up approach to include all stakeholders in developing local strategies for the management of lake catchments. When management strategies are fully developed it will be mandatory for REPS to comply with the strategy under agri-environment (this may result in a slight variation of the current presentation of this supplementary measure). In the interim, to complement and assist in the development of management strategies for the agricultural sector, it is proposed to make available as part of the REPS scheme a voluntary supplementary measure in the catchments of specific lakes. This supplementary measure will be available on a limited and voluntary basis and will initially be introduced on a pilot basis in the Corrib catchment in the west of Ireland. Core actions: The planner will identify areas of the farm where additional management will contribute positively to enhance water quality. Pending the full development of management strategies for the lake catchment, the farm plan shall identify and map the areas of the farm to which the measure applies and include one or more of the following actions: • Whole-farm reduction in Organic N by reduction in stock numbers – Reduce stocking rate by 30kg Organic N from stocking rate in year previous to joining scheme • Traditional hay meadows • Species-rich grasslands • Increase in water course margin • Alternative drinking points—prohibit bovines from drinking directly from any watercourse on the holding • Planted buffer zones. These actions are additional to the requirements under the core agri-environmental measure to select two biodiversity options. The baseline fertilisation limits of the Nitrates Directive shall never be exceeded on the whole farm and under no circumstances will the same action be compensated for twice under the rural development plan. The actions relating to traditional hay meadows and species-rich grasslands will be paid according to the actual area on which they are undertaken — for example, the total payment for 0.5ha will be €60 and the payment for 1.5ha will be €180. (By contrast, the payment for similar actions as Biodiversity Options is averaged as a payment per hectare over the holding.)

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This measure will be delivered in a manner that complements but does not overlap with the two proposed interventions under the Operational Programmes of the Regional Assemblies concerning a water source protection measure and treatment programme for local group water schemes. No payments will be made to any individuals concerning interventions under Axis 4. The objective of this supplementary measure is to contribute to cross-sectoral actions aimed at improving water quality. Supplementary Measure – Mixed Grazing The biodiversity of many grassland habitats is enhanced by maintaining or introducing a grazing regime with a mix of herbivores. Pastures grazed by mixed species produce a more diverse sward both in structure and height. The synergy between the grazing habits of cattle and sheep is well recognised and the resultant sward structure provides environmental opportunity for both flora and fauna to exploit, be it by birds, invertebrates, grass species or wild flowers. The tradition of this type of mixed grazing is found predominantly among the more extensive grassland farmers. The objective of this measure is to maintain and increase biodiversity on grassland by encouraging mixed grazing. The measure is available to farmers who graze both bovines and ovines in a structured way that is targeted to deliver diverse swards. This supplementary measure will therefore be available to farmers who engage in a mixed cattle/sheep livestock farm enterprise in which at least 20 per cent of the livestock units (on average) grazing the holding must be made up of the second livestock type. The livestock must graze the same sward either together or in a LEADER–follower grazing system. While the measure requires a mix of both cattle and sheep, the level of payment is calculated on the basis of the land area required for the number of sheep on the holding. The objective of this measure is based solely on the delivery of environmental benefits and it is not production-related. To safeguard against an increase in production, Ireland will monitor national sheep numbers annually. If these approach 95 per cent of the average during the reference period for the Single Payment Scheme, this measure will be closed to new entrants. Amount: €50 per hectare up to a maximum area of 20 hectares Supplementary Measure—Heritage Farm buildings Rationale for intervention Traditional farm buildings can make a significant and positive contribution to the Irish landscape. Many of the older buildings were laid out using local tried-and-tested materials, built to patterns and arrangements that made optimum use of resources. They survived and were maintained using simple materials and ingenious repairs, all of which add up to a culture of resourceful care and pride. The actions required under this measure meet the criteria of Measure 323 under Axis 3 but will be included as part of an integrated agri-environment measure under Axis 2, which is the dominant axis. Objectives of the measure The objective of the measure is to ensure that a number of traditional farm buildings, which contribute to the visual landscape and are of historical/architectural value, will be maintained into the future.

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Scope and actions Many traditional farm buildings are being lost through neglect. The timely repair (or, as a minimum, weatherproofing) of traditional farm buildings prevents dilapidation and the onset of serious structural problems, which may lead to expensive restoration in the future. Therefore, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Food, the Heritage Council will administer a grants scheme to REPS 4 participants on the conservation and repair of traditional farm buildings. Definition of operations to be supported Grants of up to €25,000 will be available to carry out approved conservation works to the exterior of farm outbuildings (roof, outside surface of walls, windows and doors) and associated structures (historic yard surfaces, landscape features around the farmyard e.g. walls, gate pillars). The traditional farm buildings must have architectural or vernacular heritage character, make a contribution to their setting and not be overwhelmed by large-scale modern buildings. Dwelling houses will not qualify under this supplementary measure. Traditional farm buildings, which were built for a purpose associated with agriculture and which are still capable of being used for an agricultural purpose will be considered for support under this measure. The buildings must be in fair condition, that is, they must have surviving materials that contribute to their character and which are repairable. Beneficiaries shall carry out maintenance and repair works on a ‘like for like’ basis using traditional materials and methods, in order to conserve the character of the building in its local setting. The works may be carried out by a contractor or by the farmer, but must be overseen by a competent conservation consultant. Participants must continue to protect and maintain in weatherproof condition the specified traditional farm buildings, including fixtures and fittings and adjacent associated features such as mounting blocks or stack/stook bases. Photographs of all elevations of the building for which funding is sought shall be submitted as evidence of the condition of the building at the application stage. All applications will be assessed by the Irish Heritage Council who will select projects that qualify for grant aid under this measure. The Heritage Council will be involved at all stages of delivery, and payment will only issue on the Council’s certification of satisfactory completion of works.

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Quantified targets for EU common indicators Type of indicator Output

Result

Impact

Indicator Number of farm holdings and holdings of other land managers receiving support Total volume of investment Areas of successful land management Reversal in biodiversity decline Maintenance of high nature value farmland and forestry Contribution to combating climate change

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Target 300 â&#x201A;Ź7 million 300 architectural and/or historic farm buildings restored on the landscape Mitigate risk of landscape homogenisation Visual appearance of landscape protected


Agri-Environment Organic Farming (Stand-alone measure) Organic food is quality food produced to strict, legally-based, internationally-recognised standards. Organic farming represents a different view of farming systems, which places a strong emphasis on environmentally friendly practices, with particular concern for animal welfare. The principles and methods employed in organic farming promote practices that coexist with natural systems and help protect and enhance the environment. The objective of this measure is to promote conversion to organic production methods, thereby delivering enhanced environmental benefits and responding to supply deficits and societal demands for organic produce. Participants of this measure must hold a licence issued by one of the Certifying Bodies approved by the Department of Agriculture and Food, be registered as an organic producer with the Departmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Organic Unit, comply with the provisions of Council Regulation 2092/91 (as amended) on the organic production area of the holding and be subject to annual inspection. Farmers may opt to convert all or part of the holding and may participate in this measure on a stand-alone basis outside of the general REPS programme. Where only part of the holding is converted the Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions and Statutory Management Requirements of the Single Payment Scheme must be respected on the entire holding. In the interest of crop rotation and optimising output, organic producers may apply to exchange parcels of full organic status. The payment rate will be increased for the conversion period for conventional stockless tillage producers who participate in the stand-alone organic measure only, and grow green manure during the two-year conversion process. This payment is justified on the basis that there is no market return on the area during conversion. The objective of this is to maximise the incorporation of organic matter in preparation for organic production. Only areas declared on the Integrated Administrative and Control Systems (IACS) will be considered for payment.

123


Commonage Land outside the Natura 2000 Network Objective To provide a comprehensive approach to the conservation and/or regeneration of nondesignated commonage land Scope and actions The farming conditions for commonage land are set out in Commonage Framework Plans. These plans set out the environmental condition of the commonage and appropriate agricultural activity to ensure environmental sustainability, including where necessary a reduction in the grazing pressure to be achieved by destocking of sheep. While approximately 40 per cent of commonage land is not designated under Natura 2000, it is subject to the same restrictions as designated commonage. The difference is that for Natura commonages, the restrictions – the management prescriptions in the Commonage Framework Plans – are legally binding, whereas for non-Natura commonages they are voluntary (with the exception of the maximum stocking levels in the Framework Plans). Therefore, in the absence of a facility to make Natura 2000 payments on this land, the agrienvironment payment rate is fixed at a similar rate to Natura 2000 commonage payments. The proposed rates of payment and the justification are set out in the relevant table in Appendix 3. Relevant baseline GAEC requires a farmer to comply with the stock numbers outlined in the Commonage Framework Plan. GAEC does not require a management regime for grazing animals. There is no mandatory requirement to retain habitats on non Natura 2000 commonage lands. Core actions Habitats on these non-designated commonages must be maintained under voluntary agrienvironmental commitments. Farmers with non-Natura commonage cannot, inter alia, afforest the lands, carry out any land improvement works including drainage, or cut turf commercially. In addition to abiding by the GAEC requirement to implement the reduced stocking requirement set out in the relevant Commonage Framework Plan, farmers must implement a sustainable grazing regime contributing to the maintenance of the habitat and avoidance of land abandonment. This may require a farmer to maintain a sheep flock that is economically unviable. To protect against the possibility of the submission of payment claims in respect of dormant commonage shares, eligibility for payment will normally (except in the case of inheritance, setting up young farmers and transferees under the Early Retirement Scheme) be restricted to commonage shares declared on IACS in the five years preceding the date of the REPS application. Amount: €282 per hectare up to 40 hectares, €29 per hectare on next 40 hectares €22 per hectare on next 40 hectares and €5 per hectare for each hectare above 120 hectares Follow up: Compliance will be checked during on-farm audits, and non-compliance will result in application of penalties.

124


Natural Heritage Areas (NHAs) outside the Natura 2000 Network Objective To provide a comprehensive approach to the conservation and/or regeneration of nationally designated sites outside of the Natura 2000 network Scope and actions The basic designation for wildlife in Ireland is the Natural Heritage Area. This is a national designation and many of the NHA sites have overlapping Natura 2000 designation. Some NHA sites, however, are not designated under Natura 2000 but are important in a national context and it is these sites that this measure is designed to address. The preparation of the REPS plan requires professional environmentalist input to assess the environmental condition of the site and prescribe appropriate management practices for the retention of the habitat. Relevant baseline GAEC requires that the land be maintained in a state that permits continued agricultural production. Core actions In addition to complying with the basic core measures, farmers must implement the prescribed management regime for the maintenance of the habitat and avoidance of land abandonment. This may require a farmer to maintain livestock that are economically unviable. Amount: €282 per hectare up to 40 hectares, €29 per hectare on next 40 hectares €22 per hectare on next 40 hectares and €5 per hectare for each hectare above 120 hectares Follow up: Compliance will be checked during on-farm audits, and non-compliance will result in application of penalties.

The description of the methodology and of the agronomic assumptions and parametres (including the description of the baseline requirements, which are relevant for each particular type of commitment) is used as a reference point for the calculations justifying: (a) additional costs; (b) income foregone resulting from the commitment made; and (c) level of the transaction costs. Where relevant, this methodology should take into account aid granted under Regulation (EC) num. 1782/2003. Where appropriate, the conversion method should be that used for other units in accordance with Article 27.9 of the implementing rules. A description of the methodology, assumptions, and parametres of eligible costs and aid intensity are detailed in the table of costings in Appendix 3. The minimum requirements for fertiliser and plant protection products used and other mandatory requirements such as: minimum requirements for fertilisers must include, inter alia, the Codes of Good Practice introduced under the Nitrates Directive for farms outside Nitrate Vulnerable Zones, and requirements concerning phosphorus pollution. Minimum requirements for plant protection products must include, inter alia, requirements to have a licence to use the products and meet training obligations, requirements on safe storage, the checking of application machinery and rules on pesticide-use close to water and other sensitive sites.

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Baseline requirements of all farmers using plant protection and biocidal products 30 • • • • • •

Only authorised or registered plant protection and biocidal products may be stored and used. Plant protection and biocidal products must be stored, handled and used properly as specified on current approved product labels. Plant protection products must, when appropriate, be used in accordance with the principles of integrated control. Plant protection products must be used in accordance with the principles of good plant protection practice. Records of acquisition, use and disposal of plant protection and biocidal products must be maintained and be produced for inspection. Plant protection and biocidal products that are no longer approved for use must not be retained.

30

Detailed baseline inspection requirements are outlined in the Single Farm Payment Scheme Guide to Cross-compliance Requirements published by the Department of Agriculture and Food in August 2006

126


Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions referred to in Article 5 and Annex IV of Council Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 Issue

Standards

Soil erosion: Protect soil through appropriate measures

– Minimum soil cover – Minimum land management reflecting site-specific conditions – Retain terraces

Soil organic matter: Maintain soil organic matter levels through appropriate practices

– Standards for crop rotations where applicable – Arable stubble management

Soil structure: Maintain soil structure through appropriate measures

– Appropriate machinery use

Minimum level of maintenance: Ensure a minimum level of maintenance and avoid the deterioration of habitats

– Minimum livestock stocking rates or/and appropriate regimes – Protection of permanent pasture – Retention of landscape features – Avoiding the encroachment of unwanted vegetation on agricultural land

By Government decision Ireland adopted a whole-territory approach to the implementation of the Nitrates Directive in 2003. The whole-territory approach was designed to ensure a comprehensive approach to the reduction and prevention of pollution from all agricultural sources. In line with decisions of the European Court of Justice in cases arising in other Member States, Ireland’s Nitrates Action Programme addresses reduction/prevention of pollution from phosphorus as well as from nitrogen. The Action Programme is given legal effect by Regulation SI No. 378 of 2006. The measures, objectives and criteria applied in the selection of beneficiaries by calls for tender are in accordance with the second subparagraph of Article 39.4 of Regulation 1698/2005 The scheme will be open to all farmers and, accordingly, provisions relating to calls for tender are not relevant. 127


Evidence as referred to in Article 45(2) of the implementing rules allow the Commission to check the consistency and plausibility of the calculations. The costings have been independently verified by Teagasc.

128


Amounts of support Amount €234 /ha up to 20ha General REPS Programme (Core measures plus options) €205 /ha for next 20ha up to 40 ha €82 /ha for the next 15ha up to 55ha €10 /ha thereafter Non-Natura 2000 commonage and NHA €282/ha up to 40ha, €29 /ha for the next 40ha up to 80ha; €22 /ha for the next 40ha land up to 120ha; and €5/ha thereafter Supplementary Measures

Amount

Rare Breeds

€234 per livestock unit of the breed registered with the breed society. €850 /ha up to a maximum of -4ha in respect of salmonid and crayfish sites and -4ha in respect of pearl mussel sites First hectare €700 From 1 to 2.5ha €400 per hectare €370/ha up to maximum of 2.5ha €25/ha up to maximum of 40ha

Riparian Zones

Participation in LINNET Project Low-Input tillage Crops Minimum Tillage Traditional Orchards Traditional Sustainable Grazing Mixed Grazing Lake Catchments • Whole-Farm Reduction in Organic N by Reduction in Stock Numbers • Traditional Hay Meadows • Species Rich Grasslands • Increase Water Course Margin • Alternative Drinking Points • Buffer Zones Clover Swards Conservation of Wild Birds — Participation in Corncrake Project

€300 per holding €50/ha up to a maximum area of 20ha €50/ha up to a maximum area of 20ha

Organic Farming

Amount

Organic Farming (55ha)

€212/ha in conversion up to 55ha and €30/ha thereafter

€80/ha €120/ha up to 2.5ha €120/ha up to 2.5ha €3 per 100m €5 per ha/per drinking unit €200/ha up to maximum of 2.5ha €30 /ha up to max of 40ha €100 /ha

€106/ha in full organic status up to 55ha and €15/ha thereafter Organic Farming (≤ 6ha) €283/ha in conversion €142 /ha organic status €240/ha per year up to a maximum of 40 Organic Farming additional option Applicants (non-REPS stockless farmers) ha for the two years of conversion applying green cover during the conversion period 129


Island farmers face additional costs because of their location. It is therefore also proposed that land farmed on offshore islands will receive an additional 15 per cent to take account of the increased costs of carrying out the agri-environment undertakings. Cumulation of Aid Organic Payment Plus

REPS basic Plus

REPS basic Payment Plus

One of Plus LINNET Riparian Clover Swards Minimum Tillage Low Input Cereal Mixed Grazers Traditional Grazing Natura 2000 Plus And/or Non-Natura 2000 NHA And/or Non-Natura 2000 CommonageAnd/or Riparian1

REPS basic Payment Plus

Owned Natura or Any one of LINNET Rare Breeds Traditional Orchards Riparian Zone One of Rare Breeds Traditional Orchards Wild Birds Habitat # Lake Catchment

One of LINNET* Clover Swards* Minimum Tillage* Low-Input Cereal* Traditional Grazers* Mixed Grazing* Rare Breeds Traditional Orchards

Wild Birds Habitat # Lake Catchment 1 Where Riparian is selected none of SMs marked * in column 3 can be chosen. #Lake Catchment SM will have limited application to specific lakes.

For plant genetic resources under threat of genetic erosion, evidence of genetic erosion based upon scientific results and indicators for the occurrence of landraces/primitive (local) varieties, their population diversity and the prevailing agricultural practices at local level Not Applicable For conservation of genetic resources in agriculture: types of beneficiaries, of operations and details on eligible costs Beneficiaries: Farmers participating in agri-environment measure The list of local breeds in danger of being lost to farming and the number of breeding females concerned. That number must be certified by a duly recognised technical body – or breeders’ organisation/association – which must register and keep up to date the herd or flock books for the breed. The body concerned must possess the necessary skills and knowledge to identify animals of the breeds in danger.

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Breeds and numbers Kerry Cattle Dexter Irish Maol (or Moiled) Connemara Pony Equines Irish Draught Kerry Bog Pony Galway Sheep

Financing

− Total Cost: − Public Expenditure:

613 2,053 392 1728 1038 49 707

€2,503,298,800 €2,503,298,800

Transition arrangements (including estimated amount) It will be open to participants with ongoing commitments from the 2000–2006 programming period to transform their undertakings to new commitments under the current programme. The likely level of take-up of this facility is reflected in the estimated on-going commitment of €890 million.

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Quantified targets for EU common indicators Type of indicator

Output

Result

Indicator Number of farm holdings and holdings of other land managers receiving support Total area under agri-environmental support Total number of contracts Physical area under agri-environmental support Number of actions related to genetic resources Areas under successful land management • Reversal in biodiversity decline • Increase in farmland bird index • Increase in unpolluted length of rivers •

Average no. of habitats on non-target area

Maintenance of high nature value farmland and forestry Maintenance of quality farm buildings Protection of archaeological features No. of new features discovered

• • • Impact

• • •

Likert landscape assessment Improvement in water quality: Increase in unpolluted length of rivers

Decrease of slightly/moderately polluted length Soil P index

• •

Fertiliser P use Reduced Chemical N use

Contribution to combating climate change

132

Target 64,000 2.25m hectares 64,000 2.25m hectares 10 actions 2.25m hectares Decline halted • 100 • 72 per cent of length • maintain 1 per farm 750,000ha • • •

1 per farm 1 per farm 10 per cent increase • 0.75 or higher Increase • 72 per cent of length • 31 per cent of length • 75 per cent of samples @ 2/3 • 5kg/ha • ↓ 20 per cent compared to non-REPS Positive


Programme-specific indicators REPS criteria (e-REPS* = electronic mapping system)

Action 1: Nutrient Management Average area farmed (ha) Average planned organic Nitrogen per hectare Farm enterprise breakdown by category REPS contract area to be managed according to REPS specification (ha.) Proportion of farms part of an NHA Average payment received (Euro) Average area of land identified which can take animal/other waste (ha) Average potential of grassland to take animal and other wastes (Kg/ha) Proportion of facilities for fodder/silage effluent which satisfy REPS Proportion of farms where animal housing satisfies REPS Number of buildings requiring remedial work for animal housing Number of new buildings required for animal housing Proportion of farms where storage for farm wastes satisfies REPS Number of buildings requiring remedial work for farm wastes Proportion of farms with grassland areas sensitive to damage from poaching

Action 2: Grassland Management Stocking densities recommended to avoid poaching (Ha/livestock unit) Area devoted to traditional hay meadows Area devoted to species-rich grassland Area (ha) of farm with clover in swards Number of farms with mixed livestock enterprises Number of farms using trailing shoe method of slurry spreading Litres of slurry spread using trailing shoe method No. of farms where trailing shoe method of slurry spreading is used Number of farms managing invasive species

Action 3: Protection of Watercourses Number of farms with wells/watercourses that require protection Average length of water courses per participant (m) Average length of watercourse fencing required per participant (m) Average length of watercourse maintenance per participant (m) Uptake of Option 3A per county (increased watercourse margin) Length (m) of increased watercourse margin Uptake of Option 3B per county Uptake of Option 3C per county (Reduce nutrient inputs and protect vulnerable soils in catchments) Area (ha) for Option 3C

133

DAF REPS

e-REPS*


DAF REPS

Action 4: Retain Wildlife Habitats Number of farms with non-target wildlife habitats for retention Area (ha) of non-target habitats identified for protection per farm Type and area (ha) of non-target habitats identified Uptake of Option 4A (create a new habitat) per county Average area (ha) of Option 4A per participant Uptake of Option 4B (planting trees) per county Average number of trees planted per participant Uptake of Option 4C (nature corridors) per county Uptake of Option 4D (establish farm woodland) per county Area (ha) of farm woodland established

Action 5: Maintain Farm and Field Boundaries Average length (m) of farm boundary hedgerows to be retained per farm Average length (m) of farm boundary stone walls to be retained per farm Average length (m) of ‘other’ farm boundary to be retained per farm Average length (m) of internal hedgerows to be retained per farm Average length (m) of internal stone walls to be retained per farm Average length (m) of ‘other’ internal boundary to be retained per farm Average length (m) of hedgerows to be maintained during the plan per farm Average length (m) of stone walls to be repaired during plan per farm Uptake of Option 5A (coppicing of hedgerows) per county Average length (m) of hedgerow coppiced per participant Uptake of Option 5B (laying of hedgerows) per county Average length (m) of hedgerow laid per participant Uptake of Option 5C (plant new hedgerows) per county Average length (m) of new hedgerows planted per participant Uptake of Option 5D (additional stone wall maintenance) per county Average length (m) of additional stone wall maintained per farm

Action 6: Restricted use of pesticides and fertilisers Indicators for this measure are extrapolated from indicators of measures 3, 4 and 5.

Action 7: Establish biodiversity buffer strips around features of historical or archaeological interest Number of farms with features of historical/archaeological interest Number of new unrecorded archaeological features identified per county Uptake of Option 7A (increased archaeological site margins) per county Number of sites per applicant under option 7A Number of sites managed under option 7B

134

e-REPS


DAF REPS

Action 8: Visual Appearance of Farm and Farmyard Percentage of farms with quality farm buildings for retention per county Uptake of Option 8A (traditional orchards) per county

Action 9: Tillage Number of farms per county with declared tillage Number of farms per county with Option 9A (green cover establishment) Area (ha) of option 9A per farm Number of farms per county with Option 9B (env. management of set-aside) Area (ha) of option 9B per farm Number of farms per county with Option 9C (increased arable margins) Length (m) of increased arable margins per farm Number of farms per county with Option 9D (low-input cereals/root crops) Area (ha) of option 9D per farm Number of farms per county with Option 9E (bio-energy crops) Area (ha) of option 9E per farm Number of farms per county with Option 9F (minimum tillage crops) Area (ha) of option 9F per farm

Conservation of Animal Genetic Resources Number of farmers availing of Supplementary Measure â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Conservation of animal genetic resources Average annual SM payment per farm Number of animals supported (by breed)

Riparian Zones Number of farmers availing of SM â&#x20AC;&#x201C; riparian zones (by species) Area (ha) of land under riparian zones by county

135

e-REPS


DAF REPS

LINNET Number of farmers availing of SM—Linnet Area (ha) of land in SM—Linnet

Low Input Tillage Crops Number of farmers availing of SM – Low-input tillage crops Area (ha) of land in SM – low input tillage crops

Minimum Tillage Number of farmers availing of SM – minimum tillage Area (ha) of land in SM – minimum tillage

Traditional Farm Enterprises Number of farms with recreated traditional orchards Number of farms with bird/bat boxes

Traditional Grazers Number of farmers availing of SM – traditional grazers

Mixed Grazing Number of farmers availing of SM – mixed grazing LU receiving payment under SM Area of land farmed under SM

Clover sward Number of farmers availing of SM – clover sward Area (ha) of land in SM – clover sward

Conservation of Wild Bird Habitat Number of participants in SM – conservation of wild bird habitat Average area of SM – conservation of wild bird habitat

Heritage Buildings Number of farmers availing of SM – heritage buildings Number of traditional farm buildings conserved

Organic Farming Number of farms engaging in organic farming Number of farms with partial conversion of holding Average organic N per hectare per participant Area (ha) grassland farmed as organic Area (ha) arable land farmed as organic Area (ha) horticulture farmed as organic

136

e-REPS


Indicators baseline Indicator REPS Soil Sample @ P Index 1 (per cent) REPS Soil Sample @ P Index 2 (per cent) REPS Soil Sample @ P Index 3 (per cent) REPS Soil Sample @ P Index 4 (per cent) Average REPS soil P (mg/l) Non-REPS Soil Sample @ P Index 1 (per cent) Non-REPS Soil Sample @ P Index 2 (per cent) Non-REPS Soil Sample @ P Index 3 (per cent) Non-REPS Soil Sample @ P Index 4 (per cent) Average Non-REPS soil P (mg/l) Organic N/ha UAA (ext) Chemical N/ha UAA Organic P/ha UAA Chemical P/ha UAA National sales of Chemical N (ton) National sales of Chemical P (ton) Average lime requirement (t/ha) Average length of watercourse per farm (m/ha) Average no. of non-designated habitats/farm Average area of habitat (ha) Average total length of hedgerow/farm (m/ha) Average total length of stonewall/farm (m/ha) Average total length of other/farm (m/ha) No. of grassland tillage farms Area spring cereals (national – ha) Average no. of traditional stone buildings/farm Average no. of features/farm on SMR Average no. of new features not previously recorded Number of farmers availing of Supplementary measure – conservation of animal genetic resources Number of livestock units under supplementary measure – conservation of animal genetic resources - Kerry cow - Dexter - Irish Maol - Irish Draught - Connemara - Kerry bog pony - Galway ewe Average payment per participant No. of farmers availing of riparian zone SM Area of land under riparian management Number of farmers availing of SM – LINNET Area (ha) of land in SM – Linnet Number of farmers availing of traditional Orchards No of farmers availing of traditional grazing supplementary measure

31

Data source/Year Teagasc 2006 Teagasc 2006 Teagasc 2006 Teagasc 2006 Teagasc 2006 Teagasc 2006 Teagasc 2006 Teagasc 2006 Teagasc 2006 Teagasc 2006 NFS 31 2005 NFS 2005 NFS 2005 NFS 2005 DAF 2005/06 DAF 2005/06 Teagasc 2006 eREPS eREPS eREPS eREPS eREPS eREPS eREPS DAF DAF DAF eREPS

15 38 25 22 7.67 15 33 25 27 9.16 97.3kg 94.8kg 14.9kg 12.3kg 345,154 37,209 4.4 27 2 2.24 110 16 80 4,000 187,000 1 1 4000

12 25 43 20 6.5 15 22 33 30 8.0 90.0kg 60.0kg 15.0kg 7.0kg 320,000 30,000 4.0 27 2 2.5 112 17 80 5,000 192,000 1 1 1500

DAF 2006

560

650

DAF 2006 DAF 2006 DAF 2006 DAF 2006 DAF 2006 DAF 2006 DAF 2006 DAF 2006

350 10 15 140 330 20 80 6 LU

DAF 2006 DAF 2006 DAF 2006 DAF 2006 DAF 2006

235 0 0 129 300 0 45 €850 (194 payments) i.e. 4.25 LU 260 427 ha 1,378 2,112 ha 150

DAF

0

3000

National Farm Survey

137

Baseline

Target 2013

400 800 ha 3,000 5,000ha 500


Indicator Area of clover swards Area of low-input cereals Area of farm woodland Length of hedgerow rejuvenation Length of hedgerow establishment Length of trad. stonewall maintenance Broadleaved tree planting (number of trees) Traditional hay meadows Biomass crops Mixed farming system Use of trailing shoe Use of planted buffer zones Minimum tillage Nest boxes Creation of new habitat Green cover establishment Environmental management of set-aside Increased arable margins Increased water course margins Nature corridors Increased biodiversity buffer zone Organic farming â&#x20AC;&#x201C; participants grass (ha) cereals (ha) horticulture (ha)

Data source/Year DAF DAF DAF DAF DAF DAF DAF DAF

DAF 2006 DAF 2006

138

Baseline N/a 0 N/a N/a N/a N/a N/a N/a N/a N/a N/a N/a N/a N/a N/a 910 ha N/a N/a N/a 16,000 farmers N/a 1,100 farmers

Target 2013 110,000ha 9,000ha 1,300ha 3,200km 4,800km 1,500km 400,000 20,000ha 1,000ha 220,000ha 6,000 farmers 500ha 10,000ha 1000 farmers 3,800ha 1,000ha 3,300ha 38,000m 55,000m 16,000 farmers 7,000 sites 4,000 farmers 70,000ha 2,200ha 1,300ha


Participation/area targets, showing relevance to water quality, climate change, landscape and biodiversity

Measure* Conservation of Wild Birds Rare Breeds Riparian Zones LINNET Habitat

Supp. Supp. Supp. Supp.

Traditional Grazers Mixed Grazing Traditional Orchards Clover Swards Low-Input Cereals/Root Crops etc. Woodland/Forestry Hedgerow Rejuvenation New Hedgerow Establishment Additional Stone Wall Maintenance Broadleaved Tree Planting Traditional Hay Meadows Species-Rich Grassland Biomass only Introduce Mixed Farming System Use of Trailing Shoe Soil Phosphorus Reduction Minimum Tillage Nesting Boxes Creation of New Habitat Green Cover Establishment Environmental set-aside Management Increased Arable Margins Increased Watercourse Margin Nature Corridors Increase Archaeological Buffer Zone*

Supp. Supp. Supp. Supp/Opt Supp/Opt Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt.

Organic Farming

W C L B Indicator ● ● ● Uptake of various measures ●● ● ●●● ● ●●

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

●●● ●● ●●● ● ● ●●● ●●● ●● ●● ● ●●● ●● ●● ●●● ● ● ●

3,000 farmers 10,000 farmers 500 farmers 110,000ha 9,000ha 1,300ha 3,200km 4,800km 1,500km 400,000 trees 20,000ha 20,000ha 1,000ha 220,000ha 6,000 farmers 500ha 10,000ha 1,000 farmers 3,800ha 1000ha 3,300ha 38,000m 55,000m 16,000 farmers 7,000 sites

● ● ●● ● ●● ● ● ● ●● ●●● ● ● ●

● Grass Cereals Horticulture

* W = Water Quality C

Target 1,000 farmers 1,000 farmers 400 farmers 3,000 farmers

216,500,000ha 2,200ha 1,300ha

= Climate Change L = Landscape B = Biodiversity

139


5.3 Axis 3:Quality of life in rural areas and diversification of the rural economy Summary of actions All measures contained in Axis 3 will be delivered through the LEADER approach. These measures will meet the Axis 3 objective of improving quality of life in rural areas and promoting diversification of the rural economy through: • Increasing economic activity and employment rates in the wider rural economy through encouraging on-farm diversification into non-agricultural activities • Supporting the creation and development of micro-enterprises in the broader rural economy • Encouraging rural tourism built on the sustainable development of Ireland’s natural resources, cultural and natural heritage • Improving access to basic services by rural dwellers by, for example, addressing inadequate recreational facilities • Regenerating villages and their surrounding areas by improving their economic prospects and the quality of life • Maintaining, restoring and upgrading the natural and built heritage. The following table summarises the baseline situation and the targets for Axis 3. Indicator Importance of rural areas Farmers with other gainful activity Employment development of non-agricultural sector

Measurement per cent population in rural areas Sole holders-managers with other gainful activity as percentage of total number of farm holders (sole holders-managers) Employment in secondary and tertiary sectors

Economic development of non-agricultural sector Self-employment development

GVA in secondary and tertiary sectors

Tourism infrastructure in rural area

Amount of recreational walking infrastructure

Internet take-up in rural areas Development of services sector Net migration Life-long learning in rural areas

Persons having subscribed to DSL internet as a percentage of total population GVA in services as a percentage of total GVA Net migration into the state per cent of adults (25-64 years) participating in education and training

Self-employed persons

140

Baseline 59 per cent 42 per cent of farmers are part-time

Target 59 per cent 50 per cent

93 per cent of those employed are in secondary and tertiary sectors 97.4 per cent GVA

96 per cent

16.9 per cent of persons at work classified as employer or own account worker 8,300km of walkway

20 per cent

98 per cent

Less than 5 per cent

10 per cent upgraded to standards of National Network of Waymarked Ways 20 per cent

56 per cent

60 per cent

53,400 persons 8 per cent (national figure)

Sustain 12 per cent


AXIS 3 MEASURES Diversification into Non-Agricultural Activities Legal basis Article 52 (a) (i) of Reg. (EC) N° 1698/2005 Article 53 and point 5.3.3.1.1 of Annex II of Reg. (EC) N° 1974/2006 Measure Code: 311 Rationale for intervention The main focus of this measure is to create alternative on-farm employment opportunities in non-agricultural activities and services. A growing feature of farming is the increase in the number of farms no longer able to sustain farming families without additional on-farm income supplementation. However, as few as 3per cent or so of all farms are presently involved in some form of non-agricultural or forestry activity. Agri-tourism as an example of a complementary activity that combines well with farming activity and also can provide many farm families with the opportunity to develop a viable on-farm alternative enterprise. Objective of the measure To significantly increase the percentage of holdings where the fixed assets of the farm are utilised in any non-agricultural activity by a member of the farm household for economic gain. Content While the scope of the measure encompasses all non-agricultural activities, common actions will include: • Provision of tourism facilities. The type of facilities envisaged would be renovation of farm buildings for tourism purposes, walking, cycling, angling, pony trekking, bird watching etc. • Development of niche tourism and educational services such as arts and crafts, speciality food provision, open farms etc. • Development of farm shops selling home/locally grown and manufactured products. Target group A member of the farm household. Target area All agricultural holdings Financing − Total Cost: − Public Expenditure:

€30.16m €16.66m

141


Quantified targets for EU common indicators

Type of indicator Output Result

Impact

Indicator Number of beneficiaries Total volume of investment Increase in non-agricultural GVA in supported businesses Gross number of jobs created Net additional value expressed in PPS Net additional full-time equivalent jobs created

Target 2007—2013 See below €30.16 million See below See below See below See below

Output: Number of beneficiaries: 800 Number of beneficiaries

800 600 200 < 25 years – 50 > 25 years – 750

Total:

Male Female Age Category: Type of non-agricultural activity: – Tourism Activity – Craft Activity – Trade/Retail Activity – Other

250 200 50 300

Result: Increase in non-agricultural GVA in supported businesses, using 2006 as a baseline figure and plotting annual increment subsequently. Gross number of jobs created: 1,250 full-time Gender Age On-Farm Off-Farm Male: 750 < 25 years – 200 1,050 Gross 100 number of > 25 years – jobs created Female: 500 1,150 Increase of 10,000 per annum in agri-tourism visitors Additional number of tourists

142


Impact: Net additional value expressed in PPS

€5.66m

Employment creation: 1,500 full-time equivalents Gender Age Male: 900 < 25 years – 150 Net employment Female: 600 > 25 years – 1,350 creation

On-Farm 250

143

Off-Farm 1,250


Support for Business Creation and Development Legal basis Article 52 (a) (ii) of Reg. (EC) N° 1698/2005 Point 5.3.3.1.2 of Annex II of Regulation (EC) N° 1974/2006 Measure Code: 312 Rationale for intervention The continuing change in farming patterns allied to a need to provide alternative employment and enterprise options to rural dwellers gives rise to the need to focus on the economic development of rural resources. Sectors utilising natural resources need to be targeted through innovative measures. Development of micro-enterprise under this heading is closely linked with economic actions under other headings in the axis such as under rural/agri-tourism, environmentally friendly initiatives and alternative energy. Actions here must also, where relevant, support and reinforce the economic impact of similar economic interventions under the other axes. Objective of the measure To position rural areas to provide economic activity of sufficient mass to attract people to live and work there and so offer a counter balance to the economic pull of Gateway towns that are the focus for development under the National Spatial Strategy. Content: • Selected investment in small rural enterprise space • Provision for a range of assistance types for start-up enterprises and expansion of existing enterprises including the adoption of new technologies • Development of innovative products and activities • The provision of a range of assistance types for adding value to local products, including support for business networks, collective marketing, local branding initiatives, and improved quality and development of artisan processing facilities • Support for the utilisation of local ICT capacity, for example centralised online processing of micro-enterprise administrative activities • Actions to foster rural entrepreneurship, particularly combined with support for small-scale research, analysis and development. It is a requirement under this measure that a sectoral agreement exists between the Local Action Group and the relevant County Enterprise Board. Where appropriate and by mutual consent, this can be a continuation of the agreement in place under the LEADER programme 2000—2006.

Target group All rural dwellers currently engaged in rural micro-enterprise activity or who wish to set up a micro-enterprise Target area All rural areas

144


Financing

− Total Cost: − Public Expenditure

€93.36m €48.26m

Quantified targets for EU common indicators Type of indicator Output Result

Impact

Indicator Number of micro-enterprises supported Gross number of jobs created Increase in non-agricultural GVA in supported businesses Net additional value expressed in PPS Net additional full-time equivalent jobs created

Target 2007—2013 See below See below See below See below See below

Output Number of new or existing micro-enterprises supported: 10,000 Micro-Enterprise Status Age Category Type of MicroEnterprise New – 3,500 * * Existing – 6,500 * * Result Gross number of jobs created: 7,000 Gender Age Male: 4,200 < 25 years—1,000 Gross > 25 years—6,000 number of Female: 2,800 jobs created

On-Farm 700

Off-Farm 6,300

Economic growth expressed in non-agricultural GVA by region, from baseline 2006

145


Impact Net additional value expressed in PPS

€16.40m

Employment creation: 8,000 net number of FTE jobs Gender Age No. of FTE Male: 4,800 jobs created Female: 3200

< 25 years – 1,200 > 25 years – 6,800

146

OnFarm 800

Off-Farm 7,200


Encouragement of Tourism Activities Legal basis Article 52 (a) (iii) of Reg. (EC) N° 1698/2005 Point 5.3.3.1.3 of Annex II of Regulation (EC) N° 1974/2006 Measure Code: 313 Rationale for intervention In most rural areas tourism is an integral component of wider rural enterprise and both should be developed in an integrated manner whenever possible. Rural tourism is also very closely correlated with agricultural activity. Lack of regional balance in tourist activity is a challenge to the future viability of rural tourism. The focus of this measure must also extend wider to embrace other aspects of rural recreation and demonstrate synergy with the Countryside Recreation Strategy. Due to the crosscutting nature of this measure, actions at the territorial level must demonstrate an overall coherence with relevant actions concerning agri-tourism, rural enterprise and conservation of natural heritage and culture. Environmental awareness and protection must be an intrinsic feature of this measure. Objective of the measure To maximise the sustainable, regionally balanced, tourism potential of all rural areas through provision of necessary infrastructure and development of the countryside as a recreational resource for all. Content • Analysis and provision of infrastructural needs for tourism and countryside recreation in a defined area • Maintenance of vernacular features—in a way that protects the heritage of the features—such as disused railway lines, canal towpaths, bog roads etc. • Development of the use of forests for countryside recreation • Development of niche tourism such as arts and crafts, speciality food provision, eco-tourism, genealogy, archaeology etc. • Development of the use of the Internet and ecommerce facilities in general for the provision of booking and information services to tourists. Target group All rural dwellers Target area All rural areas Financing

− Total Cost: €69.00m − Public expenditure €45.40m

147


Quantified targets for EU common indicators Type of indicator Output Result

Impact

Indicator Number of new tourism actions supported Total volume of investment Additional number of tourist visits Gross number of jobs created Net additional value expressed in PPS Net additional full-time equivalent jobs created

Target 2007—2013 See below €69.0 million See below 1,500 See below 500

Output

Number of new tourism actions supported

Small-Scale Infrastructure

Recreational Infrastructure

500

500

Development and/or marketing of tourism services relating to rural tourism 1,225

Result Additional number of tourist visits Per annum

Overnight Stays Number of day visitors 5,000 15,000

Impact Net additional value expressed in PPS

€15.43m

Net additional full-time equivalent jobs created

500

Employment creation Gender Age Male: 250 < 25 years—100 Number of jobs created Female: 250 > 25 years—400

148

On-Farm 150

Off-Farm 350


Additional performance indicator Number of overseas holiday makers whose holiday is predominantly in the countryside Baseline: 1.2 million Target: 1.8 million Additional performance indicator Number of overseas visitors involved in cycling, hiking and walking Baseline: 0.3 million Target: 0.6 million

149


Basic Services for the Economy and Rural Population Legal basis Article 52 (b) (i) of Reg. (EC) N° 1698/2005 Point 5.3.3.2.1 of Annex II of regulation (EC) N° 1974/2006 Measure Code: 321 Rationale for intervention Quality of life issues including the availability of services and living conditions significantly influence the extent to which people are willing to return or re-locate to rural areas to live and work. While key service provision is properly addressed through integrated actions by mainstream government services, certain quality of life initiatives specifically targeted towards rural communities can be addressed under this measure. Such initiatives must demonstrate complementarity with, and avoid duplication of, broader service provision as articulated in the specific chapter on the rural economy in the National Development Plan 2007–2013. In this context lack of adequate cultural and leisure facilities in some rural communities is a significant impediment to their further development. Objective of the measure To identify and provide appropriate cultural and leisure facilities to local communities, not otherwise available to them. Content While the needs of more remote rural populations and peri-urban areas may differ markedly, initiatives will broadly address the provision of: • Amenity and leisure facilities • Support for cultural activities • Certain arts facilities • General community and recreational infrastructure • Innovative activities in local communities such as social and information networks etc. All assessments and actions should be carried out in consultation and agreement with the appropriate local authorities. Any equipment, activities or infrastructure provided must be available and accessible to all age and social groups in the community concerned. Mainstream activities of sports organisations and bodies are excluded from support under this measure. Type of costs covered: Capital costs only such as provision of infrastructure, equipment and some specialist support and development in relation to acquisition of specialised skills sets Transitional arrangements: Do not arise as actions under this measure do not replace, but complement, existing measures delivered by nationally funded local authorities

150


Target group All rural community groups Target area All rural areas Financing − Total Cost: − Public Expenditure:

€66.00m €49.61m

Quantified targets for EU common Indicators Type of indicator Output

Result

Impact

Indicator Number of supported actions Total volume of investment Population in rural areas benefiting from improved services Increase in internet penetration in rural areas Net additional value expressed in PPS Net additional full-time equivalent jobs created

Target 2007—2013 See below €66.00m See below Not supported under this measure See below See below

Output Amenity/Leisure Facilities Number of actions 500 supported

Arts/Cultural Facilities 500

Recreational Infrastructure 500

Result Amenity/Leisure Facilities Number of communities 300 benefiting from actions

Arts/Cultural Recreational Facilities Infrastructure 300 300

Increase in Internet penetration in rural areas is not supported under this measure.

151


Impact Net additional value expressed in PPS Net additional full-time equivalent jobs created

€16.87m

750

Numbers benefiting from facilities by category (new indicator) Gender Age < 25 years – 10,000 Infrastructure Male: 15,000 Female: 15,000 > 25 years – 20,000

152

Social Group


Village Renewal and Development Legal basis Article 52 (b) (ii) of Reg. (EC) N° 1698/2005 Point 5.3.3.2.2 of Annex II of regulation (EC) N° 1974/2006 Measure Code: 322 Rationale for intervention Villages and small towns are the focal point for a significant section of the rural community and as such are a priority for development. The focus for improvement will extend to the enhancement of villages, small towns and the surrounding countryside. Actions will be aimed at enhancing the environmental, amenity and surface structural aspects of these communities and as such will have complementarity with other Axis 3 measures, particularly tourism and conservation of the local heritage. All actions under this measure involving public areas must be agreed with the relevant local authority. Objective of the measure To provide appropriate supports to enhance the economic and social attractiveness of villages, small towns and the surrounding countryside Content • Environmental upgrading, e.g. upgrading parks, civic areas, river walks etc • Access facilities to amenities • Public utilities such as street lighting etc • General surface upgrading and renovation of relevant derelict buildings excluding traditional farm buildings, which will be eligible for support under Axis 2 • Farmers’ markets • Other small-scale actions. Demarcation Urban renewal measures supported by the ERDF will be limited to Gateway and Hub towns only. The village renewal measure under the EAFRD will be excluded from Gateway and Hub towns and will fully respect the definition of rural areas in this programme Target group All rural dwellers Target area Countryside, villages and small towns

Financing − Total Cost: − Public Expenditure:

€72.00m €54.20m

153


Quantified targets for EU ccommon indicators Type of indicator Output

Result

Impact

Indicator Number of villages where actions took place Total volume of investments Population in rural areas benefiting from improved services Increase in internet penetration in rural areas Net additional value expressed in PPS Net additional full-time equivalent jobs created

Output Activity Renovation of buildings Environmental upgrading Farmers’ markets Surface and amenity improvements Other small-scale infrastructure

Target 2007—2013 See below €72.0 million See below See below See below See below

Number of villages and communities benefiting from enhancement 1,000 1,000 175 2,000 1,000

Result Population in rural areas benefiting from enhancement actions: includes economic, social, consumer and visual benefit Population Renovation Upgrading Markets Surface Other benefiting Small towns Villages

200,000 30,000

300,000 100,000

40,000 50,000

800,000 300,000

100,000 100,000

Countryside

20,000

100,000

10,000

50,000

20,000

Impact Net additional value expressed in PPS

€18.50m

Net additional full-time equivalent jobs created

1,000

154


Conservation and Upgrading of the Rural Heritage Legal basis Article 52 (b) (iii) of Reg. (EC) N° 1698/2005 Point 5.3.3.2.3 of Annex II of regulation (EC) N° 1974/2006 Measure Code: 323 Rationale for intervention Rural heritage resources, be they natural, built or cultural in form must be developed and utilised in a sustainable manner, by and for, the good of the community. Under this measure, conservation actions should be extended to include not just conservation and protection actions for the natural, cultural, social and vernacular heritage but also encompass pro-active initiatives in relation to the utilisation of local resources to provide sustainable and renewable energy options for local communities. Likewise, actions concerning environmental awareness and improvement should be complementary to those, particularly under the Agri-environmental section of the programme. Such actions should have a strong local community aspect and address the protection of the natural environment, particularly in relation to water quality and degradation of natural amenities including local beaches and other coastal areas of high environmental and economic value to local communities. A high degree of complementarity with renewable energy actions under Axis 1 and agri-environmental actions under Axis 2 will be obligatory under this measure. Actions funded under the EAFRD to protect local water bodies will focus on the amenity and recreational value of such resources while ERDF-supported interventions will address water treatment and drinking quality standards. Similarly, actions at farm level to protect water resources will be supported primarily under Axis 2 and any such actions will be excluded from support under this measure. Objective of the measure To provide an integrated approach to the protection of the local heritage through a suite of related preservation actions, complemented by a range of initiatives designed to develop the sustainable economic contribution of the natural heritage Content • Actions to preserve and develop vernacular architecture, crafts, archaeology, cultural traditions etc. • Integrated plans for the restoration and development of locally significant natural areas, features and areas of environmental significance • Community environmental actions to protect and restore the amenity value of local water resources and high-value nature areas • Other environmental initiatives aimed at waste reduction • Alternative or renewable energy actions addressing suitability of new technologies to meet community energy needs; awareness actions for community groups and, under certain conditions, capital assistance to community groups adopting such technology.

155


Renewable energy initiatives in this regard must be community focused and the emphasis is equally on the environmental protection of the rural area involved. Many such sustainable energy initiatives will by their very nature be located in areas of high nature value, so there is a natural linkage between them under this heading. Actions, particularly in the domain of renewable energy and with an environmental aspect, must be agreed with the relevant state agencies and respect all environmental legislation and meet best practice standards. Target group Rural population Target area All rural areas Financing − Total Cost: − Public Expenditure:

€74.00m €51.70m

Quantified targets for EU common indicators Type of indicator Output Result

Impact

Indicator Number of rural heritage actions supported Total volume of investments Population in rural areas benefiting from improved services Net additional value expressed in PPS Net additional full-time equivalent jobs created

Output Natural/Verna Cultural cular Heritage Heritage 1,000 Number of rural 1,000 heritage actions supported €15m Total volume of €15m investments

156

Target 2007—2013 See below See below See below See below

See below

Environmental Initiatives 1,000

Renewable Energy 500

€15m

€29m


Result Natural/Verna cular Heritage Small Town 10 Community per cent category by Village 20 per popn cent Countryside 70 per cent Total number of 800,000 people benefiting

Cultural Heritage Town 30 per cent Village 40 per cent Countryside 30 per cent 500,000

Environmenta l Initiatives Town 20 per cent Village 25 per cent Countryside 55 per cent 500,000

Impact Net additional value expressed in PPS

â&#x201A;Ź17.60 million

Net additional full-time equivalent jobs created

750

157

Renewable Energy Town 30 per cent Village 50 per cent Countryside 20 per cent * 700,000


Training and Information Measure for Economic Actors Operating in the Fields Covered by Axis 3 Legal basis Article 52 (c) of Reg. (EC) N° 1698/2005 Point 5.3.3.3 of Annex II of regulation (EC) N° 1974/2006 Measure Code: 331 Rationale for intervention The overall priority for the axis is to stimulate economic and social activity in all rural areas. The range of actions to deliver this priority was chosen to deliver the optimum economic and social impact while demonstrating internal as well as external complementarity at axis level. However, the successful implementation of these measures also requires training in adapted and new skills for all rural dwellers and communities. The importance of training to personal development also means that this measure constitutes a priority in itself and must also demonstrate a clear complementarity to any training actions under Axis 1. Objective of the measure To equip rural dwellers and communities with the appropriate range of skills and training to derive maximum social and economic benefit from the initiatives available under this axis. Content • Provision of general/specialised training courses in fixed/mobile facilities and inhouse development of appropriate training facilities linked to the increased use of know-how and new technologies to make the products and services in rural areas more competitive • Provision of flexible learning opportunities in new technology for women, young people and minority groups in particular • Development of training facilities in rural areas (fixed/mobile) • Facilitation of distant learning (mainstream or tailored courses) through the use of new technologies • Provision of relevant training courses to those wishing to add value to local products, in particular by facilitating access to markets for small production units via collective actions • Developing the capacity of rural dwellers to utilise ICT including Internet and broadband to access ℮services and other public/commercial electronic applications. This measure has been designed to complement the proposed telecommunications intervention under the two Regional Operational Programmes aimed at expanding the supply and coverage of broadband territorially. Demarcation The ESF will address mainstream vocational education and training programmes specifically geared to the general labour market. The EAFRD will be targeted towards responding only to local community niche needs specific to the measures contained in this programme, e.g. learning to utilise ICT to enhance a rural tourism product.

158


Technical support Financing will be available within this measure to Local Action Groups to support the provision of specific technical input. Such technical support would include access to specialised technical resources, knowledge or skills not generally available within the group or applicable only to specific measures or actions. Exchange of specialist information, know-how or best practice would also be supported under this measure. Financial support under this measure to facilitate technical support is capped at €7.90m. Target group All rural dwellers Target area All rural areas Financing − Total Cost: − Public Expenditure:

€29.45m €29.45m

Quantified targets for EU common indicators Type of indicator Output

Result

Indicator Number of participating economic actions to supported activities Number of days of training received by participants Number of participants that successfully ended a training activity

Target 2007-2013 See below See below See below

Output Number of rural dwellers trained: 100,000 Nature of activity undertaken Category Elearning/craft/ICT/marketing etc. Gender: Male 50,000 Female 50,000 Age group: < 25 years 20,000 25 – 44 years 50,000 Over 44 years 30,000 Groups prioritised in National Training Social group Strategy Number of days of training received by 250,000 participants

159


Category Gender: Male Female Age group: < 25 years 25 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 44 years Over 44 years Social group

Result Number of participants that completed a training activity 45,000 45,000 18,000 45,000 27,000 Groups prioritised in National Training Strategy

160


A Skills-Acquisition and Animation Measure with a view to Preparing and Implementing a Local Development Strategy Legal basis Article 52 (d) of Reg. (EC) N° 1698/2005 Point 5.3.3.2.1 of Annex II of regulation (EC) N° 1974/2006 Measure Code: 341 Rationale for intervention The experience gained from past LEADER programmes has shown that Local Development Strategies offer an appropriate model for the delivery of a range of rural economy measures. Such a delivery mechanism strengthens territorial coherence and provides a concentrated programming impact. Since Axis 3 measures will be delivered through the LEADER methodology by Local Action Groups, the animation and capacity building needs of the rural territory are central to a successful uptake of the programme in all rural areas. Objective of the measure To utilise the bottom-up structures of the LEADER methodology to create awareness, understanding and motivation in rural communities so as to enable their full participation and input into the preparation of local development strategies. Content Actions will include: • Animation activities at group and individual level to encourage community involvement in a broad range of social and economic activities • Capacity-building measures aimed at community and minority groups to foster the spirit of social capital and self-help • Initiatives aimed at geographically disadvantaged communities or those lacking in sufficient mass to enhance cohesion and capacity to develop • Initiatives to animate specific interest or marginal groups to harness unique potential Demarcation Skills and animation activities are limited solely to developing local capacity to participate in, and contribute to, Local Action Groups no demarcation issues should arise Target group Community groups and all forms of local partnership Target area All rural areas

161


Financing − Total Cost: − Public Expenditure:

€34.63m €34.63m

Quantified targets for EU common indicators Type of indicator Output

Result

Indicator Number of skill acquisition and animation actions Number of participants in actions Number of supported public/private partnerships Number of participants that successfully ended a training activity

Target 2007—2013 See below See below See below See below

Output Number of skills acquisition and animation actions carried out: 50,000 Nature of activity Category Skills acquisition/Animation Gender: Male 25,000 Female 25,000 Age group: < 25 years 10,000 25 – 44 years 25,000 Over 44 years 15,000 Those identified in LAG business plans Group category Axis 3 will be delivered entirely by Local Number of supported public/private Action Groups; no Public Private partnerships Partnerships will be involved at official delivery level. Result Number of participants that completed an activity Gender Male Female Age group: < 25 years 25 – 44 years Over 44 years Social group

25,000 25,000 10,000 25,000 15,000 Those prioritised in LAG business plans

162


Implementing Local Development Strategies Legal basis As referred to in Article 62(1)(a) with a view to achieving the objectives of one or more of the three other axes defined in sections 1, 2 and 3 (Article 63(a) of Reg. (EC) N° 1698/2005) Articles 37 to 39 and point 5.3.4.1 of Annex II of Commission Regulation (EC) N° 1974/2006 Measure Code: 41 Rationale for intervention Through successive rounds of the LEADER programme, local action groups have developed through the bottom-up approach to an extent where LEADER now delivers a local development strategy in all rural areas. To achieve further integration of programming in the wider rural community and avoid duplication of actions, it is appropriate that the LEADER methodology is introduced to mainstream rural development programming to deliver all measures under Axes 3 and 4. However, the highly innovative LEADER approach will also be developed to address rural needs in relevant spheres outside the confines of the measures of Axis 3.

Objective of the measure To deliver integrated value-added measures in the whole of the rural territory across Axis 3. Procedure and timetable for selection of local action groups (LAGs) The process for selection of local action groups will commence when a draft national rural development programme has been submitted to the EU Commission for approval. The selection process, including a call for proposals, submission of applications with business plan, evaluation and final selection of groups should be completed in time to facilitate timely implementation of the programme. Procedures to select groups will be open to all rural areas, all existing groups and partnerships developed through the Cohesion process currently underway. Selection criteria will include: • The coherence of the plan with the nature of the territory, particularly in socioeconomic terms. It must prove its economic viability, innate innovation and sustainability in the sense that resources will be used in such a way that the options available to future generations are not impaired • The degree to which the plan targets support, which seeks to enhance the job opportunities and/or activities for women and young people • The level of business activity demonstrated in the proposed actions • The rigour and depth of the needs assessment and the described links between needs assessment, the process and outcome of local objective setting, activities, actions and projects, and their relationship with national and EU policy objectives • The extent of the commitment, ability and proposed methods for ensuring on-theground co-operation with other agencies involved in local development

163


• • • • •

The overall flexibility of the plans with regard to ongoing local needs and policy review, as well as wider contextual policy development (e.g. the national spatial strategy and/or the County Development planning process) The groups management structure, administrative ability and financial status The physical size and population of the territory, its degree of rurality and the characteristics of the area population The degree to which co-operation is integrated into the local development strategy Representation of the community pillars in the area concerned (and observance of the ‘bottom-up principle’)

Indicative number of LAGs It is not possible to pre-empt the objective selection process for the programme but current coverage of the entire rural territory is provided by 35 territorial LAGs and three representative organisations. The LEADER Methodology/LAGs and Axes 3 and 4 will cover the entire rural territory as indicated under measures 41/421/431. The inclusion of physical size is not a criterion but a characteristic that should be referenced in LAG business plans. Areas whose population falls outside the size limits of 5,000 and 150,000 In the current LEADER+ programme almost one third of all LAGs service a territory with a population greater than 100,000. Only one group, with a predominantly periurban population on the fringe of the Greater Dublin Area, exceeds the size limit of 150,000 inhabitants. Any applications proposing to exceed the size limits will be evaluated according to the physical size and geography of the territory, the degree of rurality and the characteristics of the population living there. Proposals to establish groups covering a population of less than 5,000 will only be considered justified in the case of geographic fragmentation, e.g. islands, or very low population density e.g. less than 10 persons/km2. Selection of operations by LAGs The basic template governing the activities of LAGs, including the focus on type of operation, will be the formally approved business plan submitted as part of the final approval and contract process. The further balance of activity will be determined by the financial allocation to the groups, eligible activities as defined by the measures in the programme and subsequent detailed national operating rules determining eligibility of actions and expenditure. Project selection will be further strengthened by the use of expert project evaluation committees established within the group structure. Financial circuits applicable to LAGs Local Action Groups will act as intermediate bodies for the disbursement of the national portion of public programme funding to successful project applicants. This function will be delegated to the LAGs by the Paying Agency, as provided for under article 6(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1290/2005. When eligible projects are completed and documentation submitted, LAGs can apply to the Paying Agency for re-imbursement of the EU-funded portion of the project costs already paid out by them.

164


Demarcation criteria with structural funds financing The scope of actions under Axes 3 and 4 as set out in this programme is limited to fall under the EAFRD and would not intervene in the areas set aside for the Operational Programmes 2007–2013 to be supported by the ERDF and ESF. Breaking this down further, County Development Boards have government responsibility for coordinating the delivery of measures locally through local authorities and area development groups. Conscious of the need to avoid duplication of interventions, Local Action Groups will be obliged to have cross-representation arrangements with County Development Boards and have business plans endorsed by them. EFF: Support under the EAFRD will be limited to in-situ actions by coastal communities and will either deliver or complement actions under Axis 4 of the EFF when formally adopted. Demarcation with other local community initiatives The Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs has set down detailed criteria for Local Action Groups delivering nationally funded local community initiatives on its behalf. The operating rules governing the rural development programme will ensure there is no overlap between it and any community initiatives in operation. Financing

− Total Cost: − Public Expenditure:

€4.10m €4.10m

Quantified targets for EU common indicators Type of indicator

Output

Indicator Number of local action groups supported Total size of LAGs area (in km2)

Impact

Max 39 Whole rural territory

Number of projects financed by LAGs Result

Target

Gross number of jobs created Number of successful training results Net additional value expressed in PPS Net additional FTE jobs created

165

5,000 7,750 (FT+PT) 1,500 courses and 40,000 persons €4.0 million 8,000


Implementing Co-Operation Projects Involving the Objective Selected under Point (A) Legal basis Article 63(b) of Reg. (EC) N° 1698/2005 Measure Code: 421 Scope and actions Transnational and inter-territorial co-operation will be supported under this measure. Co-operation is allowable between LEADER groups and other non-LEADER groups provided the project involved is led and co-ordinated by a LEADER group. Support will be available for projects falling under Axis 3 and also for innovative and experimental approaches to promoting joint ventures addressing common issues. This context, preparatory activity, co-ordination and animation are eligible for funding. While joint actions may involve groups from third countries, only activities taking place within the EU are eligible for funding. All cross-border projects involving LAGs from Northern Ireland must be submitted to the relevant Managing Authority and endorsed by the Cross Border Steering Group for Rural Development. Inter-territorial co-operation has the twin aims of achieving the critical mass necessary for a joint project to be viable and encouraging complementary actions in adjoining LAGs. Co-operation should not consist simply of exchanges of experience but must include the implementation of a joint project – supported by a common structure if possible. Special emphasis will be placed on co-operation at the regional level, particularly in relation to tourism and environmental initiatives that naturally span a number of LAG territories. Procedure, timetable and objective criteria to select inter-territorial and transnational cooperation projects The co-operation methodology must be integrated in the business plans of LAGs at the outset of the programme. The selection and approval of projects must be carried out to the same extent as for other projects, i.e. through the project evaluation committee process. The value-added benefit of all projects must be clearly demonstrated and transparent. To underline the importance of co-operation, each LAG must reserve a minimum of 3 per cent of its annual public funding allocation for this measure.

Financing

− Total Cost: − Public Expenditure:

€10.70m €10.70m

166


Quantified targets for EU common indicators Type of indicator Output Result Impact

Indicator Number of supported cooperation projects Number of cooperating LAGs

150 All

Gross number of jobs created

200

Net additional FTE jobs created

100

167

Target


Running the Local Action Group, Acquiring Skills and Animating the Territory Legal basis Article 59 (Article 63(c) of Reg. (EC) N° 1698/2005) Measure Code: 431 Rationale for the measure Since the LEADER methodology will be utilised to implement integrated wider community rural development programming in all rural areas, the efficient administration of the Local Action Group is the key target for support under this measure. Generally, the skills acquisition and animation measure under Axis 3 will extend to cover any similar actions necessary under this measure. However, a certain amount of training activity will be necessary for both board members and LAG staff. This training will be included under the general administration budget. Objective of the measure To provide LAGs with sufficient resources and expertise to efficiently administer all measures under Axes 3 and 4 throughout all of the rural territory. Limit to apply on the share of the LAG budget for overhead costs: The administration budget for each LAG is set at a maximum of 20 per cent of public funding, at programme and group level. Financing − Total Cost − Public Expenditure:

€80.73m €80.73m

Quantified targets for EU common indicators Type of indicator Output

Result

Indicator Number of skill acquisition and animation actions Number of participants in actions Number of successful training results

168

Target 200 1200 1,200 persons having completed either a skills-acquisition or animation course


Rates of aid applicable to LEADER/Axis 3 Rates of aid cannot exceed rates available to comparable projects under other grant aid schemes operated by Government Departments and State agencies. Subject to this underlying principle the maximum rate of public funding as a general rule will be 50 per cent, with the following exceptions: • Administration up to 100 per cent • Animation up to 100 per cent • Training up to 100 per cent • Analysis and development for community-based projects up to 90 per cent and 75 per cent for private promoters, subject in all cases to a maximum of €30,000 per project • Community groups will be eligible for a higher rate of aid at 75 per cent where this higher rate of grant would not discriminate against private interests or promoters in the same sphere of activity. Grant aid must conform to the provisions of de minimis legislation, with the exception of two measures, i.e. Basic Services (321) and Village Renewal (322). Public funding for these measures does not constitute State Aid and so the maximum rate of grant is set at €500,000, subject to prior Department approval. In all other cases the standard ceiling for grant aid will be €150,000 with prior approval required from the Department for higher levels up to the de minimis ceiling.

169


6,7 and 8 Financing Plan Annual Contribution from EAFRD (in EURO)

6.1

Financial Plan by Axis (in EURO, total period)

Table 6.1: Annual Contribution from the EAFRD (in EURO) 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012

Year 2013 Total EAFRD 373,683,516 355,014,220 329,171,422 333,372,252324,698,528 316,771,063 307,203,589

Table 6.2: Financial Plan by Axis (in EURO, total period) Axis

Axis 1 Axis 2 Axis 3 / Axis 4 (1) Technical Assistance Total

Public Contribution Total public EAFRD contribution rate (per cent) 482,000,000 50.00 per cent 3,385,298,800 55.00 per cent 425,455,000 55.00 per cent 6,000,000 50.00 per cent 4,298,753,800

(1)

Axis 3 measures are to be implemented using the LEADER (Axis 4) approach.

170

EAFRD amount 241,000,000 1,861,914,340 234,000,250 3,000,000 2,339,914,590


Table 7: Indicative breakdown by Rural Development Measure (in EURO, total period) Public Private Expenditure Expenditure

Measure / Axis

Total Cost

(111) Vocational training and information actions (112) Setting up of young farmers

14,000,000 58,000,000

-

14,000,000 58,000,000

(113) Early retirement of farmers and farm workers

360,000,000

-

360,000,000

(121) Farm modernisation Total Axis 1 (212) Payments to farmers in areas with handicaps, other than mountain areas

50,000,000 482,000,000

78,000,000 78,000,000

128,000,000 560,000,000

895,000,000

-

895,000,000

401,000,000

-

401,000,000

(214) Agri-environmental payments

2,089,298,800

-

2,089,298,800

Total Axis 2

3,385,298,800

-

3,385,298,800

Axis 3 Implemented under Axis 4

-

-

-

Total Axis 3 (41) Local development strategies of which:

-

-

-

(213) Natura 2000 payments and payments linked to Directive 2000/60/EC (WFD)

(413) Quality of life/diversification Total Axis 4

425,455,000 139,000,000 564,455,000 425,455,000 139,000,000 564,455,000 4,292,753,800 217,000,000 4,509,753,800

Total Axes 1, 2, 3 and 4 511 Technical Assistance

6,000,000

6,000,000

of which amount for the national rural network (where relevant):

3,000,000

3,000,000

750,000

750,000

2,250,000

2,250,000

(a) Running costs (b) Action plan

4,298,753,800 217,000,000 4,515,753,800

Grand Total

171


Table 8: Additional national financing (Article 16(f) of Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005) (In EURO, total period) Measure / Axis 1

Additional National Financing

(112) Setting up of young farmers

5,000,000

(113) Early retirement of farmers and farm workers

58,000,000

(121) Farm modernisation Total Axis 1

35,000,000 98,000,000

Measure / Axis 2 (212) Payments to farmers in areas with handicaps, other than mountain areas

904,000,000

(213) Natura 2000 payments and payments linked to Directive 2000/60/EC (WFD)

64,000,000

(214) Agri-environmental payments Total Axis 2

414,000,000 1,382,000,000

Measure/Axes 3 and 4

-

Grand Total

1,480,000,000

172


9.

Competition (State Aid) appraisal

As indicated in Section 8, additional state aid financing is being provided for a number of measures under Axes 1 and 2 of this programme. The state aid position in relation to that financing is indicated in the table below. Also shown in that table is the position regarding compliance of Axes 3 and 4 measures with the de minimis regulation. In this context measure codes 321 and 322 are excluded, as they do not constitute state aid. State Aid (Table A) Annex II, point 9 A of Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1974/2006 Measures falling within the scope of Article 36 of the EC Treaty Measure Name of the Aid Indication of the Code Scheme lawfulness of the scheme

Duration of aid scheme

Axis 1 112 113 121

Setting up of young farmers Early retirement of farmers and farm workers Farm modernisation

Registration Number XA 2007—2013 105/07 Registration number XA 106/07

2007—2013

Information on compliance with Reg 1974/2006 2007—2013 set out in Appendix 5

Axis 2

212

213

214

Payments to farmers in areas with handicaps, other than mountain areas Natura 2000 payments and payments linked to Directive 2000/60/EC Agrienvironmental payments

Information on compliance with Reg 1974/2006 2007—2013 set out in Appendix 5 Information on compliance with Reg 1974/2006 2007—2013 set out in Appendix 5 Information on compliance with Reg 1974/2006 2007—2013 set out in Appendix 5

173


State Aid (Table B) Measures falling outside the scope of Article 36 of the EC Treaty Annex 11 point 9B of Commission Regulation EC No. 1974/2006 Axis 3 Measure Name of the Aid Indication of the lawfulness Duration of scheme Code of the Scheme Aid scheme Diversification into nonCompliance with De Minimis 311 2007—2013 agricultural Regulation 1998/2006 activities Support for the creation and Compliance with De Minimis 312 2007—2013 development of Regulation 1998/2006 micro-enterprises Encouragement of Compliance with De Minimis 313 2007—2013 tourism activities Regulation 1998/2006 Conservation and Compliance with De Minimis 323 upgrading of the 2007—2013 Regulation 1998/2006 rural heritage Training and information for economic actors Compliance with De Minimis 331 2007—2013 operating in the Regulation 1998/2006 fields covered by Axis 3 Skills acquisition and animation with a view to Compliance with De Minimis 341 preparing and 2007—2013 Regulation 1998/2006 implementing a local development strategy

174


10. Complementarity with other CAP instruments and EU Policies Axis 4 Measures falling outside the scope of Article 36 of the EC Treaty Annex 11 point 9B of Commission Regulation EC No. 1974/2006 Measure Name of the Aid Indication of the lawfulness Duration of Code scheme of the Scheme Aid scheme Quality of Compliance with De Minimis 413 2007—2013 life/diversification Regulation 1998/2006 Trans-national Compliance with De Minimis 421 and inter-regional 2007—2013 Regulation 1998/2006 cooperation Running the local action group, Compliance with De Minimis 431 2007—2013 skills acquisition, Regulation 1998/2006 animation

175


General appraisal The measures in this programme complement the support available in Ireland under the first pillar of the CAP. Direct income payments to farmers under that pillar are based on the principle of full decoupling, i.e. they are not linked in any manner to production. Market returns are, therefore, the key to production. This in turn puts an emphasis on competitiveness, and the Axis 1 measures in this programme address this priority in the important areas of restructuring and farm modernisation. The Axis 2 measures also tie in with the first pillar support. These underline the public good aspect of agriculture and the importance of sustainability. In this, they reflect and expand upon the environmental-related conditions attached to the direct income payments. The support being provided under Axis 3 is also completely compatible with the first pillar of CAP. Targeted as it is on the ‘off-farm’ economy, it recognises the importance of wider rural development both to the agricultural sector and to the overall rural population. The programme also complements Ireland’s national strategic reference framework for European Cohesion policy 2007—2013. That framework concerns support from the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund. The strategic focus is on human capital investment, innovation, knowledge and entrepreneurship and strengthening the competitiveness and connectivity of the gateways and hubs set out in the National Spatial Strategy. This focus harmonises with rather than duplicates the priorities of this programme. In any event, there will a mechanism—set out in the following section—to ensure that there is no overlap or duplication of interventions. This programme will not provide support to the fisheries sector or aquaculture industry. It will, however, complement actions under the European Fisheries Fund through support for coastal communities under Axes 3 and 4. As with the other European Funds, there will be procedures to ensure complementarity and demarcation between fund interventions. Specifically an inter-departmental group is being established to oversee implementation of fisheries and marine related actions under the FIFG and EAFRD funds. Complementarity will be further ensured through the recent inclusion of Fisheries within the remit of the Department of Agriculture and Food. It is also relevant that Ireland’s National Development Plan 2007—2013 contains a number of exchequer-funded measures that have a clear rural development focus. These measures include sectoral on-farm investment support, assistance for afforestation and related forestry activities, and an animal welfare scheme for the suckler herd. The measures complement those in this programme and, in particular, address the competitiveness and environmental priorities under Axes 1 and 2. The measures were drafted in parallel with those in this programme and were subject to the same consultation and evaluation process. Together with the measures in this programme, they form part of the agriculture and food support in the National Development Plan and, through its monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, will be kept under continuous review to ensure consistency of approach. Measures under Axes 3 and 4 have been formulated to complement nationally funded programmes aimed at improving social and economic infrastructure in less populated rural areas (CLÁR programme as described in Section 3.4 ‘Impact from previous programming

176


period’). A national scheme offering low-income farmers income support opportunities through providing services to local communities has been designed around the structure of the LEADER methodology (Rural Social Scheme as described in Section 3.4 ‘Impact from previous programming period’). In this way complementary national initiatives strengthen the social and economic impact of measures in Axes 3 and 4. Turning to the programme’s compatibility with other EU strategies, Ireland’s national rural development strategy outlined the linkage to its Lisbon Reform Programme that was launched in October 2005. That programme accepted the emphasis on growth and jobs while also recognising social equity and environmentally sustainable development as inter-related goals. The rural development strategy and this related programme are very much in line with the Lisbon Reform Programme. Axis 1 and Axis 2 will promote competitiveness and sustainable development respectively. The Axis 3 measures will also contribute to these objectives while in addition enhancing social inclusion. Other EU strategies reflected in this programme include: • • • • • •

Plan for Organic Farming –The organic sector will benefit from the particular arrangements applicable to it under the rural environment protection scheme in Axis 2. Climate Change – The Axis 2 measures are particularly relevant here. EU Biodiversity Strategy 2010 – Natura 2000 sites will be supported under Axis 2. The afforestation measure will also contribute to biodiversity. 6th Community Environment Action Programme – Community actions targeting sustainable use of local resources and waste reduction initiatives under Axis 3 will support the objectives of this programme. EU i2010 ICT Strategy – training and access to ICT systems, e-public and ebusiness services supported under Axis 3 are relevant to this strategy. European Marine Strategy Directive – Axes 3/4 measures will, where relevant, demonstrate a complementarity with its aims.

Demarcation criteria for Axes 1, 2 and 3/4 measures The measures within Axes 1 and 2 will be administered by the Department of Agriculture and Food and concern sectors/areas that are within its remit. They relate to actions that are not eligible for support under another Community instrument and do not duplicate the support schemes referred to in Annex 1 of Regulation 1974/2006. The Axis 3 measures that fall within the remit of the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs are included in the priority. They are included the chapter on the rural economy in the NDP. Their complementarity with a suite of nationally and EU co-funded measures that will benefit the rural economy is demonstrated in that plan and has already been referred to in the above general appraisal. In liaison with the managing authorities for other EU—funded Programmes 2007— 2013 the Managing Authority for this programme identified the possible risk of overlapping and is satisfied that no overlapping will arise. 177


The following potential areas of risk of overlapping were assessed: • •

Accessibility—ERDF emphasis will be on public infrastructure, while EAFRD emphasis in Axis 3 will be on community-based services. Risk prevention—ERDF support as currently proposed envisages supporting publicly funded and managed (by local authorities) source protection in rural areas and pilot treatment facilities in small rural villages to protect water intended for human consumption and to prevent risks to public water supplies. The EAFRDsupported rural development programme provides for on-farm privately cofinanced pollution control, on-farm environmental protection and community amenity-type investments along waterways. Renewable energies—ERDF funding will support energy-efficient transport, public buildings and industrial premises, renewable energy demonstration projects, sustainable energy zones and innovation schemes. EAFRD support for renewable energies will apply to development and initiatives by rural communities to reduce the carbon footprint. Such initiatives will focus on use and adaptation of local resources and raw materials to provide innovative energy-efficient systems to local communities and small villages. Such initiatives will be developed in consultation with the competent authorities. Natural and cultural heritage—ERDF supports will assist the restoration and upgrading of natural and cultural heritage sites in designated urban centres. EAFRD funding is targeted at rural areas, including villages. Broadband—ERDF funding for broadband will focus on the provision of local infrastructure through the further roll-out of the MANS networks and Group Broadband Scheme for smaller rural communities, via regional and local authorities. The EAFRD will be limited in scope to support for local actions to benefit from the availability of broadband infrastructure, e.g. through access to public e-services etc. Training—The ESF will support training to facilitate a return to mainstream employment and strengthen the national labour market pool. The EAFRD will fund limited local training of rural dwellers to maximise uptake of the LEADER methodology and facilitate involvement in measures under Axis 3. Fisheries—The EFF will fund activities in the marine and fisheries sector. The EAFRD will be limited in scope to on-shore support of local coastal communities.

At local administrative level County Development Boards have government responsibility for co-ordinating the delivery of measures locally through local authorities and area development groups. Conscious of the need to avoid duplication of interventions, Local Action Groups will be obliged to have cross-representation arrangements with County Development Boards and have business plans endorsed by them. Specific complementarity with other key priority areas such as rural enterprise and tourism will be achieved through consultation with Regional Tourism Authorities and formal sectoral agreements with County Enterprise Boards. All relevant service providers will be represented on the boards of Local Action Groups. To ensure continued satisfactory co-operation and demarcation between EU-funded programmes, a committee on co-ordination of EU funds is to be established. This is detailed in Ireland’s national strategic reference framework (NSRF) for European

178


Cohesion policy. The NSRF under the Department of Finance provides that assistance under the ERDF, ESF, EAFRD and EFF is consistent with the activities, policies and priorities of the EU and complementary with other financial instruments of the Community and that no duplication of effort takes place. The committee to be established under the NSRF will seek to ensure synergy between operational programmes and may be called upon to resolve possible demarcation issues. It will include the two Departments charged with implementation of this programme, together with the managing authorities for other operational programmes.

179


11.

Designation of Competent Responsible Bodies

Authorities

and

The Department of Agriculture and Food has overall responsibility for fulfilling the role of the member state in accordance with Article 74 of Regulation (EC) No. 1698/2005. The Department has structures in place to ensure that its administrative and control systems protect the financial interests of the EU. These include appropriate numbers of trained administrative staff in authorising divisions, a technical inspectorate which carries out controls on the spot, an appropriately staffed and trained Internal Audit Unit, an Accreditation Review Group chaired by the head of the paying agency, to review compliance with Accreditation criteria laid down in Annex I of Commission Regulation 885/2006 and to ensure relevant audit findings are followed up, and an audit committee chaired by an external person, and with external membership, both from the public and private sectors. In addition, a written agreement covering compliance with accreditation criteria is at present being finalised with the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, which will manage the Axes 3 and 4 measures as a delegated body and there is cross-representation between the two departments on their respective Accreditation Review Groups. The designated authorities in line with Article 74 of Regulation 1698/2005 are as follows: Managing Authority – CAP Rural Development Division of the Department of Agriculture and Food will have this role. The division will carry out the functions set out in Article 75 of Regulation 1698/2005. It has fulfilled a similar function in relation to the CAP Rural Development Plan 2000—2006. The managing authority is responsible for managing and implementing the programme in an efficient, effective and correct way. Paying Agency – The Department of Agriculture and Food is the accredited paying agency within the meaning of Article 6 of Regulation (EC) No. 1290/2005. Within the Department, the divisions implementing the individual schemes and Finance Division, which will certify EAFRD payment claims, will meet the relevant responsibilities. In the case of Axis 3/4 measures, the paying agency’s responsibilities are delegated to the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and, through it, local action groups. EAFRD claims will, however, also be channelled through the Finance Division of the Department of Agriculture and Food. The paying agency has to provide guarantees as to validity of payments and retention of supporting documents. Certifying Body – Deloitte & Touche is the appointed certifying body within the meaning of Article 7 of Regulation No. 1290/2005. The certifying body is an independent overseer of the truthfulness, completeness and accuracy of the paying agency’s accounts. The management and control structure is summarised in the chart in Appendix 7.

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12. Monitoring and Evaluation System Description In line with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No. 1698/2005, the Department of Agriculture and Food – as the managing authority – and the monitoring committee will have responsibility for the monitoring and evaluation system. That system will take account of the EU common monitoring and evaluation framework (CMEF). As with the ex-ante evaluation, the mid-term and ex-post evaluations will be undertaken by independent evaluators. On-going monitoring and evaluation work will supplement these. The implementing Departments – Agriculture and Food and Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs – will carry this out. Its scope and nature will be informed by the CMEF requirements, the outcome of the independent evaluations and the deliberations of the monitoring committee. Envisaged composition of the monitoring committee The monitoring committee will be set up within three months of EU approval of this programme. It will be chaired by the Department of Agriculture and Food and is likely to include representation from: • • • •

Farming and rural bodies Regional/local government Environmental and equality interests Relevant Government Departments and bodies.

The monitoring committee will oversee the implementation of the programme. The EU Commission is entitled to participate in its work in an advisory capacity.

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13. Communication Plan on Information and Publicity Aim The aim of the communication plan is: • • • • • • •

To ensure awareness, understanding and action where applicable among the primary audience of beneficiaries To inform and educate the primary audience of the administrative procedures and applications for finance To communicate to the beneficiaries and relevant secondary target audiences (detailed below) information regarding the contribution made by the EAFRD To provide information and publicity for the general public on measures financed under this programme and on its overall progress To inform the public of the programmes adoption by the EU Commission and its updates, the main achievements in the implementation of the programme and its closure. The slogan and logo for the EAFRD will be included in such publications To provide for constant review to ensure the above aims are achieved To deliver the communication plan at a cost-efficient price.

Responsibility of the managing authority The managing authority will have overall responsibility for the communication plan. It will liaise with the Departments and divisions responsible for the individual measures to ensure coherent action. It will also arrange for the monitoring committee to review progress on the action plan and to consider possible adaptations. In addition the managing authority will link in with the national rural network to ensure a coordinated approach to the dissemination of information. Starting from 2008, the managing authority will publish annually by electronic means the list of beneficiaries receiving support under the programme, the measures involved and the amounts of public contributions allocated. Target groups The primary target audience comprises: • Potential beneficiaries, and the • General public. There are additional key groups that will be a focus of the communications plan and will, thus, be both informed and aware of the programme. In this context, over 70 groups engaged in the consultative process on the rural development strategy and programme. The groups covered a wide spectrum including farming/rural interests, national/regional/local authorities, and equality and environmental matters. In consultation with the national rural network, the managing authority foresees an important role for these groups in disseminating information about the programme. A similar role can be played by the European Commission Office in Dublin, which will also be kept informed of developments under the programme.

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Communication plan and information measure Over the period of the programme the managing authority will disseminate comprehensive information on the RDP using all suitable media facilities. The role of and financial contributions from the EAFRD will be referenced in the appropriate information measures made available to interested applicants. The communication plan will involve using a number of media channels to communicate to the primary and secondary audiences that will be both constant and in phases over the seven year period. These channels are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Advertising campaign Website Print material* PR Media relationship management Seminars / Road shows/ Conferences

-

Phases Constant Constant Constant Constant Phases

(*to include brochures and information leaflets etc)

The advertising campaign is planned to run over a number of concentrated phases to achieve maximum impact and awareness of the programme. The timing of each phase will be tailored to achieve and deliver on the aims. Media planning will be based on using all available market research tools. The initial phase in 2007 will involve extensive advertisement in the national newspapers, farming press, development of website information and distribution to the target groups of print material on the programme. This is the key launch phase for announcing the commencement of the programme and making both primary and secondary audiences aware of the programme and the positive impact this will have. To build on the momentum that the launch phase will deliver, the focus of the next phase, over the period of the programme, is to further roll-out the programme information by way of further public advertisement, seminars, information centres at major rural/agricultural shows and updates on the website. Progress reports will be made available to beneficiaries and the general public using the appropriate media tools during the programming period. The information sources, e.g. leaflets, website, will include telephone contact points at national and local level for potential applicants and the general public to discuss the programme and its implementation. The timing of each phase is tailored to achieve and deliver on the aims set out above, more specifically as follows: Phase 1 Septemberâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;October 2007 This is the key launch phase for announcing the commencement of the RDP and making both potential beneficiaries and the general public aware of the programme and the positive impact this will have. The media selection of Department press releases and website, national press, farming press, national and regional radio will be relied upon to deliver this phase.

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Phase 2 February—March 2008 Building on the momentum that the launch phase will deliver, the focus of this phase is to further roll-out the programme information and updates. The media selection is as per phase 1. Phase 3 February—March 2009 This phase is designed to act as both a reminder and an updater of the progress of the RDP. Phase 4 February—March 2011 This is the final planned phase and will be used to further update the beneficiaries on the RDP and to highlight the progress from 2007. Again, the media selection is based on phase 1. The information measures will focus on the following objectives: •

Information for potential applicants and beneficiaries

Promoting greater general public understanding of the objectives and achievements of the programme in Ireland

Ensuring recognition of the role of, and financial contribution from, the EAFRD.

To achieve these objectives the managing authority will undertake the following communication functions: •

Co-ordinate the communication plan for the programme

Assist the monitoring committee in the review, update and dissemination of the communication plan

Publish and circulate of the approved programme and a summary booklet for potential beneficiaries and other interested parties

Make the programme and the summary booklet available throughout the implementing Departments’ national and local office networks

Publish the national rural development strategy

Develop and use information tools including leaflets/posters, advertisements, display stands, advertisements and a website to promote a greater understanding of the programme.

Ensure the role of, and contributions from, the EAFRD are referenced on the websites of the implementing Departments, information leaflets and in their periodic publications

Publish information leaflets/forms/guidance documents on each of the support measures in print and electronic form

Participate in seminar, conferences, information days, rural/agricultural shows to promote a greater understanding of the programme and the implementation and monitoring arrangements in Ireland

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Publish progress reports on the programme in Annual Review and Outlook of the Department of Agriculture and Food and in the respective Annual Reports of the Department of Agriculture and Food and of the Department of Community Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

Publish the relevant support measures in the Schemes and Services Booklet of the Department of Agriculture and Food and in the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs’ guide booklet Many Communities – A Common Focus

Make reference in the information measures to the responsibility of beneficiaries to display an explanatory plaque if in receipt of programme support for an investment greater than €50,000 and a billboard if greater than €500,000

Provide updates on Departments’ websites on the programme and specific support measures

Undertake forward planning of linkages between developments under the communication plan and the European Network for Rural Development.

In addition, the managing authority will perform a support role for the implementing Divisions and the DCRGA by the provision of advice on implementing the publicity and information regulation and assistance in the implementation of the communication plan. Indicative budget The communication plan will be funded by the national exchequer and by the EAFRD. Total funding over the period of the programme is estimated at €1m. Administrative Department/Bodies responsible for implementation of communication Plan CAP Rural Development Division of the Department of Agriculture and Food is the managing authority under the RDP and has responsibility for the preparation and implementation of the communication plan. This task is shared with the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (DCRGA). As the DCRGA has responsibility for the measures under Axes 3 and 4 of the programme, it will have a pivotal role in ensuring implementation of the communication plan in relation to these particular measures. All publication and information measures will be co-ordinated between both Departments. Evaluation of the impact of the information and publicity measures The managing authority will monitor the impact of the information and publicity measures in terms of transparency, awareness of the programme and the role of the EU. This evaluation process will be defined by the respective audiences, i.e. the most effective indicator for the beneficiaries can be determined by take-up of the relevant programmes. For the general public, the independent evaluation at mid-term stage will include an assessment of the effectiveness of the communications plan. While the methodology to be used will be left to the independent evaluators, it will be a core

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condition in the invitation to tender. In addition, a website survey will be conducted to assess stakeholders’ satisfaction with the programme’s publicity measures. The monitoring committee will guide the managing authority as to possible additional publicity measures. The managing authority will ensure that the information and publicity measures are in accord with Annex VI of Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1974/2006 of 15 December 2006 – implementing rules [OJ L 386, 23.12.2006, p.15].

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14. The designation of the partners consulted and the results of the consultation Designation of the partners consulted • • • •

On 24 October 2005 a notice was placed in the national media inviting expressions of interest from organisations wishing to be consulted on the draft national rural development strategy and programme. Eighty-four replies were received. The organisations involved were regarded as having a legitimate interest and were formally designated as consultative partners on 15 November 2005. On 23 December 2005 a consultative document issued to the partners. This sought views as to the priorities, measures and other factors for incorporation into the rural development strategy/programme. Seventy-two submissions were received. Their contents were outlined to the consultative partners at a seminar in Tullamore, Co. Offaly on 14 March 2006. The seminar also afforded an opportunity for participants to expand on their submissions and/or to put forward further ideas. The consultative process covered measures such as forestry that are not covered by this programme. In the interest of complementarity and completeness the comments made on those measures are, however, included in the following sections.

Results of the consultation The submissions covered the full breadth of the proposed strategy/programme and contained a wide variety of views. It is, thus, difficult to present a composite summary but the following were the main points to emerge. • •

• •

There were different views as to the preferred balance between the priorities. While each priority had its advocates, all were viewed as important, with a particular appreciation being shown for the environmental aims of Axis 2. In relation to Axis 1, most considered that support should be slanted towards physical capital (farm improvement etc.) rather than human capital (training etc.). The need to address the age structure issue in agriculture was, however, also cited, as was the desirability of supporting, where possible, renewable energy initiatives. On Axis 2 there was very strong support for the current rural environment protection scheme. It was seen as important in terms of water quality and biodiversity. Two other current schemes, compensatory allowances and forestry, also had significant support counteracted to some extent by critical comments – the long-term benefit to disadvantaged areas was questioned, as was the forestry species mix and use of certain land. Some put forward Natura 2000 and animal welfare as possible measures. In relation to Axis 3 in particular, the need to cross-reference to other policy documents (e.g. spatial strategy, white paper on rural development) and to bear in mind equality and social inclusion issues was highlighted. There was strong support for a rural network. The general view was that this must have broad representation and must cover the full scope of the programme.

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Following the preparation of the draft Rural Development Programme a public consultation process commenced on 7 November 2006. Allied to this a public consultation meeting was held on 28 November 2006. Over forty submissions were received, from different interested parties and individual members of the public. The submissions included general comments on the content of the draft Programme and specific comments and suggestions on the individual measures/schemes proposed in the Programme. The comments and suggestions on the individual measures are summarised in the following section. The observations of a more general nature are summarised here according to their source. Political Parties 1

Fianna Fáil MEPS

The Fianna Fáil members of the European Parliament warmly welcome the expenditure provisions and the range of measures provided for in the Programme. They also identify a number of areas, which they feel should receive more emphasis and attention. These include: • • • •

The need to increase the availability of broadband, particularly the provision of access for Community groups The establishment of an interdepartmental group on child care (Justice, Health and Children, and Agriculture) to ensure that rural communities are receiving adequate funding A proposal to increase the level of tax exemptions available to encourage increased production of bio-energy and bio-fuels Upgrading of regional airports, extension of international air access and the enhancement of local transport facilities.

Response The Programme provides for measures that include business creation and training of economic actors, which support the utilisation of local ICT facilities, and training in new ICT technologies such as broadband. The proposals made in relation to child care, tax exemptions for bio-energy and bio-fuels and the enhancement of transport infrastructure are outside of the remit of the Programme. 2

Green Party

The submission made by the Green Party recognises the important role that the Programme will play in providing a stable rural economy. The submission focuses on the need to support the development of rural enterprises and the importance of developing an enhanced renewable energy sector in rural areas. A summary of the specific proposals made by the Green Party are set out below: • The development of the bio-fuels and bio-energy sectors • A proposal for the introduction of a new Planning Code for rural areas to support and facilitate the development of alternative and indigenous enterprise in these rural areas • A proposal for a study to devise a new plan for farm-based tourism

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• •

The establishment of a national rural enterprise agency, which would be a ‘onestop shop’ for advice on grant supports, mentoring, business opportunities, training and development in rural areas and for rural enterprises A proposal for a public consultation process on Farmers’ Markets.

Response The measures proposed in Axes 3 and 4 of the Programme provide for schemes to encourage and enhance rural enterprises through the provision of supports for training, business creation, village renewal and development, the conservation of rural heritage and the enhancement of tourism activities in rural areas. On renewable energy, support for the establishment of miscanthus and willow are provided for under the Pillar 1 measure described at Section 3.1. The specific issues raised in relation to a planning code for rural areas, a rural enterprise agency, a farmers’ market public consultation process and a farm-based tourism study are part of the broader public policy debate on rural areas and rural enterprise. These issues are dealt with on an on-going basis by number of a Government Departments, namely Agriculture and Food; Community, Rural Affairs and the Gaeltacht; Finance; Enterprise, Trade and Employment; and Transport. Other Government Departments 1

Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (DoEHLG)

The DoEHLG is pleased with the provisions promoting protection of aquatic environments, in particular the new aspects of the REPS scheme and in Axis 4 for the promotion and improvement of threatened water bodies. In relation to forestry and its potential impacts on water quality the DoEHLG has highlighted, the influence of tree species and soil type. Response The DoEHLG’s endorsement of the aquatic protection provisions is welcome. The comments on forestry are dealt with under the Strategic Environmental Assessment. 2

Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources (DCMNR)

The DCMNR have highlighted two areas: •

While the programme recognises the need to introduce voluntary measures designed to improve water quality in a number of areas: specifically, certain salmon rivers and pearl mussel habitats, and the catchments of certain western lakes, the DCMNR sees scope for more detailed plans for rivers and lakes to be included. There is no reference in the Biodiversity sections of the programme to the need to protect aquatic habitats, particularly salmon habitats, or the benefits that the riparian corridor can provide as a habitat for flora and fauna.

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Response • The issue of water quality in general is addressed via the measures put in place to implement the Water Framework Directive as well as by national legislation such as the Phosphorus Regulations and the Nitrates Regulations. The voluntary schemes in this programme include elements designed to complement and augment these efforts, but are not themselves the primary instrument for improving water quality. The dedicated Supplementary Measure for Riparian Zones is being extended in REPS to help the preservation of the freshwater pearl mussel, and the Supplementary Measure for certain lake catchments (complemented by actions under Axis 3) is innovative. These and other aspects of the programme can be reconsidered at the mid-term evaluation stage, particularly in the light of developments in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive. • The importance of aquatic habitats is fully accepted. The individual elements of the programme, particularly those in the agri-environment measures, provide a high level of supplementary protection for habitats such as ponds, rivers and lakes where they exist on a participating farm. These actions are, however, complementary to national efforts (by statutory means and otherwise) to improve water quality, such as the implementation of the Water Framework Directive.

3

NDP Gender Equality Unit, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform (DJELR)

The NDP Gender Equality Unit provided the following comments and suggestions: •

• •

• •

The commitment to the promotion of gender equality contained in the programme, particularly under the LEADER approach and training measure under Axis 3 is welcomed. It is, however, suggested that in the absence of dedicated gender equality personnel and resources, the promotion of equality throughout the programme measures may be uneven. The clearly stated commitment in the programme to ensuring that the provisions of the Equal Status Acts 2000 and 2004 are met is viewed very positively. As approximately 90 per cent of land is in male ownership, the submission envisages that the extent of such ownership will be continued through the proposed concentration of expenditure at on-farm level. One suggested option is to retain a dedicated expenditure under Axes 1 and 2 for training measures for women. Failure to promote the concept of farming partnerships is seen as a lost opportunity to foster equality. Monitoring and evaluation data should be gender disaggregated across the programme to facilitate measurement of on-going programme impact on gender equality.

Response Equality of opportunity is a core requirement of the programme, as emphasised in chapter 15. Assurance of continued equality will be maintained through the appropriate composition of the monitoring committee and disaggregation of performance evaluation data into gender components where possible.

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Farm Bodies The farm organisations have in general broadly welcomed the programme and are supportive of its measures. There is a recognition that the proposed measures will assist in helping to meet the challenges facing Irish agriculture and rural areas in the next seven years. There is also recognition that the draft Programme provides for the improvement of the physical infrastructure and the enhancement of the knowledge base of the sector while maintaining the focus on enhancing sustainability and the environment. The farm bodies made a number of other general comments and suggestions: • The increased funding allocations and payment rates in the various measures were welcomed. • There should be a further enhancement of schemes to encourage the production of renewable energy crops. • An animal welfare scheme for dairy herds, which would improve competitiveness by improving the productivity of the herd, should be introduced in the Programme. Similar suggestions were made in relation to sheep and deer. Response The measures in the programme are the maximum possible, bearing in mind the regulatory provisions and the available funding. They also reflect the consensus reached with the farm bodies in the social partnership process and the consultation on this programme. Through the monitoring and evaluation framework, progress will be kept under review. Environmental Bodies The environmental bodies broadly supported the environmental elements of the programme but raised a number of additional issues that they felt could be dealt with in the programme. The specific concerns raised by environmental bodies in respect of forestry are dealt with in the Strategic Environmental Assessment. The other issues raised by the environmental bodies are set out below: • • • • • •

While broadly supporting the need for strong and sustainable rural development, more emphasis needs to be placed on protecting, maintaining and enhancing the conservation of key rural sites for sensitive flora and fauna. Little consideration has been given in the programme to the identification and protection of high nature value (HNV) farmland, which is recognised within the EU as a key habitat. A biodiversity monitoring programme, including a farmland bird population indicator, should be established as part of the programme. Resources in the REPs should be allocated to proper ecological supports including ecological training for those involved in REPs. The REPs 4 is welcome. It is the simplicity of the scheme, which appeals to farmers, and this ensures a large uptake by farmers, resulting in positive impacts on biodiversity in the Irish countryside. Water quality issues, which are being addressed in the development plans for River Basin Districts, should also be reflected in the programme.

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A scheme that supports a return to domestic garden fruit and vegetable production, should be included in the programme.

Response • The primary mechanism for conservation of key sites for sensitive flora and fauna is the system of designation administered by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. Participants in any of the measures in the programme will – as before – be required to follow the appropriate NPWS prescriptions for such sites where these are available. • Farmers participating in REPS must meet high standards of environmental management on their lands, regardless of whether they are in a HNV area. The identification of HNV farmland is not itself a matter for the programme. However, if such lands are designated by a competent authority and protection measures are prescribed, then those measures would have to be complied with by participants in the measures in the programme. • BirdWatch Ireland already conducts a monitoring programme on farmland birds and this indicator is listed in the programme. National biodiversity monitoring is not a matter for the RDP. • REPS has always included provisions for training to help the participant understand and meet his or her agri-environmental commitments under the scheme. REPS 4 training will be devised to match the requirements of the final scheme. • The voluntary schemes in the programme include elements designed to augment and complement national efforts on water quality such as implementation of the WFD and the designation of habitats, but the programme is not the primary instrument for addressing water quality issues. • REPS 4 proposes to continue support for traditional orchards. Forestry Groups The general issues raised by the forestry groups include the following: • • •

• • •

The level of funding proposed for forestry is inadequate and will not cover planting targets. The planting target is 50 per cent of the planting target set by the Government’s national forestry strategy (20,000 hectares). The planting targets are therefore not in line with the current Government forestry policy. The consequences for the processing sector of the reduced planting target have not been taken into account. The annual figure of 20,000 hectares was identified in the national strategy as being the minimum to create an economical critical mass for the processing sector. The funding for forestry is no longer co-financed by the EU, unlike previous the programming periods. This will leave the annual funding for forestry open to the political decisions made as part of the national estimates process. While the programme does recognise the role played by forestry in climate change through carbon sequestration, a mechanism to compensate farmers for their carbon sequestration is required. The level of funding provided for the forestry development and competitiveness measures is inadequate.

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Response The level of funding for forestry under the National Development Plan 2007–2013 includes a number of proposed new measures to make investment in forestry more attractive than ever. Ultimately, the schemes are demand-led but the intention is to stimulate that demand. The question of the ownership of sequestered carbon remains an issue for future debate. Public Bodies (incl. Regional Assemblies/Authorities and Western Development Commission) The need for complementarity between this programme and the new National Development Plan 2007–2013 was a common theme. Other general issues included: • • • •

The need to ensure complementarity with the National Spatial Strategy and EU structural funds, particularly the avoidance of overlap with measures contained in the Operational Programmes of the Regional Assemblies Further broadening of measures particularly aimed at rural tourism, microenterprise, and conservation and upgrading of rural heritage Development of rural infrastructure concerning road, rail and air transport facilities in rural areas Use of appropriate performance indicators and establishment of a representative monitoring committee and network.

Response The programme is structured to complement and add value to the wider range of measures focused on rural areas that are contained in the new National Development Plan 2007–2013, particularly under the strategic priority heading ‘The National Development Plan and Rural Communities’. Social Inclusion Groups A common theme addressed by many groups was the need to develop the social capacity of communities to address the underlying causes of poverty, promote social inclusion, and pursue equality of opportunity at all levels. Other issues raised include: • • • •

The need to clearly address issues of social inclusion, non-discrimination and reduction in poverty within the framework of the White Paper on Rural Development 1999 A more equitable distribution of funding across axes Support for training, the provision of basic social infrastructure, particularly services aimed at supporting the elderly, health care, rural transport, broadband and child care Specific support for marginal groups such as farm smallholders.

Response The White Paper on Rural Development 1999 provides the strategic framework for the promotion of social inclusion and combating poverty in rural communities. Both of these core issues will be addressed under appropriate measures in this programme, particularly through training initiatives, skills-acquisition actions and capacitybuilding measures.

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Community Environmental Groups The common principle underlying most submissions with an environmental focus was the sustainable economic development of rural areas. Submissions strongly supported: • The development of renewable energy initiatives and environmentally sustainable, well-planned small-scale enterprises • The promotion of adequately funded recreational activities and related infrastructure in the wider countryside. A specific measure should be aimed at the Countryside Recreation Strategy • The protection from erosion of coastal areas important to local communities. Response The business plans of local action groups implementing environmental actions in the wider rural economy must clearly demonstrate positive environmental impact. Actions targeting rural recreation must conform to the principles of the Countryside Recreation Strategy. Rural Economy Groups There was a clear emphasis in many submissions on developing the local rural economy, particularly through support for small-scale enterprise. • Economic supports by LEADER groups should be delivered in close coordination with other public support agencies. • The establishment of a dedicated Rural Development Agency charged with streamlining support for rural enterprise was also proposed. • There was a general opinion that economic activity should concentrate on local resources such as artisan foods, farmers’ markets, renewable energy sources and other enterprises focused on local materials and know-how. • There was a specific proposal to support farm-based business creation, particularly in relation to on-farm diversification options. Response Enterprise support activity must not duplicate initiatives by other public agencies, and appropriate sectoral agreements must be in place at local level. Emphasis will be placed on developing on-farm diversification initiatives and enhancing the economic contribution of local natural resources. Other Interested Parties Submissions were also received from a small number of other interested parties and individuals. These submissions included requests for, among other things, a scheme to fund Farmer Accident and Sickness insurance and a request to fund a project which will deliver an integrated Information Technology (IT) farm software package for farmers and agricultural organisations. The regulatory terms and/or the available funding do not allow these requests to be pursued under the programme.

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Public Consultation Process—Suggestions on Individual Measures The table below sets out the main specific points to emerge in the consultation process, and the responses to them. It is not an exhaustive list and does not include proposals relating to details of the measures and/or their implementation that are appropriate to measure documentation rather than to this programme.

AXIS 1 COMPETITIVENESS Measure Suggestion Young Farmers 2006 transfers should be eligible Installation Scheme for the new rate Minimum size of farm should be 10ha in disadvantaged areas and 15ha in non-disadvantaged areas Minimum length of lease should be 5 years and not 10

Early Retirement from Farming

Response Not possible under terms of regulation The minimum sizes of farms provided for in the programme are more appropriate in the context of the competitiveness aim The 10-year lease requirement provided for in the programme is more appropriate. This will however be the subject of a review after 5 years FETAC level 6 or equivalent provided for in the measure

FETAC level 6 Advanced Certificate in Agriculture should be the new minimum educational requirement Index linking of pension Not possible. Previously rejected by EU Commission for legal reasons Basic payment rate of 75 per cent This issue is partially addressed of total payment on 1st 5ha and a in the re-structuring of the payment rate of €198 per ha for 1st pension payments now in 24ha measure Maximum age of transferee should Acceptable in certain be 50 years circumstances and now in measure Retired farmers should be given This proposal is precluded by EU the farmer rate of forestry regulation premium Retirees to be allowed work a This proposal is precluded by EU certain number of hours a week on regulation, which states that son/daughter’s farm Transferors must cease all agricultural activity Small farmers should be Restructured pension calculations encouraged to participate. now in measure Therefore pension calculation needs to be examined In case of intensive farmers The revised pension calculation calculations should be based on a will be of increased benefit to standard amount and not hectares intensive farmers 195


Minimum size of farm should be 10ha in disadvantaged areas and 15ha in non-disadvantaged areas

On-Farm Investment

The minimum sizes of farms provided for in the programme are more appropriate in the context of the competitiveness aim Age of transferee must be less than See reply above regarding age of 40 years rather than 45 years transferee Transferors should be between 55 This proposal has been accepted and 66 and not 56 years Maximum grant rates allowable The rates and other conditions should be used reflect the investments needed, the available funding and the Investment ceilings need to be increased in line with increases in likely uptake. Progress will be standard costs and these need to be kept under review increased There should be greater flexibility on spending within the schemes Separate investments limit of A separate investment limit of €120,000 for farm waste €120,000 for dairy hygiene is Management and dairy hygiene now provided should apply. A scheme to support wood chip Already provided by Sustainable boilers should be considered Energy Ireland through the Greener Homes Scheme Provisions should be made for Where appropriate special partnerships conditions are applied in individual schemes to cover farm partnerships

AXIS 2 ENVIRONMENT Measure Suggestion Less Favoured Areas Minimum stocking Compensatory density should be Allowances Scheme abolished Minimum stocking level should be 0.3lu/ha

Natura 2000 payments and payments linked to Directive 2000/60/0EC

Response While both suggestions have alternative merits, it has been decided to continue with a minimum level of 0.15lu/ha. Matter can be reexamined in light of planned review of disadvantaged areas Review of areas outside Not issue for programme. Review of of disadvantaged areas disadvantaged areas’ classification with a view to including already planned marginal land NHA, SPA and SAC land Designated NHA, SPA and SAC all should all attract the attract the same level of payment. same payment level The justification for paying the same rate for proposed/candidate NHA will need to be examined

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Payment rate of €243 The payment rate for the 1st 20ha of should apply on 1st 20ha non-designated land has been set at of no designated land €234/ha, and represents the 17 per cent increase agreed in recent partnership talks Rural Environment A review of operating The mid-term review can examine all Protection Scheme – costs and income aspects of REPS payments REPS Agri-environment foregone should occur in payments 2008 and payments rates increased where necessary Payment rates need to be The proposed rates reflect the frontloaded to encourage agreement reached in recent greater uptake by small- partnership talks scale farmers Concerns over Nitrates There are no additional compliance Regulations compliance requirements in the Nitrates Action Programme for REPS farmers over and above non-REPS farmers Requirement for 5-year Farmer must give a commitment for lease prior to application 5 years and, therefore, the lease must should be amended cover the full period of the REPS contract 5 per cent inspection rate Not a matter for the programme; can be dealt with in the scheme’s terms and conditions No need for a minimum A minimum stocking level is stocking density required to provide an environmental return and to ensure against land abandonment. It will also ensure that the person getting the benefit is farming. Ownership of land does not entitle a person to REPS payments Should be a grazing The length of the grazing agreement period of 6 months, not 3 can be decided later in drawing up the REPS specification. On the basis of grazing aftergrass the period of 6 months could not be justified Farmers utilising a nitrate All farmers will be eligible for REPS derogation of 250kg/ha 4 should be able to Farmers operating over 170kg/ha participate will be required to apply annually for a derogation and will require a nutrient management plan under the nitrates directive. The nutrient levels in the management plan approved for the purposes of the derogation will be acceptable for REPS also.

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Increase payment rates for supplementary measures in line with increased costs Farmers should be allowed accumulate aid by taking on more than 2 supplementary measures

Rates reviewed and adjusted

Not acceptable on grounds of extra cost. The funding provided for the programming period only assumes a maximum of two supplementary measures in the cumulation of aid Such a measure is included

A traditional grazing supplementary measure is required Various suggestions in Details will be examined in drawing relation to supplementary up the specification for REPS measures If restriction of payments Payments are not restricted to 55ha. to 55ha is to continue the All land in REPS qualifies for a farmer should be allowed payment exclude any areas exceeding 55ha First afforestation of non- Regulation does not limit measure to agricultural land grant private individuals. Limited should be limited to premiums are payable in respect of private individuals, with abandoned farmland premiums limited to farmers FEPS should be targeted FEPS establishment is targeted towards new afforestation towards new afforestation on REPS on REPS farms farms and is designed to encourage the establishment of high nature value forests Funding should be A Forest Infrastructure Scheme is provided for forest roads included as provided for under Article 30 of Council Regulation 1698/2005 AXIS 3 RURAL ECONOMY/ QUALITY OF LIFE Measure Suggestion Response Diversification into Non- Support should be All of these initiatives are eligible for Agriculture available to promote support production of artisan foods, food tourism and farm shops Development of Micro- Government should The business plans of Local Action Enterprise introduce a programme Groups must be submitted to, and for Rural Enterprise support, the development strategy of Development and the local County Development establish a Rural Board. Sectoral agreements must also Enterprise Agency. be agreed with the County Enterprise Mentoring should be Boards to maximise the impact of supported public funding on local micro198


Rural Tourism

Village Enhancement Basic Services for the Rural Economy

Upgrading of Rural Heritage

Training and Skills

enterprise development. A dedicated measure The Rural Tourism measure specifies should be introduced to the need for complementarity with support development of the Countryside Recreation Strategy countryside recreation, including resourcing landowners Develop a Farmers Support is available for the further Market Network development of Farmers’ Markets Increase availability of Provision of ICT infrastructure is not broadband within the scope of this measure Provision of adequate The provision of mainstream social funding and resources to service is in the remit of several provide sufficient level of Government Departments. This services such as child measure will cater for provision of care, care of the elderly, specific local cultural and rural transport system, recreational infrastructure, in water treatment. agreement with local authorities Specific support should There is provision for support for the be given to the protection protection and upgrading of local of local beaches and amenity landscape coastal areas from erosion Conservation of A number of initiatives implemented biodiversity, particularly by the Department of Agriculture and in relation to fruits and Food currently address the plants should be conservation of plant and animal encouraged genetic resources Support should be This will be the case where available for small-scale appropriate projects are submitted to renewable energy the Local Action Group projects by Community groups and other local actors A Community Training Provision of mainstream training is Programme similar to a within the remit of FÁS former FÁS programme should be introduced An existing Small Holder Relevant actions to develop the Initiative to assist low- economic capacity of this and other income farm holders target groups can be undertaken by should be supported Local Action Groups as relevant to under this measure the local area

199


15. Equality between Men and Women and NonDiscrimination Promotion of equality The measures in this programme are open to men and women equally. In this context, equality has and will be promoted. The following points are relevant: • •

• •

The design of various measures promotes an equitable approach. The training measure under Axis 1 includes courses aimed at women. The involvement of women, young people and older workers is identified as a priority for the programme and is expressly incorporated in measures under Axis 3, and in the composition of Local Action Groups and inanimation of the rural territory. Equality of participation will be fostered at monitoring committee, selection panel and project levels. In line with the EU common monitoring and evaluation framework, relevant data will be collected on male and female participation in the programme. This will be available to the managing authority, the monitoring committee and the external evaluators for the purpose of assessing the promotion of equality. Programme and project level evaluations will assess the extent to which equality has been promoted.

Non-discrimination This programme is within the remit of the Equal Status Acts 2000 and 2004. Those Acts prohibit discrimination on the grounds of gender, marital status, family status, age, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and membership of the Traveller community. The measures in the programme have been drafted/ screened so as to ensure that the provisions of the Acts are met. Scheme administrators and project promoters will be advised of the need for non-discrimination and the monitoring committee will be kept informed of developments in this area.

200


16. Technical Assistance Operations Scope of EAFRD Technical Assistance The EAFRD will fund the independent mid-term and ex-post evaluations of this programme. It will also fund the national rural network. As was the case with the preparation of the programme and its ex-ante evaluation, the exchequer will fund all other necessary management, monitoring, evaluation, information and control activities. National Rural Network Aim The purpose of the National Rural Network is to assist the efficient and effective implementation of the Rural Development Programme across all axes and to promote synergies across measures. The network will have regard to the different methods of measure delivery under the Axes. Since there is a significant degree of experience at local level in delivery of rural programming both on and off-farm, a significant focus of the network will be to secure and co-ordinate the flow of information, including performance indicators, between local beneficiaries, intermediate bodies and the managing authority.

Budget The indicative budget for the network is €3m and of this €750,000 will be used for the running costs of the network provider. The budget for the implementation of the action plan will be €2.25m, of which €450,000 will be available for the development of a central website and on-line database.

Timetable A tender document for the network will be prepared in September 2007 and will issue following consultation with the European Commission. It is scheduled to have the network operational by March 2008. Selection of Network provider The network infrastructure will be provided by an external body selected by a public competitive tendering process. The selection process is scheduled for Autumn 2007. The network will be funded from the Technical Assistance budget, and indicative breakdown of expenditure between running costs and implementation of the action plan will be 25:75. The allocation towards running costs will cover all standard administration costs associated with running the network. Costs covered under the action plan will include the establishment and maintenance of a central website and on-line information database. Terms of reference Broad terms of reference will be included in the tender document. The network will build on the success of the current national LEADER network in developing and disseminating best practice across the range of implementing bodies. However, approaches to expanding the networking experience outwards over all 4 Axes will be 201


critical to the final evaluation process. In this context a key function of the network will be to identify, develop and disseminate opportunities for synergies between measures across axes. Aspects targeted should include areas of high nature value and the promotion of environmental protection. Resource requirements The provider must put in place a dedicated network unit, staffed and resourced, consistent with effective delivery of an approved annual action plan. As the technical core of the network will be primarily web based, a strong ICT capacity must be in place. Participation The network is expected to include Local Action Groups, Social Partners, Government Departments (including Paying Authority and Managing Authority) and Agencies as well as Rural and Countryside Representative Organisations. Functions of the Network • The identification and grouping of stakeholders involved in rural development programming • Transfer of knowledge and best practice to beneficiaries through dissemination actions and exchange experiences • The convening of relevant seminars, conventions and workshops to ensure the use of best practice in programme delivery • Development of a state-of-the-art website; development of project and statistical databases including ability to capture performance indicators at each level of the hierarchy • Publication of regular updates on programme delivery to as wide an audience as possible. Such publications should be harmonised with and complement those prepared under the Communications plan, particularly in relation to bringing the programme to the attention of the wider general public. • As well as complementing the work of the Communication plan, the output of the network should also feed directly into the annual reports and other formal presentations of the managing authorities • The collection and analysis of indicators and evidence-based programme outputs should feed directly into the mid-term and final programme evaluations. This activity is a core function of the network • The provision of a comprehensive information service to groups and organisations when requested • Facilitating and promoting inter-territorial and trans-national cooperation in relation to the delivery of Axes 3 and 4. The network must have the capacity to develop the co-operation principle, provide regulatory advice and offer appropriate mentoring • Representing Ireland on the proposed European Network for Rural Development and other relevant fora and promotion of the rural development programme nationally and abroad. The network selection process will evaluate the proposals of candidate providers to implement the various functions, any other proposed functions and the indicative resources allocated to the overall task.

202


Management A steering group will be established to oversee the delivery of the Network Action Plan. The steering group will consist of the Department of Agriculture and Food, the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, the network provider and Local Action Groups. The steering group will meet quarterly in the first year of operation of the network and as necessary thereafter.

203


Appendices 1-10 Appendix 1 Background Tables on Rural Areas, Agriculture and Food Table1: 2006 Population by Region and Age Structure (percentage) Region Under 15 - 19 20 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 25 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 65 years Region as 15 years 24 64 and percentage of years years years upwards total population Leinster 11.0 3.6 4.6 29.5 5.4 54.1 including GDA Munster 5.6 1.9 2.1 14.7 3.3 27.7 Connacht 3.8 1.3 1.3 9.5 2.3 18.2 and part of Ulster Total 20.4 6.8 8.1 53.7 11.0 100.0

Table 2: Projected Population to 2021 by Regional Authority (000) Region Popn Natural Internal External Popn 2002 Increase Migration Migration 2021 Border Dublin Mid-East Midland MidWest SouthEast SouthWest West State

433 1,123 413 225 340

57 197 101 37 50

8 -112 58 14 -4

48 232 51 19 24

546 1,440 623 296 410

Percentage Share of Popn Increase 10 27 18 6 6

424

59

20

35

537

10

580

72

2

50

705

11

380 3,917

59 633

13 0

60 520

513 5,070

12 29

204


Table 2a: Definition of Rural Areas Criteria Eurostat 2000 definition of Rural Current definition 2000â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2006 programme, i.e. excluding 5 major urban centres Proposed definition excluding original NSS urban OECD definition, i.e. less than 150 persons/km2

Percentage National Popn defined as rural 71 per cent 64 per cent

Percentage of Popn density of National Territory rural areas defined as rural 99 per cent 40 persons/ km2 >97 per cent *

59 per cent

>95 per cent *

54 per cent

â&#x2030;Ľ95 per cent *

* Calculated from CSO 2002 Ortho map of population density based on Electoral Divisions. Table 3: Age Profile by System of Farming, 2000 < 35 35 - 44 45 - 54 55 - 64 14 per 23 per 28 per 19 per Specialist cent cent cent cent Tillage 16 per 25 per 26 per 20 per Specialist cent cent cent cent Dairying 12 per 21 per 25 per 20 per Specialist cent cent cent cent Beef Production 14 per 20 per 26 per 19 per Specialist cent cent cent cent Sheep 12 per 22 per 26 per 20 per Mixed cent cent cent cent Grazing Livestock 24 per 27 per 19 per Mixed Crops 14 per cent cent cent cent and Livestock 15 per 27 per 28 per 19 per Other cent cent cent cent 13 per 22 per 26 per 20 per Total cent cent cent cent Source: CSO, Census of Agriculture (2000)

> 65 16 per cent 14 per cent 23 per cent

Total 4,714 26,262 72,085

21 per cent 20 per cent

12,226

16 per cent

3,636

11 per cent 20 per cent

1,722

20,697

141,342

The breakdown above is for 2000 data when the total number of farmers was 141,342. This breakdown is not available for 2003 data when the total number of farmers was 135,100. Approximately, 41 per cent of specialist dairy farmers and 37 per cent of specialist tillage farmers are less than 44 years of age.

205


Table 4: Regional Spread of the FDT Sector Local Units, 2004 Regional Spread of the FDT Sector Local Units, 2004 Number of Local Units Regional Authority Area Mid- MidSouth- SouthBorder Dublin East West Midland East West FDT 105 109 57 64 38 106 145 Total Manufacturing 637 1,166 492 443 303 602 691 16.48 9.35 11.59 14.45 FDT as per cent of per per per per 12.54 17.61 20.98 Regional Total cent cent cent cent per cent per cent per cent 15.09 15.66 8.19 9.20 per per per per 5.46 per 15.23 20.83 per cent of Total FDT cent cent cent cent cent per cent per cent No of Local Units Meat 19 16 23 14 14 28 14 Dairy 11 3 9 3 14 20 Other Foods 70 78 34* 36 13 53 105 Drink and Tobacco 5 12 5 8 11 6

West 72 445 16.18 per cent 10.34 per cent

Total 696 4779 14.56 per cent 100.00 per cent

20

148 60 355

52*

47

*Breakdowns unavailable due to confidentiality. Source: CSO, Census of Industrial Production Table 5: Size Structure and Productivity of the Food, Drink and Tobacco (FDT) and Total Manufacturing Sectors, 2004 Size Structure and Productivity of the Food, Drink and Tobacco (FDT) and Total Manufacturing Sectors, 2004 Net Output per Local Units Person Engaged Nos. Employed 000's 000's â&#x201A;Ź000's â&#x201A;Ź000's All All All All Industry FDT Industry* FDT Industry * FDT Industry* FDT * 194 1,882 969 9,971 303 298 60.7 56.3 Under 10 137 1,050 1,983 14,481 776 788 53.6 57.1 10-19 147 968 4,636 30,077 2,085 1,973 66.1 63.5 20-49 90 416 6,382 28,627 8,671 7,309 122.3 106.2 50-99 72 253 10,443 35,614 14,393 24,262 99.2 172.4 100-199 14 46 3,184 10,437 8,659 31,451 38.1 138.6 200-249 42 164 18,071 92,141 183,404 295,887 426.3 526.6 250+ 696 4,779 45,668 221,348 14,529 13,068 221.4 282.1 Total Source: CSO, Census of Industrial Production * Total Manufacturing Local Units Net Output per Persons Engaged unit

206


Table 6: Export earnings and break down of sectors in agri-food Value of Exports of Agricultural and Agrifood Produce

1999-2004 1999 2000 Exports Exports €m €m Live Animals other than 03 298.26 420.03 Meat & meat preps 1,770.561,752.13 Dairy products, caseins, ingredients and eggs 1,608.971,941.04 Cereals and cereal preps 263.93 291.53 Potatoes, fruit and vegetables 171.78 172.31 Sugar, sugar preps and honey 100.30 101.77 Feeding stuffs for animals 113.83 121.45 Misc. edible products 785.34 801.66 Hides and skins 75.05 96.45 Oilseed and oleaginous fruits 1.65 0.78 Flax and wool 9.74 10.47 Crude animal & veg mats nes 93.42 96.34 Animal oil and fats 21.43 21.98 Vegetable oil and fats 7.45 5.36 Coffee, tea, etc 209.09 209.62 Beverages 743.58 854.42 Tobacco 60.09 103.87 Total Agri-Food 6,334.477,001.20 * provisional Source: Central Statistics Office (Trade Data)

2001 2002 2003 Exports Exports Exports €m €m €m 184.72 209.77 238.29 1,594.13 1,744.251,857.61

2004 Exports €m 226.63 2,181.78

1,978.23 1,744.721,707.00 1,848.68 2,003.90 314.60 258.24 214.91 200.48 231.22 229.88

234.24242.66

217.90

243.13

113.07 135.08 809.98 99.64

135.47118.92 142.46152.91 832.75802.69 104.2985.64

142.39 169.64 803.20 84.63

135.07 176.66 812.91 75.26

6.29 7.93

5.19 7.03

89.76 18.90 6.38 224.83 949.01 87.68 7,140.10

91.18 15.02 3.29 230.23 1,019.69 89.66 7,547.86

1.19 8.36

1.231.71 12.8110.89

98.39 86.52 82.81 17.70 21.5123.55 5.89 4.157.78 207.97 226.17228.25 870.96 893.981,012.66 113.78 107.6894.82 6,783.58 6,760.236,883.09

Table 7: Enterprise Size by Number of Employees (per cent) Rural Areas State

2004 Exports €m 229.69 2,052.70

Self-employed 21.6

1-9 65.4

10-49 11.2

50-199 1.1

100-499 0.7

23.2

59.7

13.6

1.7

1.3

207


Table 8 Livestock Numbers 1990â&#x20AC;&#x201D;2005* YEAR CATTLE (millions) SHEEP (millions) 1990 6,816 8,539 1991 6,912 8,888 1992 6,951 8,897 1993 6,981 8,626 1994 6,996 8,404 1995 7,034 8,331 1996 7,313 7,888 1997 7,532 8,131 1998 7,640 8,312 1999 7,387 7,925 2000 7,037 7,555 2001** 7,049 7,330 2002 6,992 7,209 2003 6,999 6,848 2004 7,015 6,777 2005 6,982 6,392 2006 6,915 5,973 * Source: Central Statistics Office June Livestock Survey ** First year of de-coupling (Area Based Compensatory Allowances Scheme)

208


Table 8 A: Number of Livestock (000 Head) by Region, Year and Type of Animal

Number of Livestock (000 Head) by Region, Year and Type of Animal

Ă&#x2030;IRE / IRELAND

Ireland Total

BMW Regions Border

Midland

West

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

Total Cattle 7037.4 7049.7 6992.2 6999.5 7015.6 6982.6 6915.9

Total Cows 2364.4 2379.3 2318.3 2342.9 2363.2 2341.5 2324.6

Dairy Cows 1177.5 1182.5 1164.1 1155.6 1156.1 1113.7 1109.2

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2000 2001 2002 2003

967.3 979.5 970.9 961.7 954.9 953.3 966.7 778.1 748.1 769.6 994.6 782.4 803.9 801.7 998.6 993.5 988.5 1411

350.7 354.3 344.5 340.5 337.7 334.5 329.5 219.9 220.9 220.7 226.6 229.3 227.6 231.2 333.5 334.9 324.1 330.9

127.5 129.2 128 122.1 120.5 114.4 112.2 79.7 79.9 78.7 81.9 81.4 78 77.5 69.6 68.6 68 67.4

Cattle Cattle Non Cattle 2+ 2+ Dairy Total Dairy Other 2+ years - years Cows Heifers Heifers Heifers Bulls years Male Female 1187 331.6 206.5 125.1 56.1 1016.2 721.6 294.7 1196.8 331.1 198.3 132.8 58.8 941.1 642.1 299 1154.2 373.9 230.7 143.2 62.8 844.7 560.4 284.3 1187.3 352.8 215.8 137 64.1 901.5 598.7 302.8 1207.1 369.2 229.6 139.6 66.5 910.6 605.4 305.2 1227.8 378.3 230.2 148.1 68.3 929.4 619.3 310.2 1215.4 385.7 228.7 157 69.3 929.4 639.7 311.5 223.2 225.1 216.5 218.4 217.2 220.1 217.3 140.2 141 142 144.7 147.9 149.6 153.7 263.9 266.3 256.1 263.5

43.9 44.5 50.9 45.6 46.3 48.7 49.2 28.2 29.2 35.1 31.1 35.2 34.1 35.5 36.3 37.3 46.1 39.4

21.7 21.2 25.1 21.8 23.8 22.7 21.6 14.3 14.1 17.6 14.7 16.3 17.1 16.9 12.6 11.9 19.4 12.9

22.2 23.3 25.8 23.8 22.5 26 27.6 13.9 15.1 17.5 16.4 18.9 17.1 18.5 23.7 25.4 26.6 26.5

8.6 9.1 9.6 9.7 10.2 10.4 10.6 4.9 5 5.5 6 6.3 6.5 6.8 7.2 7.9 9 9

115.1 110.3 99.2 105.7 109.5 112.6 112.6 156 133.5 122.9 130.8 128.8 138.6 138.6 161.5 149.8 133.9 143.6

74.3 68.4 56.7 60.6 64.1 64.2 69.6 108.5 90.3 84.4 87.5 88.7 92.5 97.2 112.6 100.5 86.6 90.6

40.8 41.9 42.5 45.1 45.4 48.4 50.5 47.4 43.2 38.5 43.3 40.1 46.1 45.8 48.9 49.3 47.2 53

209

Cattle Cattle Cattle Cattle Cattle 1-2 1-2 Cattle Under 1 Under 1 1-2 years - years - Under 1 year year years Male Female year Male Female 1517.1 912.4 604.7 1751.9 919.4 832.5 1515 913.3 601.7 1824.4 955.2 869.2 1593.2 991.8 601.4 1799.3 953.1 846.2 1577.1 983.3 593.9 1760.3 922.1 839.1 1534.8 949.8 585 1771.4 929.8 841.6 1575.6 940.2 635.3 1689.5 842.5 847 1560.4 915.7 638.1 1631.2 801.7 829.5 193.6 200.7 210.1 203.7 205.5 205.3 223.8 188.5 185.1 197.7 205.1 188.6 205.8 196.1 207.6 209.2 218.7 217.2

111 116.6 125.9 119.5 119.5 114.5 135.5 110.8 110.6 124.4 128.5 116.6 120.6 111.3 125.2 122.4 135.4 134.8

82.7 84.1 84.2 84.2 86 90.8 88.4 77.7 74.5 73.3 76.6 72 85.2 84.8 82.4 86.8 83.3 82.4

255.3 260.6 256.6 251.7 245.9 241.8 233.5 180.5 174.4 187.7 189.7 194.3 191.1 189.2 252.4 254.5 256.7 249.7

130.7 133.2 130.3 134.9 127 121.1 113.7 96.4 90.6 101.4 136.8 102.7 96.8 95.2 134.6 133.6 138.4 196

124.6 127.4 126.3 121.6 118.9 120.8 119.9 84.2 83.8 86.3 88.4 91.6 94.3 94 117.8 120.9 118.3 117.7

Total Sheep 7555 7330.3 7209.6 6848.9 6777.2 6392.2 5973.2

Ewes 4106.9 3914.6 3804.1 3615.4 3570.4 3358.2 3104.3

1336.9 755.7 1330.9 722.6 1285.6 688.9 1240.3 672.8 1240.8 682.4 1173.4 634.8 1094.9 594.9 583.6 308.7 570.4 294.8 558.1 277.7 516.1 259.7 507.2 256.4 489.7 245.5 513.3 245.4 1959.7 1055.3 1931 1014 1923.6 1010.8 1828.7 945.8

Ewes - Ewes 2+ Under 1 Other years year Rams Sheep 3398.3 708.6 109.5 3338.7 3261.3 653.3 104.9 3310.9 3150 654.1 105.3 3300.1 3026.8 588.6 102.5 3131 2985.6 584.8 99.6 3107.3 2774.7 583.5 96.3 2937.8 2619.7 484.6 95.7 2773.2 624.9 599.2 567.9 561.2 572 530.6 497.3 263.3 254.1 234.2 225.5 218.3 208 218.9 874.2 848.5 841.9 795.3

130.8 123.3 120.9 111.6 110.4 104.2 97.6 45.4 40.7 43.5 34.2 38.1 37.5 26.5 181.1 165.5 168.9 150.5

20.8 20.3 19.8 20.3 19.6 19.8 19.3 8.9 8.9 8.1 7.7 8 7.2 7.3 26.8 25.4 26 26

560.3 588 577 547.3 538.8 518.8 480.7 266 266.7 272.2 248.8 242.7 237 260.7 877.6 891.6 886.9 856.9


Total Cattle

Total Cows

Dairy Cows

Non Dairy Total Dairy Other Cows Heifers Heifers Heifers Bulls

Cattle Cattle Cattle 2+ 2+ Cattle 2+ years - years 1-2 years Male Female years

Cattle Cattle 1-2 1-2 Cattle years - years - Under 1 Male Female year

Cattle Cattle Under 1 Under 1 year year Male Female

Total Sheep

Ewes

Ewes - Ewes 2+ Under 1 Other years year Rams Sheep

2004 2005 2006

989.7 990.3 974

332.6 327.9 321.5

65.6 58.6 56.8

267 269.3 264.7

40.9 41.3 42.2

13.1 12.7 12.4

27.8 28.6 29.8

9.9 10.4 10.8

140.8 148.2 148.2

88.7 90.8 93.9

52.1 57.4 55.2

214.2 217.8 219

132.8 126.7 120.1

81.4 91.1 92.3

251.3 244.7 238.1

133.8 127 124.2

117.5 1800.4 117.8 1727.9 114 1630.1

935.1 897.8 844.5

788.9 743.2 707.3

146.2 154.6 137.2

26.4 838.9 23.6 806.5 24.9 760.7

Southern and Eastern Regions Mid-East and Dublin 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Mid-West 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 South-East 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 South-West 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

609.8 573 578.3 792.8 583 582.1 573.9 1023 1049.8 1031.6 588.3 1061.3 1051.8 1040.5 1266 1257.1 1242.7 1048.6 1240.8 1213.4 1209.1 1394.7 1448.9 1410.7 1202.4 1403.5 1387.7 1349.9

172.9 169.4 165.7 168.6 170.9 169.7 167.3 357.4 356.4 347.3 359.1 364 363.4 355.9 396.4 400.9 391.5 392.2 400.1 397.6 401.5 533.6 542.6 524.5 525.1 528.6 520.7 517.8

87.4 86.6 84.2 82.1 81.7 79.4 76.7 190.2 190.2 189.1 187.3 190.1 181.9 178.5 243.2 244.4 240.1 239.7 241.5 235.6 240.4 379.8 383.7 375.9 375.2 375.3 365.8 367.2

85.5 82.8 81.5 86.5 89.2 90.3 90.6 167.2 166.2 158.2 171.8 173.9 181.5 177.4 153.2 156.5 151.4 152.5 158.6 162.1 161.1 153.8 158.9 148.6 149.9 153.3 154.9 150.6

26.5 26.4 27.7 27.2 27.3 27.3 28.6 50.4 49.4 56.3 55.9 60 59.3 60.7 59.8 58.9 63.6 62.6 68.5 70.7 73 86.4 85.3 94.2 90.9 90.9 96.8 96.6

17.1 16.2 17.5 15.7 16.4 16.6 15.9 31.3 30.4 36 35.3 39 37 37.4 42.6 40.8 44.2 44.1 49.2 49.5 49.9 66.8 63.5 70.8 71.2 71.8 74.7 74.5

9.5 10.2 10.2 11.5 10.9 10.7 12.7 19.1 19 20.3 20.6 21 22.4 23.3 17.2 18.1 19.4 18.5 19.3 21.2 23.1 19.5 21.8 23.4 19.7 19.1 22.1 22

3.8 4 4.2 4.3 4.3 4.5 4.7 9.3 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.2 11.1 9.1 9.4 10 9.9 10.2 10.3 10.4 13.2 13.8 14.5 14.7 14.5 15 14.9

136.9 113.8 107.6 117.8 118.2 120.3 120.3 137.8 139.3 120.6 126.3 126.8 127 127 172.1 166.2 144 148.3 154.8 152.6 152.6 136.7 128.3 116.7 129 131.7 130 130

99.1 78.1 73.4 82.8 80.9 84.4 81.8 101.6 98.3 84.1 87 84.9 89.2 99.2 129.3 121.8 104.2 106.2 110.1 110.2 111.2 96 84.6 71.1 84 87.9 88 86.9

37.7 35.7 34.2 35 37.3 35.9 36.5 36.2 41 36.5 39.3 41.9 37.8 44.4 42.8 44.4 39.8 42.1 44.7 42.4 43 40.8 43.7 45.6 45 43.8 42 36.1

144.6 134.9 150.1 145.4 141 142.2 136.7 204.4 212.1 218.9 219.2 215.6 220.7 215.6 309.4 299.9 308.1 308.9 297.6 307.3 301.7 269 273.1 289.4 277.6 272.4 276.5 267.5

83.6 77 89 88.2 83.6 81.2 79.2 128.4 133.9 142.9 142 136.6 138.9 132.8 189.7 186.3 194.9 196.2 189.1 189.7 176.6 163.7 166.6 179.2 174.2 171.7 168.6 160.2

61 57.9 61.1 57.3 57.4 61 57.5 75.9 78.3 76 77.2 79 81.8 82.8 119.7 113.6 113.2 112.7 108.5 117.6 125.2 105.3 106.5 110.2 103.4 100.7 107.9 107.2

125.1 124.4 123 122.6 121.2 118.2 118.4 263.7 283 278.4 272.2 284 270.1 253.7 319.1 321.8 325.5 275.9 309.3 274.8 268.1 355.7 405.7 371.3 366.8 365.4 348.7 330.1

64.6 64.2 63.7 105 63.2 58.1 56.1 140.2 150 150 65.6 153.7 140.9 132.4 172.3 171.8 176.2 150.5 161.3 123.5 117.2 180.8 211.7 193.1 133.2 188 175.2 162.8

60.6 60.2 59.3 59.4 58 60.1 62.2 123.6 133 128.4 127 130.3 129.2 121.3 146.8 150 149.3 147.3 148 151.3 150.9 175 194 178.2 177.7 177.4 173.5 167.3

575.7 542.2 534.1 514.8 499.5 478.7 435 142.3 136.4 134.1 117.4 109.4 102.4 91.6 709.3 667.5 640.7 587.5 585.1 535.4 473 559.8 537 517.9 517.5 502.4 463.7 419.9

474.2 443.1 430.2 420.8 411.6 385.4 365.9 119.5 117 113.7 102.3 95.9 89.2 80.6 579.6 552.8 531.9 486.5 471.2 430.9 396.4 462.6 446.7 430.2 435.2 427.6 387.4 353.3

101.5 99.2 103.8 93.9 87.9 93.3 69 22.8 19.5 20.5 15.1 13.5 13.1 11 129.8 114.7 108.8 101 113.9 104.5 76.6 97.2 90.4 87.7 82.3 74.8 76.3 66.6

16.1 15 15.4 14.9 14.1 14.6 13.9 4.2 3.9 4.1 3.7 3.6 3.5 3.5 19.1 18.4 18.3 16.4 14.9 15.3 15.3 13.4 12.9 13.7 13.6 12.9 12.2 11.5

210

1137.3 1080.1 1056.4 1036 998.7 956.4 894.4 270.7 251.2 248 223.6 212.7 196.7 178.6 1347.2 1277.9 1249.9 1134.3 1154.1 1051.5 932.1 919.7 888.8 888.1 869.9 863.3 796.6 729.6

545.4 522.9 507 506.4 485 463.1 445.6 124.2 110.8 109.7 102.5 99.7 90.8 83.5 618.8 592 590.9 530.4 554.1 500.8 443.8 346.4 338.8 356.5 338.8 347.9 320.7 298.3


Table 9: Fertiliser Use 1990â&#x20AC;&#x201D;2005 YEAR 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997

FERTILISER (000 tonnes) 1,793 1,744 1,646 1,767 1,820 1,921 1,896 1,699

YEAR 1998 1999 2000 2001* 2002 2003 2004 2005

FERTILISER (000 tonnes) 1,830 1,849 1,730 1,545 1,523 1,628 1,537 1,519

* First year of de-coupling (Area Based Compensatory Allowances Scheme) Source: Compendium of Irish Agricultural Statistics (Department of Agriculture and Food) and Central Statistics Office

211


Table 10: Value of Exports of Agricultural and Agri-food Produce

Value of Exports of ultural and Agri-food Produce

1999—2006 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Exports Exports Exports Exports Exports Exports Exports Exports €m €m €m €m €m €m €m €m 298.26 420.03 184.72 209.77 238.29 229.69 226.63 310.409 1,770.56 1,752.13 1,594.13 1,744.25 1,857.61 2,052.70 2,181.78 2,403.16

Live animals other than 03 Meat and meat preps Dairy products, caseins, ingredients 1,608.97 1,941.04 1,978.23 1,744.72 and eggs Cereals and cereal preps 263.93 291.53 314.6 258.24 Potatoes, fruit and vegetables 171.78 172.31 229.88 234.24 Sugar, sugar preps and honey 100.3 101.77 113.07 135.47 Feeding stuffs for animals 113.83 121.45 135.08 142.46 Misc. edible products 785.34 801.66 809.98 832.75 Hides and skins 75.05 96.45 99.64 104.29 Oilseed and oleaginous fruits 1.65 0.78 1.19 1.23 Flax and wool 9.74 10.47 8.36 12.81 Crude animal and veg mats nes 93.42 96.34 98.39 86.52 Animal oil and fats 21.43 21.98 17.7 21.51 Vegetable oil and fats 7.45 5.36 5.89 4.15 Coffee, tea, etc 209.09 209.62 207.97 226.17 Beverages 743.58 854.42 870.96 893.98 Tobacco 60.09 103.87 113.78 107.68 Total Agri-Food 6,334.47 7,001.20 6,783.58 6,760.23 * provisional Source: Central Statistics Office (Trade Data)

212

1,707.00 1,848.68 2,003.90 214.91 200.48 231.22 242.66 217.9 243.13 118.92 142.39 135.07 152.91 169.64 176.66 802.69 803.2 812.91 85.64 84.63 75.26 1.71 6.29 5.19 10.89 7.93 7.03 82.81 89.76 91.18 23.55 18.9 15.02 7.78 6.38 3.29 228.25 224.83 230.23 1,012.66 949.01 1,019.69 94.82 87.68 89.66

2,202.02 242.557 277.822 144.874 144.582 910.709 94.014 6.576 4.846 71.496 14.222 4.496 229.498 1296.95 74.57

6,883.09 7,140.10 7,547.86

8,432.80


Persons per Kilometre Square. - Greater than 150 shown in green - Less than 150 other colour

214


Appendix 2 Natura 2000 Areas The areas designated to implement Directives 79/409/EEC and 92/43/EEC and the obligations for farmers resulting from the corresponding national/regional management provisions: Special Areas of Conservation No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60

Site Code 000006 000007 000014 000016 000019 000020 000030 000032 000036 000037 000051 000054 000057 000064 000077 000090 000091 000093 000097 000101 000102 000106 000108 000109 000111 000115 000116 000129 000133 000138 000140 000142 000147 000154 000158 000163 000164 000165 000168 000172 000173 000174 000181 000185 000189 000190 000191 000194 000197 000199 000202 000204 000205 000206 000208 000210 000212 000213 000216 000218

Site Name Killyconny Bog (Cloghbally) Lough Oughter and Associated Loughs Ballyallia Lake Ballycullinan Lake Ballyogan Lough Black Headâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Poulsallagh Complex Danes Hole, Poulnalecka Dromore Woods and Loughs Inagh River Estuary Pouladatig Cave Lough Gash Turlough Moneen Mountain Moyree River System Poulnagordon Cave (Quin) Ballymacoda (Clonpriest and Pillmore) Glengarriff Harbour and Woodland Clonakilty Bay Caha Mountains Lough Hyne Nature Reserve and Environs Roaringwater Bay and Islands Sheep's Head St. Gobnet's Wood The Gearagh Three Castle Head to Mizen Head Aran Island (Donegal) Cliffs Ballintra Ballyarr Wood Croaghonagh Bog Donegal Bay (Murvagh) Durnesh Lough Fawnboy Bog/Lough Nacung Gannivegil Bog Horn Head and Rinclevan Inishtrahull Lough Akibbon and Gartan Lough Lough Eske and Ardnamona Wood Lough Nagreany Dunes Lough Nillan Bog (Carrickatlieve) Magheradrumman Bog Meenaguse/Ardbane Bog Meentygrannagh Bog Curraghchase Woods Rathlin O'Beirne Island Sessiagh Lough Slieve League Slieve Tooey/Tormore Island/Loughros Beg Bay St John's Point Tranarossan and Melmore Lough West of Ardara/Maas Road Baldoyle Bay Howth Head Lambay Island Malahide Estuary North Dublin Bay Rogerstown Estuary South Dublin Bay Inishmaan Island Inishmore Island River Shannon Callows Coolcam Turlough

215


No. 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91

Site Code 000231 000238 000242 000248 000252 000255 000261 000268 000278 000285 000286 000295 000296 000297 000299 000301 000304 000308 000318 000319 000322 000324 000326 000328 000330 000332 000335 000343 000353 000364 000365

92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129

000370 000375 000382 000391 000396 000397 000404 000407 000412 000428 000432 000439 000440 000448 000453 000455 000458 000461 000463 000466 000470 000471 000472 000474 000475 000476 000479 000480 000484 000485 000492 000495 000497 000500 000503 000504 000507 000516

Site Name Barroughter Bog Caherglassaun Turlough Castletaylor Complex Cloonmoylan Bog Coole-Garryland Complex Croaghill Turlough Derrycrag Wood Nature Reserve Galway Bay Complex Inishbofin and Inishshark Kilsallagh Bog Kiltartan Cave (Coole) Levally Lough Lisnageeragh Bog and Ballinstack Turlough Lough Corrib Lough Cutra Lough Lurgeen Bog/Glenamaddy Turlough Lough Rea Loughatorick South Bog Peterswell Turlough Pollnaknockaun Wood Nature Reserve Rahasane Turlough Rosroe Bog Shankill West Bog Slyne Head Islands Tully Mountain Akeragh, Banna and Barrow Harbour Ballinskelligs Bay and Inny Estuary Castlemaine Harbour Old Domestic Building, Dromore Wood Kilgarvan Ice House Killarney National Park, Macgillycuddy's Reeks and Caragh Lough Yganavan and Lough Nambrackdarrig Mount Brandon Sheheree (Ardagh) Bog Ballynafagh Bog Pollardstown Fen Red Bog, Kildare Hugginstown Fen The Loughans Slieve Bloom Mountains Lough Melvin Barrigone Tory Hill Lough Ree Fortwilliam Turlough Carlingford Mountain Dundalk Bay Killala Bay/Moy Estuary Ardkill Turlough Balla Turlough Bellacorick Iron Flush Mullet / Blacksod Bay Complex Brackloon Woods Broadhaven Bay Ballymaglancy Cave, Cong Carrowkeel Turlough Carrowmore Lake Complex Cloughmoyne Clyard Kettle-holes Cross Lough (Killadoon) Corraun Plateau Doocastle Turlough Duvillaun Islands Flughany Bog Glenamoy Bog Complex Greaghans Turlough Kilglassan/Caheravoostia Turlough Complex Inishkea Islands Lackan Saltmarsh and Kilcummin Head

216


No.

Site Code

130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198

000522 000525 000527 000532 000534 000541 000542 000566 000571 000572 000575 000576 000580 000581 000582 000584 000585 000588 000592 000595 000597 000600 000604 000606 000607 000609 000610 000611 000612 000614 000622 000623 000625 000627 000633 000634 000636 000637 000638 000641 000646 000647 000665 000668 000671 000679 000685 000688 000692 000696 000697 000700 000704 000707 000708 000709 000710 000713 000714 000716 000717 000719 000725 000729 000733 000764 000770 000781 000831

Site Name Lough Gall Bog Shrule Turlough Moore Hall (Lough Carra) Oldhead Wood Owenduff/Nephin Complex Skealoghan Turlough Slieve Fyagh Bog All Saints Bog and Esker Charleville Wood Clara Bog Ferbane Bog Fin Lough (Offaly) Mongan Bog Moyclare Bog Raheenmore Bog Cuilcagh-Anierin Uplands Sharavogue Bog Ballinturly Turlough Bellanagare Bog Callow Bog Carrowbehy/Caher Bog Cloonchambers Bog Derrinea Bog Lough Fingall Complex Errit Lough Lisduff Turlough Lough Croan Turlough Lough Funshinagh Mullygollan Turlough Cloonshanville Bog Ballysadare Bay Ben Bulben, Gleniff and Glenade Complex Bunduff Lough and Machair/Trawalua/Mullaghmore Cummeen Strand/Drumcliff Bay (Sligo Bay) Lough Hoe Bog Lough Nabrickkeagh Bog Templehouse and Cloonacleigha Loughs Turloughmore (Sligo) Union Wood Ballyduff/Clonfinane Bog Galtee Mountains Kilcarren-Firville Bog Helvick Head Nier Valley Woodlands Tramore Dunes and Backstrand Garriskil Bog Lough Ennell Lough Owel Scragh Bog Ballyteige Burrow Bannow Bay Cahore Polders and Dunes Lady's Island Lake Saltee Islands Screen Hills Tacumshin Lake Raven Point Nature Reserve Ballyman Glen Bray Head Carriggower Bog Deputy's Pass Nature Reserve Glen of the Downs Knocksink Wood Buckroney-Brittas Dunes and Fen Vale of Clara (Rathdrum Wood) Hook Head Blackstairs Mountains Slaney River Valley Cullahill Mountain

217


No.

Site Code

199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267

000849 000859 000869 000919 000925 000930 000934 000939 000979 000994 000996 001013 001021 001040 001043 001058 001061 001070 001090 001107 001125 001141 001151 001179 001190 001195 001197 001209 001228 001230 001242 001251 001257 001271 001275 001285 001309 001311 001312 001313 001321 001342 001371 001387 001398 001403 001430 001432 001459 001482 001497 001501 001513 001529 001536 001547 001571 001625 001626 001637 001656 001669 001673 001680 001683 001741 001742 001757 001766

Site Name SPA Hill and Clomantagh Hill Clonaslee Eskers and Derry Bog Lisbigney Bog Ridge Road, SW of Rapemills The Long Derries, Edenderry Clare Glen Kilduff, Devilsbit Mountain Silvermine Mountains Corratirrim Ballyteige (Clare) Ballyvaughan Turlough Glenomra Wood Carrowmore Point to SPAnish Point and Islands Barley Cove to Ballyrisode Point Cleanderry Wood Great Island Channel Kilkeran Lake and Castlefreke Dunes Myross Wood Ballyness Bay Coolvoy Bog Dunragh Loughs/Pettigo Plateau Gweedore Bay and Islands Kindrum Lough Muckish Mountain Sheephaven Termon Strand Keeper Hill Glenasmole Valley Aughrusbeg Machair and Lake Courtmacsherry Estuary Carrownagappul Bog Cregduff Lough Dog's Bay Gortnandarragh Limestone Pavement Inisheer Island Kiltiernan Turlough Omey Island Machair Rusheenduff Lough Ross Lake and Woods Rosturra Wood Termon Lough Cloonee and Inchiquin Loughs, Uragh Wood Mucksna Wood Ballynafagh Lake Rye Water Valley/Carton Arroo Mountain Glen Bog Glenstal Wood Clogher Head Clew Bay Complex Doogort Machair/Lough Doo Erris Head Keel Machair/Menaun Cliffs Lough Cahasy, Lough Baun and Roonah Lough Mocorha Lough Castletownshend Urlaur Lakes Castlesampson Esker Annaghmore Lough (Roscommon) Four Roads Turlough Bricklieve Mountains & Keishcorran Knockalongy and Knockachree Cliffs Lough Arrow Streedagh Point Dunes Liskeenan Fen Kilmuckridge-Tinnaberna Sandhills Kilpatrick Sandhills Holdenstown Bog Magherabeg Dunes

218


No. 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307

Site Code 001774 001776 001786 001810 001818 001831 001847 001858 001873 001879 001880 001881 001890 001898 001899 001912 001913 001919 001922 001926 001932 001952 001955 001957 001975 001976 001992 002005 002006 002008 002010 002012 002031 002032 002034 002036 002037 002041 002047 002070

308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336

002074 002081 002091 002098 002110 002111 002112 002117 002118 002119 002120 002121 002122 002123 002124 002125 002126 002129 002130 002135 002137 002141 002144 002147 002157 002158 002159 002161 002162

Site Name Lough Carra/Mask Complex Pilgrim's Road Esker Kilroosky Lough Cluster White Lough, Ben Loughs and Lough Doo Lough Forbes Complex Split Hills and Long Hill Esker Philipston Marsh Galmoy Fen Derryclogher (Knockboy) Bog Glanmore Bog Meenaguse Scragh Maulagowna Bog Mullaghanish Bog Unshin River Cloonakillina Lough Glendree Bog Sonnagh Bog Glenade Lough Bellacorick Bog Complex East Burren Complex Mweelrea/Sheeffry/Erriff Complex Comeragh Mountains Croaghaun/Slievemore Boyne Coast and Estuary Ballyhoorisky Point to Fanad Head Lough Gill Tamur Bog Bellacragher Saltmarsh Ox Mountains Bogs Maumturk Mountains Old Domestic Building (Keevagh) North Inishowen Coast The Twelve Bens/Garraun Complex Boleybrack Mountain Connemara Bog Complex Ballyhoura Mountains Carrigeenamronety Hill Old Domestic Building, Curraglass Wood Cloghernagore Bog and Glenveagh National Park Tralee Bay and Magheree Peninsula West to Cloghane Slyne Head Peninsula Ballinafad Newhall and Edenvale Complex Old Domestic Building, Askive Wood Corliskea/Trien/Cloonfelliv Bog Kilkieran Bay and Islands Ballyseedy Wood Lough Coy Barnahallia Lough Lough Nageeron Lough Bane and Lough Glass Lough Lene Wicklow Mountains Ardmore Head Bolingbrook Hill Anglesey Road Pollagoona Bog Murvey Machair Tully Lough Lough Nageage Lower River Suir Mountmellick Newport River Lisduff Fen Newgrove House Kenmare River Mulroy Bay Long Bank River Barrow and River Nore

219


No. 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360 361 362 363 364 365 366 367 368 369 370 371 372 373 374 375 376 377 378 379 380 381 382 383 384 385 386 387 388 389 390 391 392 393 394 395 396 397 398 399 400 401 402 403 404 405 406

Site Code 002164 002165 002170 002171 002172 002173 002176 002177 002179 002180 002181 002185 002187 002189 002193 002213 002214 002236 002241 002243 002244 002245 002246 002247 002249 002250 002252 002256 002257 002258 002259 002261 002262 002263 002264 002265 002268 002269 002274 002279 002280 002281 002283 002287 002293 002294 002295 002296 002298 002299 002301 002303 002306 002313 002314 002315 002316 002317 002318 002319 002320 002332 002336 002337 002338 002339 002340 002341 002342 002346

Site Name Lough Golagh and Breesy Hill Lower River Shannon Blackwater River (Cork/Waterford) Bandon River Blasket Islands Blackwater River (Kerry) Leannan River Lough Dahybaun Towerhill House Gortacarnaun Wood Drummin Wood Slieve Mish Mountains Drongawn Lough Farranamanagh Lough Ireland's Eye Glenloughaun Esker Killeglan Grassland Island Fen Lough Derg, North-East Shore Clare Island Cliffs Ardrahan Grassland Old Farm Buildings, Ballymacrogan Ballycullinan, Old Domestic Building Toonagh Estate The Murrough Wetlands Carrowmore Dunes Thomastown Quarry Ballyprior Grassland Moanour Mountain Silvermines Mountains West Tory Island Coast Magharee Islands Valencia Harbour/Portmagee Channel Kerry Head Shoal Kilkee Reefs Kingstown Bay Achill Head Carnsore Point Wicklow Reef Askeaton Fen Complex Dunbeacon Shingle Reen Point Shingle Rutland Island and Sound Lough Swilly Carrowbaun, Newhall and Ballylee Turloughs Cahermore Turlough Ballinduff Turlough Williamstown Turloughs River Moy River Boyne and River Blackwater River Finn Dunmuckrum Turloughs Carlingford Shore Ballymore Fen Old Domestic Building, Rylane Glanlough Woods Ratty River Cave Cregg House Stables, Crusheen Knockanira House Kilkishen House Kildun Souterrain Coolrain Bog Carn Park Bog Crosswood Bog Drumalough Bog Ballynamona Bog and Corkip Lough Moneybeg and Clareisland Bogs Ardagullion Bog Mount Hevey Bog Brown Bog

220


No. 407 408 409 410 411 412 413 414 415 416 417 418 419 420 421 422 423 424 425 426 427

Site Code 002347 002349 002350 002352 002353 002354 002356 002324 002312 002348 002333 002351 002331 002343 002327 002328 002329 002330 004001 004002 004003

Site Name Camderry Bog Corbo Bog Curraghlehanagh Bog Monivea Bog Redwood Bog Tullaghanrock Bog Ardgraigue Bog Glendine Wood Slieve Bernagh Bog Clooneen Bog Knockacoller Bog Moanveanlagh Bog Mouds Bog Tullaher Lough and Bog Belgica Mound Province Hovland Mound Province South-West Porcupine Bank North-West Porcupine Bank Wexford Nature Reserve SPA Saltee Islands SPA Puffin Island SPA

221


Special Protection Areas No. 428 429 430 431 432 433 434 435 436 437 438 439 440 441 442 443 444 445 446 447 448 449 450 451 452 453 454 455 456 457 458 459 460 461 462 463 464 465 466 467 468 469 470 471 472 473 474 475 476 477 478 479 480 481 482 483 484 485 486 487 488 489 490 491 492 493 494

Site Code 004004 004005 004006 004007 004008 004009 004010 004011 004012 004013 004019 004022 004023 004024 004025 004026 004027 004028 004029 004030 004031 004032 004033 004034 004035 004036 004037 004038 004039 004040 004041 004042 004043 004044 004045 004046 004047 004048 004049 004050 004051 004052 004053 004054 004055 004056 004057 004058 004059 004060 004061 004062 004063 004064 004065 004066 004067 004068 004069 004070 004071 004072 004073 004074 004075 004076 004077

Site Name Inishkea Islands SPA Cliffs Of Moher SPA North Bull Island SPA Skelligs SPA Blasket Islands SPA Lady's Island Lake SPA Inish And Sgarbheen SPA Lough Gill SPA Horn Head SPA Drumcliff Bay SPA The Raven SPA Ballycotton Bay SPA Ballymacoda Bay SPA Sandymount Strand/Tolka Estuary SPA Broadmeadow/Swords Estuary SPA Dundalk Bay SPA Tramore Back Strand SPA Blackwater Estuary SPA Castlemaine Harbour SPA Cork Harbour SPA Inner Galway Bay SPA Dungarvan Harbour SPA Bannow Bay SPA Trawbreaga Bay SPA Cummeen Strand SPA Killala Bay/Moy Estuary SPA Blacksod Bay/Broadhaven SPA Killarney National Park SPA Glenveagh National Park SPA Wicklow Mountains SPA Ballyallia Lake Wildfowl Sanctuary SPA Lough Corrib SPA Lough Derravaragh SPA Lough Ennell SPA Glen Lough SPA Lough Iron SPA Lough Owel SPA Lough Gara SPA Lough Oughter SPA Lough Arrow SPA Lough Carra SPA Carrowmore Lake SPA Lough Conn SPA Lough Cullin (Mayo) SPA Cross Lough (Mullet) SPA Lough Cutra SPA Lough Derg (Donegal) SPA Lough Derg (Shannon) SPA Dunfanaghy/Rinclevan SPA Lough Fern SPA Lough Kinale And Derragh Lough SPA Lough Mask SPA Poulaphouca Reservoir SPA Lough Ree SPA Lough Sheelin SPA The Bull And The Cow Rocks SPA High Island (Galway) SPA Inishmurray SPA Lambay Island SPA Mutton Island (Clare) SPA Mattle Island SPA Stags Of Broad Haven SPA Tory Island SPA Illanmaster SPA Lough Swilly SPA Wexford Harbour And Slobs SPA River Shannon And River Fergus Estuaries SPA

222


No. 495 496 497 498 499 500 501 502 503 504 505 506 507 508 509 510 511 512 513 514 515 516 517 518 519 520 521 522 523 524 525 526 527 528 529 530 531 532 533 534 535 536 537 538 539 540 541 542 543 544 545 546 547 548 549 550 551 552

Site Code 004078 004079 004080 004082 004083 004084 004085 004086 004087 004088 004089 004090 004091 004092 004093 004094 004095 004096 004097 004098 004099 004100 004101 004102 004103 004105 004106 004107 004108 004109 004110 004111 004112 004113 004114 004115 004116 004117 004118 004119 004120 004121 004122 004123 004124 004125 004126 004127 004128 004129 004130 004131 004132 004133 004134 004135 004137 004142

Site Name Carlingford Lough SPA Akeragh, Banna And Barrow Harbour SPA Boyne Estuary SPA Greers Isle SPA Inishbofin, Inishdooey And Inishbeg SPA Inishglora And Inishkeeragh SPA Kilcoole Marshes SPA River Little Brosna Callows SPA Lough Foyle SPA Lough Scannive SPA Rahasane Turlough SPA Sheskinmore Lough SPA Stabannan-Braganstown SPA Tacumshin Lake SPA Termoncarragh Lake And Annagh Machair SPA Blackwater Callows SPA Kilcolman Bog SPA Middle Shannon Callows SPA River Suck Callows SPA Owenduff/Nephin Complex SPA Pettigo Plateau Nature Reserve SPA Inishtrahull SPA Ballykenny-Fisherstown Bog SPA Garriskil Bog SPA All Saints Bog SPA Bellanagare Bog SPA Lough Barra Bog SPA Coole-Garryland SPA Eirk Bog SPA The Gearagh SPA Lough Nillan Bog SPA Duvillaun Islands SPA Helvick Head Coast SPA Howth Head Coast SPA Illaunonearaun SPA Inishduff SPA Inishkeel SPA Ireland's Eye SPA Keeragh Islands SPA Loop Head SPA Rathlin O'birne Island SPA Roaninish SPA Skerries Islands SPA Slyne Head Islands SPA Sovereign Islands SPA Magharee Islands SPA Tormore Island SPA Wicklow Head SPA Broad Lough SPA Ballysadare Bay SPA Inch Lough And Levels SPA Inishsirrer And Inishmeane SPA Illancrone And Inishkeeragh SPA Aughris Head SPA Lough Rea SPA Ardboline Island And Horse Island SPA Dovegrove Callows SPA Cregganna Marsh SPA

223


NOTIFIABLE ACTIONS

Habitat Type The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government is Required to be Notified in Relation to the Following Activities and Such Activities Should Not Proceed Without Prior Consent OPEN MARINE WATERS, INLETS 1. Operation of commercial recreation activities (e.g. sailing schools, diving tours, jet ski hire, dolphin watching tours) AND BAYS, 1.1

TIDAL RIVERS AND ESTUARINE 2. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area CHANNELS, MARINE CAVES, REEFS, SUBMERGED SAND BANKS

3. Collection of species for aquaria 4. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

1. Operation of commercial recreation activities (e.g. sailing schools, diving tours, jet ski hire, dolphin watching tours)

MUDFLATS AND SANDFLATS, SANDY COASTAL BEACHES, 1.2

SHINGLE BEACHES,

2. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 3. Collection of species for aquaria 4. Collection of biological samples or organised educational activities where they occur on bedrock shores or boulder beaches

BOULDER BEACHES, BEDROCK 5. Driving vehicles over the area, except over rights of way or over access to licensed aquaculture facilities SHORES, MARINE CAVES

6. Digging, ploughing or otherwise disturbing the substrate 7. Alteration of the banks, bed or flow of watercourses 8. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

1. Alteration of the banks, bed or flow of watercourses 2. Grazing of livestock/ grazing of livestock treated within the previous week with a pesticide which leaves persistent residues in the dung 3. Cropping or removal of plants 4. Driving vehicles over the area, except over rights of way or over access to licensed aquaculture

5. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 1.3

SALTMARSHES

6. Digging or otherwise disturbing the substrate 7. Harvesting shellfish by mechanical means

224


8. Reclamation, infilling, ploughing or land drainage 9. Reseeding, planting of trees or any other species use of any pesticide or herbicide 10. Application of fertiliser, lime or organic materials 11. Dumping, burning or storing any materials 12. Operation of commercial recreation activities (e.g. pony trekking) 13. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time 1. Causing erosion by any means (e.g. driving vehicles, riding horses etc.) 2. Grazing of livestock above a sustainable density (as defined in approved farm plans) 3. Grazing by livestock treated within the previous week with a pesticide which leaves persistent residues in the dung 4. Supplementary feeding of stock (e.g. with hay, silage, concentrates, roots etc.) 5. Cropping or removal of plants 6. Reclamation, infilling, ploughing or land drainage 1.4

SAND DUNES OR MACHAIR

7. Reseeding, planting of trees or any other species •

8. Application of fertiliser, lime or organic materials

9. Dumping, burning or storing any materials •

10. Use of any pesticide or herbicide

11. Alteration of the banks, bed or flow of watercourses 12. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. pony trekking) 13. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 14. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

1. Undermining or altering the structure of any shingle barrier or other barrier between the lake and the sea 2. Blocking or altering the flow of water into or out of the lake 3. Restocking with fish

1.5

BRACKISH LAKES, LAGOONS

4. Grazing by livestock treated within the previous week with a pesticide which leaves persistent residues in the dung within 50m of the lake

5. Reclamation, infilling, ploughing or land drainage within 50m of the lake

6. Application of fertiliser, lime or organic materials within 50m of the lake

7. Reseeding, planting of trees or any other species within 50m of the lake 8. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. sailing schools, jet ski hire) 9. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 10. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

225


1. Grazing of livestock above a sustainable density (as defined in approved farm plans) 2. Grazing by livestock treated within the previous week with a pesticide which leaves persistent residues in the dung 3. Supplementary feeding of stock (e.g. with hay, silage, concentrates, roots etc.) 4. Reclamation, infilling, rock removal, ploughing or land drainage 5. Reseeding, planting of trees or any other species ROCKY SEA CLIFFS,

6. Use of any pesticide or herbicide

1.6 CLAY SEA CLIFFS, SEA STACKS 7. Burning of vegetation AND

8. Application of fertiliser, lime or organic materials

ISLETS (STACKS, HOLMS AND 9. Dumping, burning or storing any materials SKERRIES ) 10. Cropping or removal of plants 11. Removing ruined buildings alteration of the banks, bed or flow of watercourses 12. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. pony trekking) 13. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 14. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

1. Grazing of livestock above a sustainable density (as defined in approved farm plans)/grazing by livestock treated within the previous week with a pesticide which leaves persistent residues in the dung 2. Changing of traditional use from hay meadow (to either grazing or silage making), or from grazing to silage cutting

3. Adding lime/adding fertiliser of any sort to areas not previously fertilised; applying fertiliser which would increase the level of nitrogen in the soil/applying fertiliser which would increase the level of phosphorous in the soil 4. Applying phosphorous to soils which already have in excess of the REPS index 2 levels 5. Using fertiliser on slopes over 25 degrees 2.1

UPLAND GRASSLAND, SCREE, 6. Creation of new tracks or paths AND INLAND CLIFF

7. Burning of vegetation 8. Reclamation, infilling, ploughing or land drainage 9. Reseeding, planting of trees or any other species 10. Rock removal/use of any pesticide or herbicide 11. Dumping, burning or storing any materials 12. Alteration of the banks, bed or flow of watercourses 13. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. pony trekking)/ introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area

226


14. Recreational use of mechanically propelled vehicles 15. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

1. Grazing of livestock above a sustainable density (as defined in approved farm plans)/grazing livestock treated within the previous week with a pesticide which leaves persistent residues in the dung 2. Changing of traditional use from hay meadow (to either grazing or silage making), or from grazing to silage cutting

3. Adding lime/adding fertiliser of any sort to areas not previously fertilised; applying fertiliser which would increase the level of nitrogen in the soil/applying fertiliser which would increase the level of phosphorous in the soil 4. Applying phosphorous to soils which already have in excess of the REPS index 2 levels

2.2

5. Mowing grass before the 30th June (Note; if you have been notified that your lands hold breeding corncrakes, or certain rare meadows, special provisions will DRY LOWLAND GRASSLANDS apply) 6. Burning of vegetation /ploughing or cultivation of lands which have not been so managed for the last 20 years 7. Reclamation, infilling, or land drainage 8. Reseeding, planting of trees or any other species 9. Use of any pesticide or herbicide dumping 10. Burning or storing any materials 11. Alteration of the banks, bed or flow of watercourses 12. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. pony trekking)/ introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 13. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

1. Grazing of livestock above a sustainable density (as defined in approved farm plans)/grazing by livestock treated within the previous week with a pesticide which leaves persistent residues in the dung 2. Changing of traditional use from hay meadow (to either grazing or silage making), or from grazing to silage cutting

2.3

WET LOWLAND GRASSLANDS

3. Adding lime/adding fertiliser of any sort to areas not previously fertilised; applying fertiliser which would increase the level of nitrogen in the soil/applying fertiliser which would increase the level of phosphorous in the soil 4. Applying phosphorous to soils which already have in excess of the REPS index 2 levels

5. Mowing grass before 30 June (Note: if you have been notified that your lands hold breeding corncrakes, or certain rare meadows, special provisions will apply)

227


6. Burning of vegetation 7. Reclamation, infilling, or land drainage 8. Reseeding, planting of trees or any other species 9. Use of any pesticide or herbicide dumping 10. Burning or storing any materials 11. Alteration of the banks, bed or flow of watercourses 12. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. pony trekking)/ introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 13. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

1. Grazing of livestock above a sustainable density (as defined in approved farm plans)/grazing by livestock treated within the previous week with a pesticide which leaves persistent residues in the dung 2. Grazing of stock from 1 April to 31 October, except as defined in REPS guidelines 3. Changing of traditional use from hay meadow (to either grazing or silage making), or from grazing to silage cutting 4. Supplementary feeding of stock, except as defined in REPS guidelines 5. Removal of scrub by bulldozer or similar machinery (cutting scrub is permitted) 6. Grazing by sheep 2.4

LIMESTONE PAVEMENT

7. Adding lime/adding fertiliser or organic material of any sort 8. Creation of new tracks or paths 9. Burning of vegetation 10. Reclamation, importing of soil, infilling, ploughing or land drainage 11. Reseeding, planting of trees or any other species 12. Use of any pesticide or herbicide 13. Dumping, burning or storing any materials 14. Alteration of the banks, bed or flow of watercourses 15. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. pony trekking) 16. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 17. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

1. Grazing of livestock above a sustainable density (as defined in approved farm plans)/grazing by livestock treated within the previous week with a pesticide which leaves persistent residues in the dung

228


2. Changing of traditional use from hay meadow (to either grazing or silage making), or from grazing to silage cutting 3. Adding lime within 50m of the normal high flood level of the turlough 4. Adding fertiliser of any sort within 50m of the normal high flood level of the turlough 5. Mowing grass before 30 June (Note: if you have been notified that your lands hold breeding corncrakes, or certain rare meadows, special provisions will apply) 6. Supplementary feeding of stock 7. Operation of boat angling or shore angling business 2.5

TURLOUGHS

8. Restocking with fish

9. Reclamation, infilling, ploughing or land drainage within 50m of the normal high flood level of the turlough 10. Reseeding, planting of trees or any other species within 50m of the normal high flood level of the turlough 11. Use of any pesticide or herbicide within 50m of the normal high flood level of the turlough 12. Dumping, burning or storing any materials within 50m of the normal high flood level of the turlough 13. Alteration of the banks, bed or flow of watercourses, including the blocking of swallowholes 14. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. sailing schools, jet ski hire) 15. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 16. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

1. Grazing of livestock above a sustainable density (as defined in approved farm plans)/grazing by livestock treated within the previous week with a pesticide which leaves persistent residues in the dung 2. Changing of traditional use from hay meadow (to either grazing or silage making), or from grazing to silage cutting 3. Supplementary feeding of stock, except as defined in REPS guidelines 4. Introduction of stock to formerly ungrazed areas 5. Adding lime 6. Adding fertiliser of any sort 7. Creation of new tracks or paths 8. Burning of vegetation 9. Reclamation, infilling, ploughing or land drainage 3.1

BLANKET BOG

10. Reseeding, planting of trees or any other species 11. Rock removal

229


12. Cutting turf except from existing banks; no cutting room intact (uncut) areas 13. Commercial peat moss or turf extraction 14. Use of any pesticide or herbicide, including sheep dip 15. Dumping, burning or storing any materials 16. Alteration of the banks, bed or flow of watercourses 17. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. pony trekking) 18. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 19. Recreational use of mechanically propelled vehicles 20. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

1. Grazing of livestock above a sustainable density (as defined in approved farm plans)/grazing by livestock treated within the previous week with a pesticide which leaves persistent residues in the dung 2. Supplementary feeding of stock, except as defined in REPS guidelines 3. Introduction of stock to formerly ungrazed areas 4. Adding lime 5. Adding fertiliser of any sort 6. Creation of new tracks or paths 7. Burning areas of vegetation over 5ha, or burning any area more often than once every 15 years 8. Reclamation, infilling, ploughing or land drainage 3.2

HEATH

9. Reseeding, planting of trees or any other species

(INCLUDING JUNIPER SCRUB) 10. Rock removal 11. Cutting turf except from existing banks; no cutting room intact (uncut) areas 12. Commercial peat moss or turf extraction 13. Use of any pesticide or herbicide, including sheep dip 14. Dumping, burning or storing any materials 15. Alteration of the banks, bed or flow of watercourses 16. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. pony trekking) 17. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 18. Recreational use of mechanically propelled vehicles 19. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

230


1. Grazing of livestock above a sustainable density (as defined in approved farm plans)/grazing by livestock treated within the previous week with a pesticide which leaves persistent residues in the dung 2. Adding lime 3. Adding fertiliser of any sort 4. Creation of new tracks or paths 5. Burning areas of vegetation 6. Reclamation, infilling, ploughing or land drainage 4.1

RAISED BOG, CUTAWAY BOG 7. Reseeding, planting of trees or any other species AND BOG WOODLAND

8. Cutting trees or removing timber 9. Drainage works on the bog or within the local water catchment area 10. Cutting turf or peat moss extraction 11. Use of any pesticide or herbicide, including sheep dip 12. Dumping, burning or storing any materials 13. Alteration of the banks, bed or flow of watercourses 14. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. botanical tours) 15. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 16. Recreational use of mechanically propelled vehicles 17. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

1. Changing of traditional use from hay meadow (to either grazing or silage making), or from grazing to silage cutting 2. Adding lime within 50m of the fen or a water course running into it 3. Adding fertiliser of any sort within 50m or a water course running into it 4. Extracting water for irrigation or other purposes 5. Mowing grass before 30 June (Note: if you have been notified that your lands hold breeding corncrakes, or certain rare meadows, special provisions will apply) 6. Supplementary feeding of stock 4.2

FENS, TRANSITION MIRES, PETRIFYING SPRINGS

7. Operation of boat angling or shore angling business 8. Restocking with fish 9. Reclamation, infilling, ploughing or land drainage within 50m of the fen 10. Reseeding, planting of trees or any other species within 50m of the fen 11. Use of any pesticide or herbicide within 50m of the fen 12. Dumping, burning or storing any materials within 50m of the fen 13. Alteration of the banks, bed or flow of watercourses within the fen or running into or out of it

231


14. Harvesting reed or willow 15. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. bird-watching tours) 16. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 17. Recreational use of mechanically propelled vehicles 18. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

1. Grazing by livestock 2. Adding lime 3. Adding fertiliser of any sort 4. Reclamation, infilling, ploughing or land drainage reseeding, planting of trees or any other species 5. Felling of trees 6. Removal of timber 5.1

WOODLANDS

7. Removal of foliage, moss or other materials 8. Killing ivy 9. Use of any pesticide or herbicide 10. Dumping, burning or storing any materials 11. Alteration of the banks, bed or flow of watercourses 12. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. bird-watching tours) 13. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 14. Recreational use of mechanically propelled vehicles 15. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

1. Grazing of livestock above a sustainable density (as defined in approved farm plans)/grazing by livestock treated within the previous week with a pesticide which leaves persistent residues in the dung 2. Supplementary feeding of stock (as defined in approved farm plans) 3. Adding lime 4. Adding fertiliser of any sort 5. Reclaiming land covered by scrub; if scrub is cut it must be allowed to regrow 6. Reclamation, infilling, ploughing or land drainage 7. Reseeding, planting of trees or any other species 8. Felling of trees 5.2

SCRUB

9. Removal of timber 10. Removal of foliage, moss or other materials

232


11. Killing ivy 12. Use of any pesticide or herbicides) 13. Dumping, burning or storing any materials 14. Alteration of the banks, bed or flow of watercourses 15. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. walking tours) 16.Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 17. Recreational use of mechanically propelled vehicles 18. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time Current farming activities can continue without notification unless they involve any of the following, which, may impact upon habitats and are notifiable actions (that is actions which would require consultation and consent in advance):

6.1

RIVERS OR STREAMS

Reclamation, infilling or drainage (other than cleaning of drains)* within 5 m of the riverbank.

Removal of trees; reseeding of lands where this has not been practiced for 10 years or more; or afforestation.

Ploughing or use of any pesticides where this has not been practiced for 10 years or more.

Any use of pesticides (herbicide or insecticide) within 5 m of the riverbank.

Intensification of current farming activity.

Alteration of the banks, channel, bed or flow of the river.

1. Grazing of livestock above a sustainable density as defined in approved farm plans) within 50m of the lake, pond or canal 2. Grazing by livestock treated within the previous week with a pesticide which leaves persistent residues in the dung 3. Supplementary feeding of stock within 50m of the lake, pond or canal 4. Adding lime within 50m of the lake, pond or canal 5. Adding fertiliser of any sort within 50m of the lake, pond or canal 6. Extracting water for irrigation or other purposes 7. Operation of boat angling or shore angling business 8. Restocking with fish 9. Reclamation, infilling, ploughing or land drainage within 50m of the lake, pond or canal 10. Reseeding, planting of trees or any other species within 50m of the lake, pond or canal 6.2

LAKES, PONDS AND CANALS

11. Removal of trees or any aquatic vegetation within 50m of the lake, pond or canal 12. Use of any pesticide or herbicide in the river or stream or within 50m of the lake, pond or canal 13. Dumping rubbish or other materials or disposing of any chemicals or wastes in streams/rivers or into water-courses running into them

233


14. Dumping, burning or storing any materials within 50m of the lake, pond or canal including the land 15. Spreading of used pesticides (e.g. sheep dip) 16. Alteration of the banks, channel, bed or flow of the lake, pond or canal 17. Harvesting or burning of reed or willow 18. Causing siltation 19. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. bird-watching tours) 20. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 21. Recreational use of mechanically propelled vehicles 22. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

1. Grazing of livestock above a sustainable density (as defined in approved farm plans) within 50m of the marsh or reedbed 2. Grazing by livestock treated within the previous week with a pesticide which leaves persistent residues in the dung 3. Supplementary feeding of stock within 50m of the marsh or reedbed 4. Adding lime within 50m of the marsh or reedbed 5. Adding fertiliser of any sort within 50m of the marsh or reedbed 6. Extracting water for irrigation or other purposes 7. Operation of boat angling or shore angling business 8. Restocking with fish 9. Reclamation, infilling, ploughing or land drainage within 50m of the marsh or reedbed 10. Reseeding, planting of trees or any other species within 50m of the marsh or reedbed 6.3

MARSHES AND REEDBEDS

11. Removal of trees or any aquatic vegetation within 50m of the marsh or reedbed 12. Use of any pesticide or herbicide in the river or stream or within 50m of the marsh or reedbed 13. Dumping rubbish or other materials or disposing of any chemicals or wastes in the marsh or reedbed or into watercourses running into them 14. Dumping, burning or storing any materials within 50m of the marsh or reedbed including the land 15. Spreading of used pesticides (e.g. sheep dip) 16. Alteration of the banks, channel, bed or flow of the marsh or reedbed or of watercourses running into or out of it 17. Harvesting or burning of reed or willow 18. Causing siltation

234


19. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. bird-watching tours) 20. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 22. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

DITCHES, HEDGES, CEREALS

1. Disturbance of bats

AND INTENSIVE GRASSLANDS, 2. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. bird watching tours) WALLS, BUILDINGS, 7.1

WASTE GROUND, BARE SOIL, PARKLAND,

3. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 4. Recreational use of mechanically propelled vehicles 5. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

GRASSLAND, BRACKEN, CAVES, OR QUARRIES

1. Treating buildings or other places used by bats with pesticides or rot preventive treatments 2. Blocking up caves or otherwise preventing access by bats to caves buildings or other places used for roosts LESSER HORSESHOE BAT

3. Lighting up caves buildings or other places used by bats for roosts 4. Destruction or renovation of buildings or other structures used by bats for roosts

(It is an offence under Wildlife Act 1976 to kill, injure or disturb bats or to destroy their breeding places) 8.1

5. Spraying or application of insecticides within 100m of a bat roost 6. Grazing by livestock treated within the previous week with a pesticide which leaves persistent residues in the dung, within 100m of the bat roost 7. Felling trees within 100m of a bat roost 8. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 9. Operation of commercial recreation facilities 10. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

GREY SEAL, COMMON SEAL, BOTTLE-NOSED DOLPHIN, HARBOUR PORPOISE

1. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. sailing schools, jet ski hire) 2. Commercial dolphin or seal watching 3. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area

8.2 (It is an offence under Wildlife Act 1976 to kill, injure or disturb these species)

4. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

235


1. Fishing for fresh-water pearl mussels 2. Grazing of livestock above a sustainable density (as defined in approved farm plans) within 30m of the river or stream 3. Grazing by livestock treated within the previous week with a pesticide which leaves persistent residues in the dung 4. Supplementary feeding of stock within 30m of the river or stream 5. Adding lime within 30m of the river or stream 6. Adding fertiliser of any sort within 30m of the river or stream RIVER LAMPREY, SEA LAMPREY, BROOK LAMPREY,

8.3

7. Extracting water for irrigation or other purposes 8. Operation of boat angling or shore angling business, restocking with fish

SALMON, TWAITE SHAD,

9. Reclamation, infilling, ploughing or land drainage within 30m of the river or stream

WHITE-CLAWED CRAYFISH,

10. Reseeding, planting of trees or any other species within 30m of the river or stream

FRESH WATER PEARL MUSSEL 11. Removal of trees or any aquatic vegetation within 30m of the river/stream (It is an offence under Wildlife Act 1976 to kill, injure or disturb these 12. Use of any pesticide or herbicide in the river or stream or within 30m of the river or stream species 13. Dumping rubbish or other materials or disposing of any chemicals or wastes in streams/rivers or into water-courses running into them 14. Dumping, burning or storing any materials within 30m of the river/stream including the land spreading of used pesticides (e.g. sheep dip). 15. Alteration of the banks, channel, bed or flow of the river or stream 16. Harvesting or burning of reed or willow 17. Causing siltation 18. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. bird- watching tours) 19. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 20. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

1. Grazing of livestock above a sustainable density (as defined in approved farm plans) within 50m of the lake

236


2. Grazing by livestock treated within the previous week with a pesticide which leaves persistent residues in the dung 3. Supplementary feeding of stock within 50m of the lake 4. Adding lime within 50m of the lake 5. Adding fertiliser of any sort within 50m of the lake 6. Extracting water for irrigation or other purposes 7. Operation of boat angling or shore angling business 8. Restocking with fish 9. Reclamation, infilling, ploughing or land drainage within 50m of the lake 10. Reseeding, planting of trees or any other species within 50m of the lake 8.4

KILLARNEY SHAD (FISHING OF THIS SPECIES IS REGULATED BY OTHER STATUTE)

11. Removal of trees or any aquatic vegetation within 50m of the river/stream 12. Use of any pesticide or herbicide in the lake or within 50m of the lake 13. Dumping rubbish or other materials or disposing of any chemicals or wastes in streams/rivers or into water-courses running into them 14. Dumping, burning or storing any materials within 50m of the lake pond or canal including the land 15. Spreading of used pesticides (e.g. sheep dip) 16. Alteration of the banks, channel, bed or flow of the lake or of watercourses running into or out of it 17. Harvesting or burning of reed or willow 18. Causing siltation 19. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. bird-watching tours) 20. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 21. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

1. Grazing of livestock above a sustainable density (as defined in approved farm plans) within 50m of the lake, pond or canal 2. Grazing by livestock treated within the previous week with a pesticide which leaves persistent residues in the dung 3. Supplementary feeding of stock within 50m of the lake, pond or canal 4. Adding lime within 50m of the lake, pond or canal

237


5. Adding fertiliser of any sort within 50m of the lake, pond or canal 6. Extracting water for irrigation or other purposes 7. Operation of boat angling or shore angling business 8. Restocking with fish 9. Reclamation, infilling, ploughing or land drainage within 50m of the lake, pond or canal 10. Reseeding, planting of trees or any other species within 50m of the lake, pond or canal 8.5

VERTIGO SPECIES, SHINING SICKLE MOSS

11. Removal of trees or any aquatic vegetation within 50m of the river/stream 12. Use of any pesticide or herbicide in the lake or within 50m of the lake, pond or canal 13. Dumping rubbish or other materials or disposing of any chemicals or wastes in streams/rivers or into water-courses running into them 14. Dumping, burning or storing any materials within 50m of the lake pond or canal including the land 15. Spreading of used pesticides (e.g. sheep dip) 16. Alteration of the banks, channel, bed or flow of the lake or of watercourses running into or out of it 17. Harvesting or burning of reed or willow 18. Causing siltation 19. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. bird-watching tours) 20. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 21. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

1. Grazing of livestock above a sustainable density (as defined in approved farm plans) within 50m of the lake, pond or canal 2. Grazing by livestock treated within the previous week with a pesticide which leaves persistent residues in the dung 3. Supplementary feeding of stock within 50m of the lake, pond or canal 4. Adding lime within 50m of the lake, pond or canal 5. Adding fertiliser of any sort within 50m of the lake, pond or canal 6. Extracting water for irrigation or other purposes 7. Operation of boat angling or shore angling business 8. Restocking with fish

238


9. Reclamation, infilling, ploughing or land drainage within 50m of the lake, pond or canal 10. Reseeding, planting of trees or any other species within 50m of the lake, pond or canal 8.7

SLENDER NAIAD

11. Removal of trees or any aquatic vegetation within 50m of the river/stream 12. Use of any pesticide or herbicide in the lake or within 50m of the lake, pond or canal 13. Dumping rubbish or other materials or disposing of any chemicals or wastes in streams/rivers or into water-courses running into them 14. Dumping, burning or storing any materials within 50m of the lake pond or canal including the land 15. Spreading of used pesticides (e.g. sheep dip) 16. Alteration of the banks, channel, bed or flow of the lake or of watercourses running into or out of it 17. Harvesting or burning of reed or willow 18. Causing siltation 19. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. bird-watching tours) 20. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 21. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

1. Grazing of livestock above a sustainable density (as defined in approved farm plans) 2. Introduction of stock to formerly ungrazed areas 3. Adding lime 4. Adding lime within 50m of the lake, pond or canal 5. Adding fertiliser of any sort 6. Creation of new tracks or paths 7. Burning of vegetation 8. Reclamation, infilling, ploughing or land drainage 8.8

MARSH SAXIFRAGE

9. Reseeding, planting of trees or any other species 10. Rock removal 11. Cutting turf except from existing banks; no cutting from intact (uncut) areas 12. Commercial peat moss or turf extraction 13. Use of any pesticide or herbicide, including sheep dip 14. Dumping, burning or storing any materials

239


15. Alteration of the banks, bed or flow of watercourses 16. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. pony trekking) 17. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 18. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

1. Causing erosion by any means (e.g. driving vehicles, riding horses etc.) 2. Grazing of livestock above a sustainable density (as defined in approved farm plans) 3. Supplementary feeding of stock (e.g. with hay, silage, concentrates, roots etc.) 4. Cropping or removal of plants 5. Reclamation, infilling, ploughing or land drainage 8.9

PETALWORT

6. Reseeding, planting of trees or any other species 7. Application of fertiliser, lime or organic materials 8. Dumping, burning or storing any materials 9. Use of any pesticide or herbicide 10. Alteration of the banks, bed or flow of watercourses 11. Operation of commercial recreation facilities (e.g. pony trekking) 12. Introduction (or re-introduction) into the wild of plants or animals of species not currently found in the area 13. Any other activity of which notice may be given by the Minister from time to time

240


Appendix 3 Agri-environment Costings (REPS and Organic Farming) Basis of REPS Costing for Grassland Farmers Measure No.

Area

REPS Specification Action

1. Nutrient management plan

National

Follow an appropriate waste management, liming and fertiliser plan prepared for the total area of the farm. a) Fertiliser limits apply to crops.

b) Nutrient Management Plan to be complied with for the whole farm. This includes establishing baseline soil fertility status by extensive soil sampling, analysis and interpretation

Total Cost

2. Grassland and soil management plan

National

Adopt a grassland & soil management plan that avoids poaching, overgrazing, soil erosion and run-off leading to the damage of heather or other natural vegetation or wetlands habitats. a) Increased work input by farmer required in managing livestock over the winter

Amount (â&#x201A;Ź/ha)

Option (â&#x201A;Ź/ha)

Cross-compliance corresponding to the action 32

No claim

Farmers less than 170kg org N/ha must abide by the conditions of the Nitrates Directive (SI 378 of 2006) for the protection of waters regulations. This provides that the total amount of livestock manure applied to a holding in a calendar year must not contain more than 170 kgs of nitrogen to the hectare.

25

The total quantity of fertilisers (organic and chemical combined) that you apply to your land must not be more than the crops need (this includes grass). In addition farmers must also meet requirements in relation to animal manure management, planning and building regulations. 33 Comply with Nitrate SI on spreading of organic and chemical fertilisers. Farmers stocked above 170kg organic N must apply for derogation under the regulation. As the field-by-field approach is mandatory for derogation farmers the extra justification is based on additional works being assessed on a specific basis under measure 4 and 5. Outwinter and overwintering of livestock in buildings and yards while meeting the statutory requirements in relation to waste management, water management, target areas and the Wildlife Act, 2001. This does not set down a core winter housing

25.00

8.0

32

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC Field by field soil sampling and analysis required. Analysis and interpretation of the results of these samples by the REPS planner provides an accurate base line of the existing fertility of the various soil types on the farm. This, together with an estimation of the land productivity allows the targeting, on a field-byfield basis, of nutrient application including optimum recycling of farm generated organic fertilisers. This will lead to environmental benefits for water quality through the reduction in chemical N use by an average of 10kg/ha. It will also lead to benefits for biodiversity by restricting its use on plots of conservation interest. The extra cost of complying with the Nutrient Management Plan is due to significant change and increase in work practice relating to the field based fertiliser and manure programme based on soil analysis and crop requirements.

Setting a core wintering period and setting a maximum stocking rate to 1LU/ha, which cannot be exceeded during this period. This will reduce the risk of poaching, particularly of wetland habitats and overgrazing leading to damage of heather or other natural vegetation.

Cross-compliance outlined in this column is a summarised version. For a comprehensive description of cross-compliance, refer to the Single Farm Payment guide to Cross-compliance and the single payment scheme: DAF publications. 33 Local Government (Water Pollution) Act, 1977 and Amendment Act, 1990; Waste Management Act, 1996; Fisheries (Consolidation) Act, 1959; Local Government (Planning and Development) Acts, 1963 to 1998; Air Pollution Act, 1987; Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992 and the European Communities (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations, 1989.

241


Measure No.

Area

REPS Specification Action

Amount (â&#x201A;Ź/ha)

Option (â&#x201A;Ź/ha)

Cross-compliance corresponding to the action 32

period.

b)

Input by farmer in monitoring a grassland and soil management plan

Total Cost

or grassland management plan for the animals. The management of animals outdoors shall not result in severe poaching or severe overgrazing. Particular attention will be paid where stocking rate over winter is above 2LU/ha.

2.2

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC Planners in preparing individual REPS plans set out the core winter housing period and grassland/soil management, which avoids poaching and overgrazing. This reduced stocking rate during the wintering period results in additional work input by farmer in managing low stock numbers over a large area. Monitoring grassland & soil management plan

10.2

2A. Traditional Hay Meadows This is based on a farmer maintaining 0.4 ha or 8per cent, whichever is the lesser, of his holding as hay meadows Reduced crop production Reduced feeding value

7

Forage conserved in a manner that maximises quality and yield. Adhere to the forage requirements for nutrients recommended by Teagasc.

There will be additional costs on applicants by reverting to traditional forage making practices. The quantity and quality of forage saved will fall below that normally made on commercial farms.

7

Livestock grazed in a manner that avoids both under and overgrazing of grassland and meets the statutory requirements in relation to target areas5 and the Wildlife Act, 2001.

Normal practices for maintaining a highly productive sward will be prohibited such as reseeding, excess liming and fertilisation.

23

Clover not normally part of Irish swards

Reduced use of chemical N on conservation ground.

2E. Encourage the use of trailing shoe technology This is based on a farmer availing of latest technology for increasing N cycling efficiency

10

No baseline requirement to use this technology

Increased N cycling efficiency & Reduced use of chemical N on conservation ground

2F. Control of invasive species in grassland, e.g. rushes and/or bracken This is based on a farmer controlling and managing high rush/bracken/blackthorn/gorse populations Chemical and mechanical control

12

Baseline requires that encroachment of farmland by invasive species to the extent that the land is incapable of agricultural production be prevented. GAEC allows the non-selective control of these species with no requirement to consider its biodiversity

Maintenance of grassland quality and landscape appearance. Many of these grassland habitats are marginal in nature and the habitat is complemented by the presence of species, which can be invasive if left uncontrolled. These habitats are at continual risk of reverting

2B. Species Rich Grassland This is based on a farmer maintaining 0.4 ha or 8per cent , whichever is the lesser, of his holding as species rich grassland Reduced grass production/grazing potential Reduced grass quality 2D. Encourage the use of clover in swards This is based on a farmer reseeding conservation ground to maintain high clover levels Based on 25per cent of 20ha

242


Measure No.

Area

REPS Specification Action

Amount (â&#x201A;Ź/ha)

Option (â&#x201A;Ź/ha)

Cross-compliance corresponding to the action 32

Based on 10per cent of 20ha, min 0.5ha

3. Protect and maintain watercourses and wells

National

benefits.

Protect and maintain watercourses and wells, with access by livestock to be limited to drinking points. a) Fence off watercourses and wells from bovines.

20.0

b) Bovines restricted from grazing of one and a half metre strip by watercourse.

1.0

c) Remove silt from watercourse and scrape bottom and sides to original depth only; in accordance with environmental specifications.

8.3

Total Cost

Comply with recommended buffer zones for the non application of fertilisers as specified in SI 378 of 2006 for the protection of watercourses when spreading fertilisers (organic and chemical) A fence to exclude bovines from watercourses and wells is not required.

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC to a semi-natural state. The objective of this measure is to promote the conservation and maintenance of these specific habitats by targeted control of particular species, while retaining a dispersed population of these species within the grassland habitat. To reduce risk of pollution by the exclusion of all bovines from buffer zone on all watercourses

Average length of watercourse fencing required per ha is 21m.

No specification Loss of grazing of one and a half metre strip by watercourses. Watercourse maintenance is not mandatory. Maintenance of watercourses according to REPS specification will require work with manual tools on an annual basis and the use of a mechanical digger once every five years.

29.3

3A. Increase watercourse margin by 1m with drinking access point Grazing restriction along additional 1m strip by water course

8

. Bovines allowed access to one and a half metre strip of grazing along watercourse

.

3B: No Bovine access to watercourses Provide alternative piped water source 3C: Use of planted buffer zones

5.0 8.5

Retain wildlife habitats such as field divisions, woodlands, wetlands, natural and semi-natural

243

No restriction preventing bovines drinking directly from watercourses Baseline is as per basic measure 3. Therefore a unplanted buffer zone is maintained.

Primary objective of this sub measure is to create additional habitat space alongside watercourses to allow natural regeneration of typical riverside vegetation structure, thus providing habitat for associated fauna. The increased margin also acts as a buffer strip with the potential to intercept nutrients and soil particles in overland flow. Loss of grazing of 1m strip by watercourse To improve water quality by preventing any physical damage to the banks of watercourses. The action of planting a buffer zone with willow or alder, which is stockproofed, goes beyond the baseline. The fact that the buffer is planted and stock-proofed prevents animals from grazing close to the water body. The planted buffer will also intercept nutrients from overland flow from adjacent land and


Measure No.

Area

REPS Specification Action

4. Retain Wildlife Habitats

National

vegetation. a) Setting-aside of land for wildlife habitat use

Amount (â&#x201A;Ź/ha)

Option (â&#x201A;Ź/ha)

Cross-compliance corresponding to the action 32

Comply with requirements applicable to NHAs & Natura 2000 area and The Wildlife Act, 2001. Removal of habitats is not recommended. However the removal of wildlife habitats not protected under legislation, to facilitate commercial farming practices, is not prohibited.

11

All habitat areas including non-designated habitats will be identified and mapped during the REPS planning process and the plan will prescribe to the farmer what actions are required to maintain these habitats. The opportunity cost of setting-aside 3per cent of land as wildlife habitat which otherwise could be used for commercial farming purposes.

21.5

Conservation of habitats often leads to irregular shaped and small size plots, resulting in inefficient use of modern machinery and work practices.

10.5 b)

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC contribute to creating additional space for biodiversity.

Consequently, inefficient work practices will arise.

Total Cost 4A. Creation of a New Habitat this is based on a farmer setting aside additional land for wildlife habitat use; min 0.2 ha or 4per cent of his holding up to 20 ha., whichever is the higher. Consequently, inefficient work practices will arise.

23

4B. Tree planting 1 tree/ ha of holding using native species, up to a max of 40ha. Cost of trees. Protection of trees from livestock browsing. Consequently, inefficient work practices will arise.

13

Creation of additional space for wildlife is not a requirement of cross-compliance. Therefore general farming practices are facilitated.

The opportunity cost of setting-aside a minimum of 0.2ha or 4per cent, whichever is the higher, of land as wildlife habitat which otherwise could be used for commercial farming purposes

Planting of trees is not a requirement of cross-compliance. Trees improve the appearance of the landscape and help to conserve wildlife. Planting of nonnative trees is not permissible. The opportunity cost of setting-aside land for tree planting which otherwise could be used for commercial farming purposes. This will result in inefficient use of modern machinery and work practices.

4C. Nature Corridors: increase field margins by additional 1m on whole farm Consequently, dry matter production will be reduced on that area. 9.0

4D. Establishment of farm woodland provision of woodland (linear or patches) 2per cent of 20ha, min 1000msq max 0.4ha

23

244

Provision of field margins is not a requirement of cross-compliance. Therefore general farming practices are facilitated.

Planting of trees is not a requirement of cross-compliance.

Loss of production adjacent to field margins is estimated at 260 square metres per ha on which dry matter production will be reduced by 50 per cent because of the restriction on the use of pesticides and fertilisers. Trees improve the appearance of the landscape and help to conserve wildlife. Planting of nonnative trees is not permissible. The opportunity cost of setting-aside land for tree planting


Measure No.

Area

5. Maintain farm and field boundaries

National

6. Cease using herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers in and

REPS Specification Action

Amount (â&#x201A;Ź/ha)

Option (â&#x201A;Ź/ha)

30.2 Retain and maintain boundary and roadside fences, stonewalls and hedgerows in the interests of stock control, wildlife and the scenic appearance of the area.

National

Cross-compliance corresponding to the action 32

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC which otherwise could be used for commercial farming purposes. This will result in inefficient use of modern machinery and work practices.

External boundaries or roadside fences of fields (excluding commonage land) occupied by livestock must be stock proof. While removal of field divisions, stone walls and hedgerow maintenance is not recommended, their maintenance is not mandatory under cross-compliance; thus their removal to facilitate commercial farming practice is not prohibited.

All field divisions, fences, stonewall and hedgerows will be retained. In addition, all hedgerows and stone walls must be maintained in accordance with a planned 5-year schedule of work which enhances the biodiversity and landscape value.

The intensive maintenance practices outlined such as laying, coppicing and planting involve labour and capital costs.

5A. Coppicing of hedgerows This is based on the active enhancement of hedgerows at a rate of 3m/ha up to a 20 ha limit.

31.5

Coppicing of hedgerows is not a requirement of cross-compliance.

5B. Laying of hedgerows This is based on the coppicing or laying of 2m/ha up to a 20ha limit.

30

Laying of hedgerows is not a requirement of cross-compliance.

5C. Plant new hedgerows This is based on the active enhancement of hedgerows at a rate of 3m/ha up to a 20 ha limit. Provision of fencing may be necessary when carrying out all the above practices to prevent livestock browsing during establishment/growth of new plant shoots. 5D. Repair/ maintain stone walls/stone faced banks this is based on the repair/ enhancement of traditional stonewalls at a rate of 3m/ha/annum (up to a maximum of 20 ha.) above the basic requirement.

32

Establishment of new hedgerows is not a requirement of cross-compliance.

23

While removal of stonewalls is not recommended, their maintenance is not mandatory under cross-compliance; thus the removal of field divisions to facilitate commercial farming practice is not prohibited.

The extra cost of maintaining 3m/ha over and above the basic maintenance requirement of the scheme

Safe storage and use of pesticides and chemicals. Use in accordance with product label instructions and statutory code of good plant protection practice. Comply with statutory maximum pesticide residue limits.

Loss of production adjacent to field margins (not watercourse margins) is estimated at 200 square metres per ha on which dry matter production will be reduced by 50per cent because of the restriction on the use of

Cease using pesticides and fertilisers within 1.5m of hedgerows, ponds and streams, except with the Ministerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s approval. a) Consequently, dry matter production will be reduced on that area.

3.5

245


Measure No.

Area

around hedgerows, ponds and streams

7. Establish biodiversity buffer strips surrounding features of historical and archaeological interest

REPS Specification Action

b)

National

Amount (â&#x201A;Ź/ha)

Option (â&#x201A;Ź/ha)

Clearing of vegetation from watercourses in accordance with environmental specifications.

6.5

Total Cost Retain and maintain biodiversity surrounding any features of historical or archaeological interest not listed in National records (i.e. lime kilns and ruins of traditional dwellings). No ground disturbance within 20m of such features to create a biodiversity buffer strip. Consequently, inefficient work practices will arise.

10

Cross-compliance corresponding to the action 32 i.e. SMR 9 Clearing vegetation from watercourses is not mandatory.

Comply with the National Monuments Act, 1994. Do not remove or damage archaeological monuments and sites listed on the Record of Monuments and Places. No GAEC requirement to establish buffer zone for biodiversity around such features.

3.0 5.0

8.0

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC pesticides and fertilisers. Fenced watercourses will require cutting of weeds and clearing of vegetation from watercourses in accordance with environmental specifications using manual tools, 21m/ha @ annual cost of â&#x201A;Ź0.31/m. REPS protects other sites and features of historical and archaeological interest not listed on the Record of Monuments and Places, for example the ruins of traditional dwelling houses and lime kilns. . This buffer strip surrounding the site shall be managed in the interests of biodiversity and landscape. The corresponding loss of production involved is based on one historical/archaeological feature per farm.

Total

The loss of production involved on an extra 10m buffer area around the Archaeological site.

10

8. Maintain and improve visual appearance of farm and farmyard

National

7A - Increase margins around archaeological sites by 50per cent (all sites on farm) No ground disturbance within 30m of such features Consequently inefficient work practices

Comply with the National Monuments Act, 1994. Do not remove or damage archaeological monuments and sites listed on the Record of Monuments and Places

Maintain farms including farmyards in a tidy state.

Comply with the Litter Pollution Act, 1997

Remove deposits of litter on-farm and any other unsightly feature, particularly those visible to the general public.

While removal of traditional stone farm buildings, gates, gatepost and piers is not recommended, they may be removed for reasons of safety, ease of access or maintenance. The painting of buildings is not mandatory.

Preservation of old farm buildings of limestone, granite or sandstone wall construction and/or with slated roofs, gates gate posts and piers. Retain all such features and maintenance is often required to include essential repairs to the fabric of the structures. Use appropriate roof, wall and door colours on buildings, which blend in with the surrounding countryside and maintain in a good state of repair.

a) b) c)

Maintain farmyard clear of litter Use appropriate roof, wall and door colours and maintain in good state of repair Repair/maintain traditional stone farm buildings

No claim No claim No claim

246


Measure No.

Area

REPS Specification Action

d)

Landscaping/screening around farm and farmyard—loss of production on land used for landscaping

Total Cost

Amount (€/ha)

Option (€/ha)

No claim

9. Produce tillage crops according to REPS Specification

National

10. Become familiar with environmentally friendly farming practice 11. Prepare, monitor and update agrienvironmental records as may be prescribed by the Minister

National

Total Cost of Measures 1 to 11 above

National

National

9D. Promote the growing of low-input cereals/root crops, covers both options The additional cost of growing spring cereals Inefficiencies of production system 10per cent of 20ha, min 0.5ha, max 2ha Participants in REPS are recommended to attend prescribed courses and farm demonstrations and acquire the knowledge and skill required to comply with all REPS measures. Preparation and updating of the REPS Agrienvironmental plan Keep such farm and environmental records as may be prescribed by the Minister. Records must be kept each year with the appropriate details entered in the record book each month.

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC

Landscaping of farmyards is not a requirement of cross-compliance; thus general farming practices are permitted up to and surrounding the farmyard.

The planting of trees around a farmyard softens the lines of buildings and helps to mould them with the landscape and provide a habitat for birds. Non- Native trees are not eligible.

No mandatory requirement

Protect our plant genetic resources and increase biodiversity around farmyards and the retention of traditional farm skills. Maintain and encourage bird and bat populations in and around the farmyard through the purchase and maintenance of bird/bat boxes.

No claim

8A. Establish a traditional Orchard of specified varieties of Irish origin • 500m2 containing 12 trees 8B. Install bird or bat boxes • To erect 8 nestboxs or equivalent at suitable locations around/adjacent the farmyard Not applicable to grassland farmers.

Cross-compliance corresponding to the action 32

22/11

11 No claim 37

4.4

16.50

30

155.10

247

No mandatory requirement under GAEC Not applicable to grassland farmers.

Not applicable to grassland farmers.

GAEC requires that permanent grassland on a national basis does not decrease by 10per cent or more.

Benefits biodiversity and landscape and preserves traditional farming skills. The limit of 2ha per farm will ensure that GAEC is protected while benefits to biodiversity of landscape heterogeneity are maintained.

Become familiar with the requirements in relation to waste management, water, air, trees and wildlife, target areas, use and control of plant protection products, planning and building, national monuments and litter as outlined above. Record date, type and quantity of chemical fertilisers, organic wastes and pesticides brought onto or leaving the farm.

REPS entail being familiar with environmentally friendly farming practices as outlined in the REPS Specification, which go beyond meeting the legislative provisions, listed under GAEC. REPS requires the hiring of professional agriculturalist and/or environmentalist advice in the preparation of an agri-environmental plan and for its update during the term of the plan. Advice is also required on the change in farm management practices required to comply with REPS specifications. Annual records to be kept by the REPS applicant on farming operations carried out.


Measure No.

Area

REPS Specification Action

Additional measure selected from the list of options as a core action to minimum value of €17 (Either of the options 2D, 4A, 4D, 5A, 5B, 5C, 5D, 9D or 3per cent of LINNET supplementary measure can be chosen.) Total Transaction Cost National Transaction cost Engagement with the REPS process and preplanning time Total Cost National Overall Total Cost

Amount (€/ha)

Option (€/ha)

17.00

Cross-compliance corresponding to the action 32

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC As justified in the costings table for options

172.10 33 205.00 34

30 35

34

The overall costing for the first 20ha shall include an additional payment of €30/ha (including 20% incentive) based on a farmer selecting a range of optional measures as set out in Appendix 1. By selecting 2 of the options listed (from the categories as set out in Appendix 1) it will be possible to reach the proposed €234/ha on the first 20 ha of a holding. There is no incentive element in the costing of the options. 35

248


Basis of REPS Costing for Arable Farmers 36 Measure No.

Area

REPS Specification Action

1. Nutrient management plan

National

a) Follow an appropriate waste management, liming and fertiliser plan prepared for the total area of the farm. b) Fertiliser limits for crops set at 70per cent of crop requirements; or 6per cent of arable area to be farmed under conditions of LINNET supplementary measure but without additional payment, subject to crop requirements not being exceeded on the rest of the holding.

Arable Crops (â&#x201A;Ź/ha)

Option (â&#x201A;Ź/ha)

Farmers less than 170kg org N/ha must abide by the conditions of the nitrates directive (SI 378 of 2006) for the protection of waters regulations. This provides that the total amount of livestock manure applied to a holding in a calendar year must not contain more than 170 kgs of nitrogen to the hectare. The total quantity of fertilisers (organic and chemical combined) that you apply to your land must not be more than the crops need (this includes grass). This means that nitrogen is spread at the economic optimum level for crop production.

58.00

2.2

c) Monitoring of a nutrient management plan will give rise to significant change in work practice when implementing a fertiliser and manure programme for crops. 2. Grassland and soil management Plan

National

3. Protect and maintain

National

Cross-compliance corresponding to the action 37

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC Soil sampling and analysis are not GAEC requirements for any farmer operating at or below 170kgs organic N/ha. The soil sampling, analysis and interpretation by the REPS planner provides the baseline data on the specific fertility of the various soil types on the individual farm and allows the targeting, on a field-by-field basis, of nutrient application including optimum recycling of farm generated organic fertilisers. Arable farmers may elect to reduce nutrient inputs by 30per cent from the recommended crop fertilisation rates or alternatively undertake actions on 6per cent of the arable area of the holding in accordance with the requirements of the LINNET supplementary measure but as part of their basic undertaking and without the payment for the supplementary measure that is available to grassland farmers.

Meet statutory requirements in relation to waste management, water, air, planning and building regulations 4.

Additional management time required to implement recommendations of the nutrient management plan.

Not applicable to arable farms

Not applicable to arable farms

A fence to exclude bovines from watercourses and wells is not required; hence

Average length of watercourse fencing per ha is 9m for arable crops.

60.20

Total Cost Adopt a grassland management plan. Not applicable to arable farms

no claim

Protect and maintain watercourses and wells, with access by livestock to be limited to drinking points. a) Fence off watercourse and wells from bovines

36

Payment for non-target land will be on a per-hectare basis and will be payable on up to a maximum of 55 hectares. Participants farming more than 55 hectares must include all the land in their agri-environmental plan and farm it in accordance with the REP Scheme conditions. 37 GAEC outlined in this column is a summarised version. For a comprehensive description of GAEC, reference should be made to Annex 2 of the Plan.

249


Measure No.

Area

watercourses and wells

REPS Specification Action

Arable Crops (â&#x201A;Ź/ha)

b)

10

c)

Leave uncultivated strip 3m wide along watercourses Remove silt from watercourse and scrape bottom and sides to original depth only; in accordance with environmental specifications.

Option (â&#x201A;Ź/ha)

Cross-compliance corresponding to the action 37

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC

2.2

cattle may drink at any point along a watercourse. Not mandatory

8.3

Watercourse maintenance is not mandatory.

Maintenance of watercourses according to REPS specification will require work with manual tools on an annual basis and the use of a mechanical digger once every five years.

8

Bovines allowed access to one metre strip of grazing along watercourse

Loss of grazing of 1m strip by watercourse

5

No restriction preventing bovines drinking directly from watercourses

To improve water quality by preventing any physical damage to the banks of watercourses

8.5

Cattle are allowed to drink at any point along a watercourse.

To reduce pollution of watercourses, provide piped water to fields or fence to create special access points to water livestock.

Comply with requirements applicable to Natura 2000 and designated NHA areas and The Wildlife Act, 2001. Removal of non-designated habitats is not recommended. However, the removal of wildlife habitats not protected under legislation, to facilitate commercial farming practices, is not prohibited.

The opportunity cost of setting-aside 2per cent of land as wildlife habitat which otherwise could be used for commercial farming purposes

Total Cost

Protection against silting of water bodies

20.5 3A. Increase watercourse margin by 1m with drinking access point Grazing restriction along additional 1m strip by water course 3B: No bovine access to watercourses Provide alternative piped water source 3C: Use of planted buffer zones

4. Retain wildlife habitats

National

Retain wildlife habitats such as field divisions, woodlands, wetlands, natural and semi-natural vegetation a) Setting-aside land for wildlife habitat use

b) Consequently, inefficient work practices will arise

8.2

11.00

Conservation of habitats often leads to irregular shaped plots, resulting in inefficient use of modern machinery work practices.

Total Cost 19.20 4A. Creation of a New Habitat this is based on a farmer setting aside additional land for wildlife habitat use; min 0.2 ha or 4per cent of his holding up to 20 ha., whichever is the higher Consequently, inefficient work practices will

23

250

Creation of additional space for wildlife is not a requirement of cross-compliance; therefore general farming practices are facilitated.

The opportunity cost of setting-aside a minimum of 0.2ha or 4per cent, whichever is the higher, of land as wildlife habitat which otherwise could be used for commercial farming purposes


Measure No.

Area

REPS Specification Action

Arable Crops (â&#x201A;Ź/ha)

Option (â&#x201A;Ź/ha)

Cross-compliance corresponding to the action 37

13

Planting of trees is not a requirement of cross-compliance.

arise 4B. Tree planting 1 trees/ha of holding using native species, up to a max of 40ha. Cost of trees Protection of trees from livestock browsing Consequently, inefficient work practices will arise. 4C. Nature corridors: increase field margins by additional 1.5m on whole farm Consequently, dry matter production will be reduced on that area.

9.00

4D. Establishment of farm woodland Provision of woodland (linear or patches) 2 per cent of 20ha, min 1000msq max 0.4ha 5. Maintain farm and field boundaries

National

Retain and maintain boundary and roadside fences, stone walls and hedgerows in the interests of stock control, wildlife and the scenic appearance of the area Stonewall/hedgerow repair and maintenance, hedge planting and wire fencing may be required. 5A. Coppicing of hedgerows This is based on the active enhancement of hedgerows at a rate of 3m/ha up to a 20 ha limit 5B. Laying of hedgerows This is based on the coppicing or laying of 2m/ha up to a 20 ha limit. 5C. Plant new hedgerows This is based on the active enhancement of hedgerows at a rate of 3m/ha up to a 20 ha limit Provision of fencing may be necessary when carrying out the above practices to prevent livestock browsing during establishment/growth of new plant shoots.

Provision of field margins is not a requirement of cross-compliance; therefore general farming practices are facilitated.

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC Trees improve the appearance of the landscape and help to conserve wildlife. Planting of non-native trees is not permissible. The opportunity cost of setting-aside land for tree planting which otherwise could be used for commercial farming purposes. This will result in inefficient use of modern machinery and work practices. Loss of production adjacent to field margins is estimated at 260 square metres per ha on which dry matter production will be reduced by 50per cent because of the restriction on the use of pesticides and fertilisers.

23

While removal of field divisions, stone walls and hedgerow maintenance is not recommended, their maintenance is not mandatory under cross-compliance; thus their removal to facilitate commercial farming practice is not prohibited.

All boundary field divisions, fences, stone walls and hedgerows will be retained and maintained. Maintenance can involve hedge cutting, stockproofing of internal divisions with fencing, planting hedges and rebuilding stone walls. Average length of maintenance per hectare is 80m costing on average â&#x201A;Ź0.13/m.

31.5

Coppicing of hedgerows is not a requirement of cross-compliance.

The intensive maintenance practices outlined such as laying, coppicing and planting involve labour and capital costs.

30

Laying of hedgerows is not a requirement of cross-compliance.

32

Establishment of new hedgerows is not a requirement of cross-compliance.

10

5D. Repair/ maintain stone walls/stone banks This is based on the repair/enhancement of

251


Measure No.

Area

REPS Specification Action

Arable Crops (€/ha)

traditional stone walls at a rate of 3m/ha/annum (up to a maximum of 20 ha.) above the basic option requirement.

6. Cease using herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers in and around hedgerows, ponds and streams

7. Establish biodiversity buffer strips surrounding features of historical and archaeological interest

National

National

Cease using pesticides and fertilisers within 1.5m of hedgerows, ponds and streams, except with the Minister’s approval. a) Consequently, dry matter production will be reduced on that area.

Option (€/ha)

Cross-compliance corresponding to the action 37

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC

23

While removal of stone walls/banks is not recommended, their maintenance is not mandatory under cross-compliance; thus the removal of field divisions to facilitate commercial farming practice is not prohibited. Safe storage and use of pesticides and chemicals. Use in accordance with product label instructions and statutory code of good plant protection practice. Comply with statutory maximum pesticide residue limits. i.e. SMR 9

The extra cost of maintaining 3m/ha over and above the basic maintenance requirement of the scheme.

Clearing vegetation from watercourses is not mandatory.

Fenced watercourses will require cutting of weeds and clearing of vegetation from watercourses in accordance with environmental specifications using manual tools. 18m @ €0.31/m/yr.

4.9

b) Clearing of vegetation from watercourses mechanically in accordance with environmental specifications

5.6

Total Cost Retain and maintain biodiversity surrounding any features of historical or archaeological interest not listed in National records (i.e. lime kilns and ruins of traditional dwellings). No ground disturbance within 20m of such features to create a biodiversity buffer strip. Consequently, inefficient work practices will arise.

10.5 Comply with the National Monuments Act, 1994. Do not remove or damage archaeological monuments and sites listed on the Record of Monuments and Places. No GAEC requirement to establish buffer zone for biodiversity around such features.

3.0 5.0

8.0

Loss of production adjacent to field margins and watercourses is estimated at 120 square metres per ha on which dry matter production will be reduced by 50per cent because of the restriction on the use of pesticides and fertilisers.

REPS protects other sites and features of historical and archaeological interest not listed on the Record of Monuments and Places, for example the ruins of traditional dwelling houses and lime kilns. This buffer strip surrounding the site shall be managed in the interests of biodiversity and landscape. The corresponding loss of production involved is based on one historical/archaeological feature per farm.

Total

The loss of production involved on an extra 10m buffer area around the site 10 7A - Increase biodiversity buffer strips around archaeological sites by 50per cent (all sites on farm) No ground disturbance within 30m of such features Consequently inefficient work practices

Comply with the National Monuments Act, 1994. Do not remove or damage archaeological monuments and sites listed on the Record of Monuments and Places.

252


Measure No.

8. Maintain and improve visual appearance of farm and farmyard

Area

National

REPS Specification Action

Arable Crops (€/ha)

Option (€/ha)

Maintain farms including farmyards in a tidy state. e) f) g)

Maintain farmyard clear of litter Use appropriate roof, wall and door colours and maintain in good state of repair Repair/ maintain traditional stone farm buildings

No claim No claim No claim

h)

National

Total Cost

No claim

8A. Establish a traditional orchard of specified varieties of Irish origin • 500m2 containing 12 trees

No claim

Produce tillage crops leaving a specified field margin and without burning straw or stubble. a) Prohibiting straw and stubble burning

14.50

b)

22.60

c)

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC

Comply with the Litter Pollution Act, 1997

Remove deposits of litter on-farm and any other unsightly feature, particularly those visible to the general public

While removal of traditional stone farm buildings, gates, gatepost and piers are not recommended, they may be removed for reasons of safety, ease of access or maintenance. The painting of buildings is not mandatory.

Preservation of old farm buildings of limestone, granite or sandstone wall construction and/or with slated roofs, gates gate posts and piers. Retain all such features. Maintenance is often required to include essential repairs to the fabric of the structures. Use appropriate roof, wall and door colours on buildings, which blend in with the surrounding countryside, and maintain in a good state of repair.

Landscaping/screening around farm and farmyard —loss of production on land used for landscaping

8B. Install bird or bat boxes • To erect 8 nestboxs or equivalent at suitable locations around/adjacent the farmyard

9. Produce tillage crops according to REPS specification

Cross-compliance corresponding to the action 37

Leaving a field margin resulting in land being left without crop output Monitoring of soil management plan

Total Cost

Landscaping of farmyards is not a requirement of cross-compliance; thus general farming practices are permitted up to and surrounding the farmyard.

22/11

No mandatory requirement

11

No mandatory requirement under GAEC GAEC does not require uncultivated crop margins to be maintained. Straw and stubble burning is permitted but must be in compliance with statutory controls on the burning and destruction of vegetation provided in the Wildlife Act, 2001.

1.10 38.20

253

The planting of trees around a farmyard softens the lines of buildings and helps to mould them with the landscape and provide a habitat for birds. Non- native trees are not eligible.

Protect our plant genetic resources and increase biodiversity around farmyards and the retention of traditional farm skills. Maintain and encourage bird and bat populations in and around the farmyard through the purchase and maintenance of bird/bat boxes.

Prohibiting straw and stubble burning will increase fertiliser costs by about 19€/ha, pest and fungal disease control costs by 31€/ha. However, less than 25per cent of cereal stubbles are currently burned. Leaving an uncultivated field margin will result in 2per cent of land being left without crop output and loss in income.


Measure No.

10. Become familiar with environmentall y friendly farming practice 11. Prepare, monitor and update agrienvironmental records as may be prescribed by the Minister

Area

National

National

REPS Specification Action

Option (€/ha)

Cross-compliance corresponding to the action 37

9A. Tillage cropping: Establish satisfactory green cover by 15 Nov. with light cultivation post harvest or Winter sowing (excluding area under late harvested crops). No primary cultivation between 31 Oct. – 15 Jan. Based on 15 per cent of 20ha max 3ha min 0.75 – all cat 1 Option

25

Baseline requires green cover: can be established from natural regeneration or establishment of winter cereal.

9B. Environmental management of setaside. Min area of 0.3 ha or 10 per cent of holding (whichever is the higher), to a max of 4ha.

23

Set-aside managed in accordance with EU rules. However, machinery operations are carried out in a manner that ensures efficiency.

9C. Tillage margins – Min requirement for 3-metres wide tillage margins as a rate of 74 metres linear length per hectare.

23

9E. Min tillage crops Based on maintaining 14ha of land under ecotillage = cat 1 Option or 7ha for cat 2.

23

Participants in REPS are recommended to attend prescribed courses and farm demonstrations and acquire the knowledge and skill required to comply with all REPS measures.

Preparation and updating of the REPS Agrienvironmental plan Keep such farm and environmental records as may be prescribed by the Minister. Records must be kept each year with the appropriate details entered in the Record book each month.

Arable Crops (€/ha)

4.40

16.50

254

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC Establish a selected winter cover crop using minimum soil cultivation techniques to minimise nitrate losses over winter and potentially benefit soil invertebrates. Green cover must be ploughed into the soil in spring.

Management of set-aside ground for the benefit of birds and ground flora and invertebrates

GAEC does not require uncultivated crop margins to be maintained. Maintenance of tillage crop margins is not a requirement under cross-compliance.

Leaving 3-metre wide field margin will result in land being left without crop output and therefore loss in income.

Soil quality to be maintained under GAEC but it is not mandatory to use min tillage techniques. Under Irish conditions it is considered that minimum cultivation techniques are not necessary to meet GAEC requirements.

Improved soil structure, increased soil organic matter and minimised runoff. Minimise field margins to maximise cropping area. Maintenance of tillage crop margins is not a requirement under cross-compliance.

Become familiar with requirements in relation to waste management, water, air, trees and wildlife, target areas, planning and building, use and control of plant protection products, national monuments and litter as outlined above.

REPS entails being familiar with environmentally friendly farming practices as outlined in the REPS specification which go beyond meeting the legislative provisions listed under GAEC.

Record the date, type and quantity of chemical fertilisers, organic wastes and pesticides brought onto or leaving the farm.

REPS requires the hiring of professional agriculturalist/environmentalist advice in the preparation of an agri-environmental plan and for its update during the term of the plan. Advice is also required on the change in farm management practices required to comply with REPS specification. Annual records to be kept by the REPS applicant on farming operations carried out as specified in the plan.


Measure No.

Area

Total Cost of Measures 1 to 11 above Incentive to participate Total Cost

National

REPS Specification Action

National

Transaction cost

National

Overall Total Cost

Arable Crops (€/ha)

Option (€/ha)

180.80

30

33 213.80

0 30

While actual cost of Measures 1 – 11 is €213.80 proposal is to pay €205.

255

Cross-compliance corresponding to the action 37

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC


Basis of Costing for REPS Supplementary Measures 38 Supplementary Measure

Area

REPS Specification Action

Rearing animals of local breeds in danger of extinction

National

Riparian zones

Designate d rivers and tributaries

In order to be eligible for aid a farmer must register the animals with the relevant breed society or approved conservation agency. Payment is based the average number of register LU of the relevant breed on the farm over the year Riparian zones and lake-side strips are strips of land extending on average at least 10m in width from a designated river to include salmonid, pearl mussel, fresh water crayfish. The land cannot be used for agricultural production. The area shall be permanently fenced to exclude livestock but with suitable entry points by hung gate(s) to facilitate machine entry for maintenance work and stiles for access to fishing. Agricultural production is prohibited on this area. Complying with the prescribed management practices

Amount (â&#x201A;Ź/ha /annum) â&#x201A;Ź234/LU

Cross-compliance: Baseline reference point: Farming practice as per crosscompliance Cross-compliance does not require the rearing animals of local breeds in danger of extinction. In general such production is not commercially viable.

Long/Medium term justification in terms of extra cost and loss of income for farming beyond good practice.

460

Cross-compliance involves commercial agricultural production of land up to the prescribed edge of rivers.

Average loss of income per hectare is the opportunity cost of setting-aside one hectare of land which otherwise could be used for agricultural production. Payment shall be subject to a maximum area on any one holding, depending on the target species.

39

390

The high post and wire fencing specification that also includes access gates for machinery and stiles for fishing people is a major cost of complying with the prescribed management practices in this measure.

Total Cost 850

38 39

The opportunity cost of maintaining livestock breeds in danger of extinction in place of commercial meat-producing breeds. The additional administrative costs of being a member of a breed society and keeping records prescribed for this measure.

Participants can receive payment on one Supplementary Measure only. Payment is based on a livestock unit basis rather than on a per hectare basis.

256


Supplementa ry Measure

Area

REPS Specification Action

Amount (€/ha /annum) First hectare will be paid at €700 From 1 to 2.5ha @ €400 per hectare Maximum payment will be € 1,300 €370/ha Max area 2.5ha

Cross-compliance Baseline reference point: Farming practice as per crosscompliance Not applicable

Long/medium- term justification in terms of extra cost and loss of income for farming beyond good practice

Cross-compliance requires nationally no more than 10 per cent conversion of permanent grass to tillage.

The maintenance of the cereal or root crop for the 5-year duration of the REPS contract is a significant cost of complying with the prescribed management practices in this measure.

€25 Max of 40ha

Cross-compliance requires farmers to maintain soil structure and organic matter status.

Encouraging of min tillage techniques is less intrusive on soil flora and fauna, builds soil structure and increases organic matter/humus levels. The use of minimum tillage techniques is more expensive than conventional operations. Orchards shall be fenced off and made stock proof for the duration of the contract. The capital costs of planting land with non-commercial fruit tree varieties and their subsequent maintenance is a major cost of complying with the prescribed management practices in this measure. Average loss of income per hectare is the opportunity cost of setting-aside prime land which otherwise could be used for agricultural production.

LINNET sites

National

Conversion of grassland into low-input arable cover Cost of cultivating/sowing land Cost of complying with the management practices on the plot Loss of production

Low-input tillage crops

National

Minimum tillage

National

Conversion of grassland to low-input cereals/root crops Cost of cultivating/sowing land Cost of complying with the management practices on the plot Promote the use of min tillage technologies

Traditional Irish orchards

National

Establishment of traditional orchards A farmer must plant top fruit varieties as set out in the Native Irish Collection.

€300/orchard

Cross-compliance does not involve the growing of top fruit in danger of extinction as it is generally not commercially viable to do so.

Traditional sustainable Grazing

National

Maintenance of traditional Irish bovine breeds in marginal areas, e.g. Shorthorn, Hereford, and AA. Can be limited to marginal lands with high ecological value and at risk of abandonment.

€50/ha up to a maximum of 20ha

In general the production of beef from traditional breeds is less profitable than larger continental breeds.

€50/ha up to a maximum of 20ha

Cross-compliance does not require farmers to keep sheep for the maintenance of land under GAEC. Farmers can utilise the most economic methods of maintaining their land,

Min SR of breed on farm Mixed grazing

National

The objective of this supplementary measure is to support sheep enterprises as the major component of mixed grazing management systems.

257

Average loss of income per hectare is the opportunity cost of setting-aside land which otherwise could be used for agricultural production. Payment shall be subject to a maximum of 5ha on any one holding. The maintenance of the cereal brassicas crop mixes for the 5-year duration of the REPS contract is a significant cost of complying with the prescribed management practices in this measure.

The farmed landscape and associated flora and fauna of Ireland require continued active farming for its survival. Contribute to National Biodiversity Plan via maintenance of specific habitats for conservation of flora and fauna and prescribing grazing breeds most suitable to marginal land. Contribute to the maintenance of farming on lands most vulnerable to abandonment. It is estimated that maintaining sheep as part of a livestock enterprise increases the labour input by farmers by approximately 20per cent over and above other livestock types without any financial return for the work input. Therefore the income foregone based on 4 ewes per hectare


whether it be by mechanical means or by grazing

Sensitive lakes and catchments

Targeted to designated fresh water bodies

To encourage farmers in these areas to take up one or a combination of a suit of actions designed to contribute to water quality objectives. These actions are undertaken over and above the core requirements of REPS.

Comply with Nitrate Action Plan on spreading of organic and chemical fertilisers.

is calculated as follows: 20per cent extra time estimated at 6 hours per hectare @ €12.5 per hour = €75/hectare Therefore at 0.5 LU (proposed minimum stocking level) = €62.5. There is also extra cost associated with managing a mixed livestock enterprise Addition administration costs €100/annum which when spread over 20 hectares is €5/ha Additional fencing cost above what a bovine enterprise would require: €25/ha Therefore total cost is €92.5 Proposal is to pay €50/hectare to maximum of 20 hectares. Contribute to Water Framework Directives and National Biodiversity Plan.

Whole-farm reduction of Organic N: stock density to be maintained at identified levels for environmental sustainability Minimum reduction of 30kg organic N/ha across the holding from baseline of year preceding entry to commitment

80.00/ha

No requirement to reduce stock numbers under GAEC or crosscompliance

To contribute to water quality by reducing the organic N load on land in sensitive catchments.

Traditional hay meadows in fields surrounding lakeshores. Reduced crop production Reduced feeding value

120.00/ha

Forage conserved in a manner that maximises quality and yield. Adhere to the forage requirements for nutrients recommended by Teagasc.

There will be additional costs on applicants by reverting to traditional forage-making practices. The quantity and quality of forage saved will fall below that normally made on commercial farms.

Species-rich grassland management in adjoining fields. Reduced grass production/grazing potential Reduced grass quality

120.00/ha

Livestock grazed in a manner that avoids both under and overgrazing of grassland and meets the statutory requirements in relation to target areas5 and the Wildlife Act, 2001.

Normal practices for maintaining a highly productive sward will be prohibited such as reseeding, excess liming and fertilisation.

Increase watercourse margins Grazing restriction along additional 1m strip by watercourse

€3.00/100m

Bovines allowed access to one and a half metre strip of grazing along watercourse

Primary objective of this sub-measure is to create additional habitat space alongside watercourses to allow natural regeneration of typical riverside vegetation structure, thus providing habitat for associated fauna. The increased margin also acts as a buffer strip with the potential to intercept nutrients and soil particles in overland flow. Loss of grazing of 1m strip by watercourse

Installation of water troughs Provide alternative piped water source.

€5 per ha

No restriction preventing bovines drinking directly from watercourses

To improve water quality by preventing any physical damage to the banks of watercourses

258


Interceptions of overland flow of nutrients and silt by establishment of planted buffer zones.

â&#x201A;Ź200/0.2 ha

Baseline is as per basic measure 3. Therefore an unplanted buffer zone is maintained.

The action of planting a buffer zone with willow or alder, which is stockproofed, goes beyond the baseline. The fact that the buffer is planted and stock-proofed prevents animals from grazing close to the water body. The planted buffer will also intercept nutrients from overland flow from adjacent land and contribute to creating additional space for biodiversity.

Clover swards

National

Encourage farmers to incorporate clover in swards.

30/ha Max 40ha

Not applicable

To contribute to the delivery of water quality by promoting the uptake of incorporating clover into suitable grassland to reduce the dependency on Nitrogenous fertilisers.

Measure for the conservation of wild birds â&#x20AC;&#x201C; corncrake

Corncrake sites (in conjunction with BirdWatch Ireland)

In order to be eligible for aid a farmer must register with BirdWatch Ireland. The objective is to enhance the habitat structure and availability of breeding sites for the corncrake over the summer months. Loss of forage quality Loss of grazing potential Inefficient use of machinery

â&#x201A;Ź100

Not applicable

Loss of forage production/quality because of the restriction on the use of pesticides and fertilisers in BirdWatchapproved sites. Inefficient use of modern machinery because of the prescribed management practices in this measure.

259


Basis of REPS Costing for Options Measure No.

REPS Specification Action

Category

Option (â&#x201A;Ź/ha)

Cross-compliance corresponding to the action

2. Grassland and soil management plan

2A. Traditional hay meadows This is based on a farmer maintaining 0.4ha or 8per cent, whichever is the lesser, of his holding as hay meadows Reduced crop production Reduced feeding value

1-2

7

Forage conserved in a manner that maximises quality and yield. Adhere to the forage requirements for nutrients recommended by Teagasc.

2B. Species-rich grassland This is based on a farmer maintaining 0.4ha or 8 per cent, whichever is the lesser, of his holding as species rich grassland. Reduced grass production/grazing potential Reduced grass quality

1-2

7

Livestock grazed in a manner that avoids both under and overgrazing of grassland and meets the statutory requirements in relation to target areas5 and the Wildlife Act, 2001.

Normal practices for maintaining a highly productive sward will be prohibited such as reseeding, excess liming and fertilisation.

2D. Encourage the use of clover in swards This is based on a farmer reseeding conservation ground to maintain high clover levels Based on 20per cent of 20ha

1

23

Clover not normally part of Irish swards

Reduced use of chemical N on conservation ground

2E. Encourage the use of trailing shoe technology This is based on a farmer availing of latest technology for increasing N cycling efficiency.

2

10

No baseline requirement for the use of this technology

Increased N cycling efficiency. Reduced use of chemical N on conservation ground.

2F. Control of invasive species in grassland, e.g. rushes and/or bracken This is based on a farmer controlling and managing high rush/bracken populations Chemical and mechanical control Based on 10per cent of 20ha, min 0.5ha

2

12

Baseline requires that encroachment of farmland by invasive species to the extent that the land is incapable of agricultural production be prevented. GAEC allows the non-selective control of these species with no requirement to consider its biodiversity benefits.

Maintenance of grassland quality and landscape appearance

3A. Increase watercourse margin by 1m with drinking access point Grazing restriction along additional 1m strip by watercourse

2

8

Bovines allowed access to one metre strip of grazing along watercourse

Maintenance of watercourses according to REPS specification will require work with manual tools on an annual basis and the use of a mechanical digger once every five years. Average length of watercourse maintenance/ha is 21m @ â&#x201A;Ź0.3/m/yr.

3. Protect and maintain watercourses and wells

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC. There will be additional costs on applicants by reverting to traditional forage-making practices. The quantity and quality of forage saved will fall below that normally made on commercial farms.

Loss of grazing of 1m strip by watercourse

260


Measure No.

4. Retain wildlife habitats

REPS Specification Action

Category

Option (â&#x201A;Ź/ha)

Cross-compliance corresponding to the action

3B: No bovine access to watercourse: lay on troughs and relevant piping to replace Provision of alternative water source for livestock

2

10

Cattle are allowed to drink at any point along a watercourse.

3C: Use of planted buffer zones Provision of willow/alder buffer strips 1per cent of 20ha, min 500msq

2

8.5

Baseline is as per basic measure 3. Therefore a unplanted buffer zone is maintained

To protect water quality from overland flow of nutrients and silt

1

23

Creation of additional space for wildlife is not a requirement of GAEC. Therefore general farming practices are facilitated.

The opportunity cost of setting-aside a minimum of 0.2 ha or 4per cent, whichever is the higher, of land as wildlife habitat which otherwise could be used for commercial farming purposes

1-2

13

Planting of trees is not a requirement of GAEC.

Trees improve the appearance of the landscape and help to conserve wildlife. Planting of non-native trees is not permissible. The opportunity cost of setting-aside land for tree planting which otherwise could be used for commercial farming purposes. This will result in inefficient use of modern machinery and work practices.

2

9

Provision of field margins is not a requirement of GAEC. Therefore general farming practices are facilitated.

4A. Creation of a new habitat This is based on a farmer setting aside additional land for wildlife habitat use; min 0.2 ha or 4per cent of his holding up to 20ha, whichever is the higher. Consequently, inefficient work practices will arise. 4B. Tree planting 1 tree/ ha of holding using native species, up to a max of 40 ha Cost of trees Protection of trees from livestock browsing Consequently, inefficient work practices will arise. 4C. Nature corridors: increase field margins by additional 1m on whole farm Consequently, dry matter production will be reduced on that area.

261

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC. To reduce pollution of watercourse by the exclusion of all bovines from all watercourses. Piped water and drinking troughs must be provided.

Loss of production adjacent to field margins is estimated at 260 square metres per ha on which dry matter production will be reduced by 50per cent because of the restriction on the use of pesticides and fertilisers.


Measure No.

5. Maintain farm field boundaries

7. Protect features of historical and archaeological interest.

and

REPS Specification Action

Category

Option (â&#x201A;Ź/ha)

Cross-compliance corresponding to the action

4D. Establishment of farm woodland Provision of woodland (linear or patches) 2 per cent of 20ha, min 1000msq max 0.4ha

1

23

Planting of trees is not a requirement of GAEC.

5A. Coppicing of hedgerows

1

31.5

5B. Laying of hedgerows This is based on the coppicing or laying of 2m/ha up to a 20ha limit.

1

30

Coppicing of hedgerows is not a requirement of GAEC. Laying of hedgerows is not a requirement of GAEC.

5C. Plant new hedgerows This is based on the active enhancement of hedgerows at a rate of 3m/ha up to a 20ha limit. Provision of fencing may be necessary when carrying out all the above practices to prevent livestock browsing during establishment/growth of new plant shoots. 5D. Repair/ maintain stone walls/stone faced banks This is based on the repair/enhancement of traditional stone walls at a rate of 3m/ha/annum (up to a maximum of 20ha.) above the basic requirement.

1

32

Establishment of new hedgerows is not a requirement of GAEC.

1

23

While removal of stone walls is not recommended, their maintenance is not mandatory under GAEC; thus the removal of field divisions to facilitate commercial farming practice is not prohibited.

The extra cost of maintaining 3m/ha over and above the basic maintenance requirement of the scheme

7A -Increase margins around archaeological sites by 50 per cent (all sites on farm) No ground disturbance within 30m of such features Consequently inefficient work practices

2

10

Comply with the National Monuments Act, 1994. Do not remove or damage archaeological monuments and sites listed on the Record of Monuments and Places.

The loss of production involved on an extra 10m buffer area around the archaeological site.

262

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC. Trees improve the appearance of the landscape and help to conserve wildlife. Planting of non-native trees is not permissible. The opportunity cost of setting-aside land for tree planting which otherwise could be used for commercial farming purposes. This will result in inefficient use of modern machinery and work practices. The intensive maintenance practices outlined such as laying, coppicing and planting involve labour and capital costs


Measure No.

REPS Specification Action

Category

Option (€/ha)

Cross-compliance corresponding to the action

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC.

8. Maintain and improve visual appearance of farm and farmyard

8A. Establish a traditional orchard of specified varieties of Irish origin 500m2 containing 12 trees

2

11

No mandatory requirement under GAEC

Protect our plant genetic resources and increase biodiversity around farmyards and the retention of traditional farm skills. Maintain and encourage bird and bat populations in and around the farmyard through the purchase and maintenance of bird/bat boxes.

1 8B. Install bird or bat boxes To erect 8 nestboxs or equivalent at suitable locations around/adjacent the farmyard 9. Produce tillage crops according to REPS specification

2

11

No mandatory requirement under GAEC

9A. Tillage cropping – Establish satisfactory green cover by 15 Nov. with light cultivation post harvest or Winter sowing (excluding area under late harvested crops). No primary cultivation between 31 Oct. – 15 Jan. Based on 15 per cent of 20ha max 3ha min 0.75 – all cat 1 Option

1-2

25

Green cover is not a requirement under GAEC.

9B. Environmental management of setaside. Min area of 0.3ha or 10 per cent of holding (whichever is the higher), to a max of 4ha.

1

23

Set-aside managed in accordance with EU rules. However, machinery operations are carried out in a manner that ensures efficiency.

9C. Tillage margins – Min requirement for 3-metres wide tillage margins as a rate of 74 metres linear length per hectare.

1-2

9D. Promote the growing of low-input cereals/root crops; covers both options The additional cost of growing spring cereals Inefficiencies of production system 10per cent of 20ha, min 0.5ha, max 2ha

1-2

9F. Min tillage crops Based on maintaining 14ha of land under ecotillage = cat 1 Option or 7ha for cat 2.

1

23

37

Maintenance of tillage crop margins is not a requirement under GAEC.

Establish satisfactory winter cover using minimum soil cultivation techniques to minimise nitrate losses over winter and potentially benefit soil invertebrates.

Management of set-aside ground for the benefit of birds and ground flora and invertebrates Leaving 3-metre wide field margin will result in land being left without crop output and therefore loss in income.

Not mandatory Benefits biodiversity and landscape and also preserves traditional farming skills.

23

Not mandatory

263

Improved soil structure, increased soil organic matter and minimise run-off


Organic Farming Costings Area

Action

Amount (€/ha)

National

To encourage producers to respond to the market demand for organically produced food Assistance will be provided to participants converting to or continuing with organic farming production systems.

Cross-Compliance corresponding to the action Cross-compliance involves farming without causing environmental degradation. Organic farming goes beyond Cross-compliance.

Applicants must register with DAF and have their operations inspected and approved annually by a body approved by DAF.

Applicants with more than 6 hectares of utilisable agricultural area: • In conversion status • Full organic status

€212 40 €106 41

Applicants farming less than or equal to 6 hectares with at least 1ha under fruit or vegetables • In conversion status • Full organic status

283 142

40 41

green

cover

during

the

On average the difference in margins per hectare between producers in conversion to organic status and conventional producers is minus 700€/ha/yr. Accordingly, it is proposed to pay approx. 50 per cent of the losses incurred during the conversion period over the 5 years of the undertaking as an annual payment of 212€/ha/yr for a maximum of 55ha for the two-year conversion period and 106€/ha/yr for a maximum of 55ha for full organic status, with rates of €30 and €15 per hectare, respectively, on areas above 55 hectares.

The payments for the in-conversion phase shall be for a maximum period of two years. Subsequent payments will be at rates applicable for full organic status.

Applicants applying conversion period

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC Organic farming involves a very high level of management and substantial losses occur when converting to this sustainable system of farming.

Losses sustained on converting to organic production by specialised fruit and vegetable producers on small holdings (<6ha) are significantly higher than those outlined above. Accordingly, a higher rate of compensation (approx. 30per cent) will be paid as an annual payment of 283€/ha/yr for 142€/ha/yr thereafter. This payment is justified on the basis that there is no market return on the area during conversion. It is proposed to pay a contribution of 50 per cent towards the losses incurred during the conversion period. Establishing the green cover @ €370 in 1st year = €185 Maintenance – mulching 4 times annually @ €40/mulch = €160 Opportunity cost, i.e. loss of income = €135 Total = €480

€240 per ha per year for a maximum of 40ha for the two years of conversion.

€212 up to 55ha; €30 for each additional hectare €106 up to 55ha; €15 for each additional hectare

264


Basis of Costings for Commonage land outside Natura 2000 network Measure No.

Area

REPS Specification Action

Amount (€/ha)

GAEC (GAEC) corresponding to the action

Provide a comprehensive approach to the conservation and/or regeneration of land farmed in common

Commonage areas not designated as Natura sites

a) Destocking Reduction in ewes per hectare to an agriculturally sustainable level

No claim

Stock ewes at an agriculturally sustainable level of 5 ewes/ha on commonage land while meeting the statutory requirements in relation to waste management, water, wildlife, and target areas.

b) Habitat Retention including prohibited practices The following practices are prohibited on commonage lands: Drainage, ploughing, cultivation, reseeding, infilling or rock removal Turf cutting on unexploited bogs, planting trees or other crops. No new tracks or paths to be created. Burning only allowed as a planned management practice. Use of fertilisers and plant protection products

100

Maximise land, labour and machinery productivity by improving land through reclamation, reseeding, burning vegetation, turf cutting, planting trees and creating paths which may involve the removal of wildlife habitats not protected under legislation.

Use of pesticides, fertilisers and lime in compliance with requirements of waste management, water, wildlife, target areas, and the Statutory Code of Good Plant Protection Practice and the Nitrate Code. Use the most cost-effective and convenient method of supplementary feeding and application of nutrients while meeting the statutory requirements in relation to waste management, water, target areas and wildlife.

In addition, supplementary feeding practices will be restricted. The location of feeding points will have to be sited to encourage the dispersal of livestock throughout the outwintering area. To minimise heavy grazing, trampling and poaching, ‘feeding points’ should be moved every 3 weeks and sited on ground with least habitat and wildlife value, preferably on grassland well away from stands of heather. Feeding on steep slopes and on peaty soils should be avoided where possible. Restrictions on the application of organic nutrients in water quality sensitive areas also apply. c) Grassland management plan Adopt a grassland and soil management plan that avoids poaching, overgrazing/undergrazing, soil erosion and run-off leading to the damage of heather or other natural vegetation or wetlands habitats.

21.00

Maximise stocking rate of animals outwintered up to the agriculturally sustainable level in order to minimise costs of overwintering animals while meeting the statutory requirements in relation to waste management, water, target areas and wildlife.

265

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC Average stocking rate of hill sheep is 5 ewes/ha. Target is to reduce this to 3 ewes/ha. Reduction in sheep numbers will be 2 ewes per hectare less than the agriculturally sustainable level. Proposed payment is based on market losses of €20. Alternatively, prevention of undergrazing may require maintenance of non–viable stock. These extensive series of restrictions and prohibitions taken together will have a significant impact on land and labour productivity and the viability of farming in these areas. Unless the opportunity costs arising from these restrictions are adequately compensated for, farming in commonage areas will not be sustainable and the area will be abandoned and the habitat value lost.

The opportunity cost from the loss of production due to the restriction on the use of applying fertilisers, liming material or pesticides

Extra labour cost arising from a change in current supplementary feeding practice which lead to damage to land and wildlife habitats to specified undertakings outlined under this measure. Additional costs will also arise due to restrictions on the application of organic nutrients in water quality sensitive areas.

Costings as outlined for in Measure (ii) in the basic REPS for Grassland Farmers, which involve increasing the length of the overwintering period of livestock in buildings/yards in order to reduce the risk of poaching of land leading to soil erosion and run-off.


Measure No.

Area

REPS Specification Action

Amount (€/ha)

GAEC (GAEC) corresponding to the action

d) Fencing Comply with the fencing undertakings associated with the commonage framework plan and stockproofing the boundary between the commonage and privately-owned land.

10

Use minimal fencing on commonage.

13

Advice from compulsory

105

Lowland is farmed in response to market demands.

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC Fencing costs associated with undertakings in the commonage framework plan and stockproofing the boundary between the commonage and privately-owned land. Average number of metres/ha of commonage to be fenced is 8 @ average cost/m/yr of 1€.

e) Advisory involvement environmentalist

not

f) Non-target impacts of commonage

Sub-total Transaction Cost Total Cost of above undertakings

Additional costs associated with involving an environmentalist with the preparation of a REPS plan with commonage It is estimated that the presence of commonage as part of a holding restricts the farmer’s ability to farm his/her lowland in response to market demands; thereby reducing the profitability of the lowland by approximately one third

249 33 282

Proposed payment of €282/ha on first 40ha with degressive payments of €29/ha on next 40ha, €22/ha on the next 40ha and €5/ha for each hectare over 120ha.

266


Basis of Costing for NHAs not designated under Natura 2000 – excluding commonage Measure No.

Area

REPS Specification Action

Amount (€/ha)

GAEC (GAEC) corresponding to the action

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC REPS Programme 1 Costings are 179€/ha. See REPS Programme 1 for breakdown of costs.

Provide a comprehensive approach to the conservation and/or regeneration of designated target areas5

NHAs designa ted as Natura sites

a) Comply with the General Basic REPS Programme

€179

Practise farming while meeting requirements in relation to waste management, water, air, trees and wildlife, target areas, planning and building, the Statutory Code of Good Plant Protection Practice, national monuments and litter.

b) Sustainable stocking Maintaining stock numbers at an environmentally sustainable level

25

Maintain livestock at an agriculturally sustainable level per hectare while meeting the statutory requirements in relation to waste management, water, target areas and wildlife.

Market losses based on average stock reduction of 2 ewes/ha to prevent overgrazing. Alternatively, prevention of undergrazing may require maintenance of non–viable stock.

c) Habitat retention and prohibited practices The following practices shall not be carried out in SACs and NHAs lands: The areas shall not be drained, ploughed cultivated or reseeded. There shall be no infilling or rock removal. Planting trees or other crops is not permitted. No new tracks or paths shall be created. Burning will only be allowed as a planned management practice. Invasive scrub may be controlled by cutting, spot spraying or exceptionally by burning outside of the bird-nesting season (late February to 31 August).

70

Maximise land, labour and machinery productivity by improving land through reclamation, reseeding, burning vegetation and building roadways which may involve the removal of wildlife habitats not protected under legislation.

There is a significant impact on land and labour productivity and the viability of farming in these areas.

d) Restrictions on the use of fertilisers, pesticides and plant protection products Soil phosphate levels shall not exceed Index 2 Level.

nil

Unless the opportunity costs arising from these restrictions are adequately compensated for, farming in commonage areas will not be sustainable, the area will be abandoned, and the habitat value lost

.

This costing is additional to the costs involved in the conservation of wildlife habitats that has already been accounted for under Measures 4 and 5 of the REPS Programme 1 Costings.

e) Advisory involvement

8.0

Total Cost of above undertakings.

282

Maximise use of pesticides, fertilisers and lime while meeting the requirements in relation to water, target areas, wildlife, the Statutory Code of Good Plant Protection Practice and the Nitrate Code. Advice from compulsory

environmentalist

not

Where fertilisers are being applied the initial soil sampling will be relatively intensive with at least one sample per 2-4 hectares. The use of plant protection products is also restricted. The estimated opportunity cost of complying with these practices has already been accounted for under Measure 1 of the REPS Programme 1 Costings. Additional costs associated with involving an environmentalist with the preparation of a REPS plan with privately-owned NH.

267


Table indicating Community Priorities addressed by each programme action W = Water Quality

C = Climate Change

L = Landscape

B = Biodiversity

(W, C, L & B are priorities set out in Community Axis 2 Guidelines) Opt. = Option only – no additional payment Supp. = Supplementary Measure only – additional payment Opt. / Supp. = Can be Option or Supp. Measure – No additional payment when selected as an Option Measure Nutrient management Grassland/soil management Protection of watercourses Retain wildlife habitats Maintain farm and field boundaries Restrict use of pesticides/fertilisers Establish Biodiversity Buffer Strips surrounding features of Historical and Archaeological Interest Visual Appearance of farm & farmyard Tillage crops respecting environment principles Training in environmentally friendly farming practice Farm plan preparation and record keeping

Core Core Core Core Core Core Core Core Core Core Core

W ● ● ● ● ● ●

C ●

● ● ● ●

● ● ● ● ●

● ● ● ● ●

● ● ●

Supp. Supp. Supp. Supp. Supp. Supp. Supp.

● ●

Clover Swards Low-Input Cereals Farm Woodland Hedgerow Rejuvenation New Hedgerow Establishment Additional Stone Wall Maintenance Broadleaved Tree Planting Traditional Hay Meadows Species-Rich Grassland

Supp/Opt Supp/Opt Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt.

● ● ●

● ● ●

● ● ●

Use of Trailing Shoe Use of Planted Buffer Zone Eco-Tillage Nesting Boxes/Apiaries Creation of New Habitat Green Cover Establishment Environmental set-aside Management Increased Arable Margins Increased Watercourse Margin Exclude Bovine Access to Watercourses Nature Corridors Increase Biodiversity Buffer Zone*

Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt. Opt.

● ● ●

● ●

● ●

● ● ●

● ● ● ● ● ● ●

● ● ● ● ● ● ●

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

● ●

● ●

● ●

● ●

268

B

Conservation of Wild birds – Corncrake and Barn Owl Habitat Rare Breeds Riparian Zones LINNET Habitat Mixed Grazing Traditional Grazers Traditional Irish Orchard

Organic Farming

L

● ●

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

● ● ● ● ● ● ●


Natura Commonage Areas Measure No.

Area

REPS Specification Action

Provide a comprehensive approach to the conservation and/or regeneration of land farmed in common

Natura Common age Areas

a) Destocking Reduction in ewes per hectare to an agriculturally sustainable level

b) Habitat retention including prohibited practices The following practices are prohibited on commonage lands: Drainage, ploughing, cultivation, reseeding, infilling or rock removal Turf cutting on unexploited bogs, planting trees or other crops. No new tracks or paths to be created Burning only allowed as a planned management practice. Use of fertilisers and plant protection products

Amount (€/ha) 20

100

d) Fencing

Stock ewes at an agriculturally sustainable level of 5 ewes/ha on commonage land while meeting the statutory requirements in relation to waste management, water, wildlife, and target areas. Maximise land, labour and machinery productivity by improving land through reclamation, reseeding, burning vegetation, turf cutting, planting trees and creating paths which may involve the removal of wildlife habitats not protected under legislation.

Use of pesticides fertilisers and lime in compliance with requirements of waste management, water, wildlife, target areas, and the Statutory Code of Good Plant Protection Practice and the Nitrate Code. Use the most cost-effective and convenient method of supplementary feeding and application of nutrients while meeting the statutory requirements in relation to waste management, water, target areas and wildlife.

In addition, supplementary feeding practices will be restricted. The location of feeding points will have to be sited to encourage the dispersal of livestock throughout the outwintering area. To minimise heavy grazing, trampling and poaching ‘feeding points’ should be moved every 3 weeks and sited on ground with least habitat and wildlife value, preferably on grassland well away from stands of heather. Feeding on steep slopes and on peaty soils should be avoided where possible. Restrictions on the application of organic nutrients in water quality sensitive areas also apply. c) Grassland and soil management plan Adopt a grassland and soil management plan that avoids poaching, overgrazing/undergrazing, soil erosion and run-off leading to the damage of heather or other natural vegetation or wetlands habitats.

GAEC Corresponding Action

34

10

Maximise stocking rate of animals outwintered up to the agriculturally sustainable level in order to minimise costs of overwintering animals while meeting the statutory requirements in relation to waste management, water, target areas and wildlife. Use minimal fencing on commonage

269

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC Average stocking rate of hill sheep is 5 ewes/ha. Target is to reduce this to 3 ewes/ha. Reduction in sheep numbers will be 2 ewes per hectare less than the agriculturally sustainable level. Margin per ewe being €20. Market losses based on average stock reduction of 2 ewes/ha to prevent overgrazing. Alternatively, prevention of undergrazing may require maintenance of non–viable stock. These extensive series of restrictions and prohibitions taken together will have a significant impact on land and labour productivity and the viability of farming in these areas. Unless the opportunity costs arising from these restrictions are adequately compensated for, farming in commonage areas will not be sustainable and the area will be abandoned and the habitat value lost.

The opportunity cost from the loss of production due to the restriction on the use of applying fertilisers, liming material or pesticides

Extra labour cost arising from a change in current supplementary feeding practice which led to damage to land and wildlife habitats to specified undertakings outlined under this measure. Additional costs will also arise due to restrictions on the application of organic nutrients in water quality sensitive areas.

Costings as outlined for in Measure (ii) in the basic REPS for Grassland Farmers, which involve increasing the length of the overwintering period of livestock in buildings/yards in order to reduce the risk of poaching of land leading to soil erosion and run-off Fencing costs associated with undertakings in the commonage


Comply with the fencing undertakings associated with the commonage framework plan and stockproofing the boundary between the commonage and privately owned land.

framework plan and stockproofing the boundary between the commonage and privately owned land. Average number of metres/ha of commonage to be fenced is 8 @ average cost/m/yr of 1€.

e) Advisory involvement 13

Advice from compulsory

environmentalist

not

105

Lowland is farmed in response to market demands.

f) Non-target impacts of commonage

Total Cost of above undertakings

Additional costs associated with involving an environmentalist with the preparation of a REPS plan with commonage It is estimated that the presence of commonage as part of a holding restricts the farmer’s ability to farm his/her lowland in response to market demands; thereby reducing the profitability of the lowland by approximately one third.

282

It is proposed that payment for designated commonage be degressive €282 on first 40ha; €29 on next 40ha and €22 on next 40ha and €5 thereafter. Note: No agri-environment (REPS) payment applies to designated commonage.

270


Privately-owned Natura Measure No. Provide a comprehensive approach to the conservation and/or regeneration of designated target areas

Area

REPS Specification Action

Amount (€/ha)

Privatelyowned SACs and SPAs

a) Destocking Reduction of stock numbers to an environmentally sustainable level may be necessary.

nil

b) Habitat retention and prohibited practices The following practices shall not be carried out in SAC and SPA lands. The areas shall not be drained, ploughed cultivated or reseeded. There shall be no infilling or rock/gravel/sand removal. Planting trees or other crops is not permitted. No new tracks or paths shall be created. Burning will only be allowed as a planned management practice. Gorse may be controlled by cutting, spot spraying or exceptionally by burning outside of the bird-nesting season (late February to 31 August).

70

e) Ecologist advisory involvement

7

Long/medium-term justification in terms of extra cost, loss of income and financial inducement for farming beyond GAEC Stock at an agriculturally sustainable level per hectare while meeting the statutory requirements in relation to waste management, water, target areas and wildlife.

There is a significant impact on land and labour productivity and the viability of farming in these areas. Unless the opportunity costs arising from these restrictions are adequately compensated for, farming in commonage areas will not be sustainable and the area will be abandoned and the habitat value lost. This costing is additional to the costs involved in the conservation of wildlife habitats that has already been accounted for under Measures 4 and 5 of the REPS agri-environment programme 1 costings.

Additional costs associated with involving an environmentalist with the preparation of a REPS plan with target area Total Cost of above undertakings

77

Proposed to pay €77/ha on the first €40 ha, €29 on next 40ha and €22 on next 40ha and €5/ha thereafter. The first 40ha of privately-owned Natura land shall also qualify for the REPS agri-environment payment at the rate of €205/ha. (When accumulated with REPS, payment shall be first 40ha @ €280, €29 on next 40ha and €22 on next 40ha and €5/ha thereafter.)

271


Appendix 4 The attached table outlines the appropriate national legislation that has relevance to the measures under this programme. National Legislation—Environment Statutory Provision Air Pollution Act, 1987 The act provides for control of air pollution which may be injurious to public health, have a deleterious effect on flora and fauna or which may impair or interfere with amenities of the Environment.

Implementing Body Local Authorities

Fisheries Acts, 1959 to 1999 and Amendment Act 2003 These acts inter-alia provide for the establishment of the Central Fisheries Boards and define their functions. Local Government (Water Pollution) Act, 1977 and Amendment Act, 1990. Under the legislation it is an offence to pollute waters by chemicals, fertilisers, animal slurries, manures, silage effluent or other organic fertilisers.

Fisheries Boards

Local Government (Water Pollution) Act, 1977 (Water Quality Standards for Phosphorus) Regulations, 1998 These regulations provide for specified improvements in water quality conditions in rivers and lakes based on phosphorus concentrations or related water quality classifications. They give effect to certain requirements under Council Directive 76/464/EEC. Local Government (Planning and Development) Acts, 1963—1999 Under the legislation, planning permission is required for certain on-farm building and structures. Planning permission is not granted unless adequate waste storage facilities are provided. Waste Management Act, 1996 and Amendment Act, 2001 The Act relates to the prevention, management and control of waste and provides Local Authorities with the powers to require the preparation of a farm Nutrient Management Plan where it is considered necessary. The Act also makes arrangement for the collection and disposal of recyclable waste material, including farm plastics. Waste Management (Use of Sewage Sludge in Agriculture) Regulations, 1998—2001. These regulations prescribe standards for use of sewage sludge in agriculture. The Regulations give effect to Council Directive 86/278 EEC of 12 June 1986 on the protection of the environment, and in particular of the soil, when sewage sludge is used in agriculture.

Local Authorities

Local Authorities

Penalties Fine, (a) on summary conviction, not exceeding €1,270 and €127 per day the offence is committed and (b) on conviction of indictment, a fine not exceeding €12,700 and €1,270 per day on every day the offence is committed. A fine, on conviction on indictment not exceeding €2,540 or 2 years imprisonment or both. Contravention of bye-laws relating to water pollution carries a fine on conviction, not exceeding €1,270 and/or 6 months imprisonment and in certain cases a fine not exceeding €31,750 and/or imprisonment for up to 5 years.

Local Authorities

Contravention of the statutory requirements carries a fine, on conviction, of €1,905 to €12.7m and/or up to 2 years imprisonment.

Local Authorities

Fine, (a) on summary conviction, not exceeding €1,905 and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or (b) on conviction or indictment not exceeding €12.7m and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.

Local Authorities

Fine, (a) on summary conviction, not exceeding €1,905 and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or (b) on conviction or indictment, not exceeding €12.7m and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.

272


Statutory Provision Litter Pollution Act, 1997 This Act provides for the prevention and control of litter pollution and the prevention of the defacement of certain places and matters relating thereto. Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992 In addition to the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Act provides for the protection of the environment and the control of pollution. An Integrated Pollution Control Licensing requirement has been introduced in respect of the intensive rearing of pigs and poultry. European Communities (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations, 1989—1999 The Regulations require an Environmental Impact Assessment to be carried out in relation to intensive pig and poultry rearing installations above specified size thresholds. The requirements may also apply where the thresholds are not exceeded but where the planning authority considers that the project concerned would be likely to have significant effects on the environment. European Communities (Authorisation, Placing on the Market, Use and Control of Plant Protection Products) Regulations, 1994—2001 and amendment Regulations 2004. These regulations specify the requirements and conditions for the authorisation of plant protection products, which must be complied with in relation to their placing on the market and use, in accordance with Council Directive 91/414/EEC as amended, as well as introducing relevant enforcement and financial provisions. European Communities (prohibition of Certain Active Substances in Plant Protection Products) Regulations 1981–1990 These Regulations provide that plant protection products containing certain active substances may not be placed on the market or used except in certain specified cases. Wildlife Acts, 1976 and 2001 These Acts provide for the conservation of wildlife (including game) and for the protection of certain wild creatures and flora. The 1976 Act enables inter-alia a body known as the Wildlife Advisory Council to be established and defines its functions and enables wildlife reserves to be established and maintained. European Communities (Natural Habitats) Regulations, 1997 These Regulations give effect to Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild flora and fauna (Habitats Directive). The Regulations empower the Minister to designate special areas of conservation (endangered species and habitats of endangered species) as a contribution to an EU Community network known as Natura—2000. National Monuments Acts, 1930—1994 and Amendment Act, 2004 These Acts make provision for the protection and preservation of national monuments and for the preservation of archaeological objects in Ireland.

Implementing Body Local Authorities

Environmental Protection Agency

Penalties (1) Fine on summary conviction, not exceeding €1,905 and (2) on conviction €127/day for each day during which the contravention continues. Fines, on conviction, from €1,270 to €12.7m

Local Authorities

Fine, on conviction, from €1,905 to €12.7m.

Department of Agriculture and Food.

A fine of up to €1,270 or up to six months imprisonment or both.

Department of Agriculture and Food

A fine of up to €1,270 or up to six months imprisonment or both.

National Parks and Wildlife Service

On summary conviction a fine not exceeding €1,905 or 12 months imprisonment of both.

National Parks and Wildlife Service

On summary conviction a fine not exceeding €1,905 or 6 months imprisonment or both.

National Parks and Wildlife Service

Fine, (a) on summary conviction, not exceeding €3,000 and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or (b) on conviction on indictment, not exceeding €10,000,000 and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years

273


Hygiene and Animal Welfare Statutory Provision

Implementing Body

Penalties

European Communities (Hygienic Production and Placing on the Market of Raw Milk, Heat—Treated Milk and Milk Based Products) Regulations 1996 Diseases of Animals Act, 1966 This Act provides the basic legislation for the control and eradication of animal diseases. The Act also provides for compulsory notification of a number of specified diseases. Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes Act, 1984 This Act extends the law relating to the protection of animals and, in particular, regulates the care and welfare of animals kept in intensive units. European Communities (Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes) Regulations, 2000 and 2006. These Regulations give effect to Council Directive 98/58/EC concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes and require owners and keepers to ensure the welfare of their animals. Care and Welfare of Poultry (Laying Hens) Regulations, 1990 These Regulations, which lay down the minimum requirements for the protection of laying hens kept in battery cages and other intensive systems, give effect to Council Directive 88/166/EEC. European Communities (Welfare of Pigs) Regulations, 1995 These Regulations lay down the standards for the protection of pigs kept in intensive or other systems of breeding, rearing, or fattening and give effect to Council Directive No. 91/630/EEC of 19 November 1991. The Regulations set down the rules for the accommodation of pigs and the general conditions to be met to assure the health and welfare of pigs. European Communities (Welfare of Calves) Regulations, 1998 These Regulations give effect to Council Directive No. 91/629/EEC, as amended by Council Directive No. 97/2/EC. They specify the accommodation requirements for the rearing and fattening of calves. They also lay down rules regarding appropriate diet and inspection of the calves to ensure their health and welfare. European Communities (Welfare of Calves and Pigs) Regulations 2002 These Regulations give effect to Council Directive No. 91/629/EEC, as amended by Council Directive No. 97/2/EC and Council Directive No. 91/630/EEC. These Regulations specify the accommodation requirements for the rearing and fattening of calves and pigs. They also lay down rules regarding appropriate diet and inspection of the calves and pigs to ensure their health and welfare.

Department of Agriculture and Food Department of Agriculture and Food

A fine of up to €1,905 or up to 6 months imprisonment or both.

Department of Agriculture and Food

A fine of up to €635 and/or 6 months imprisonment on summary conviction.

Department of Agriculture and Food

A fine of up to €5,000 and/or up to 12 months imprisonment on summary conviction.

Department of Agriculture and Food

Penalties similar to those made under the Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes Act, 1984.

Department of Agriculture and Food

A fine of up to €1,905 and/or 12 months imprisonment on summary conviction.

Department of Agriculture and Food

A fine of up to €1,905 and/or 12 months imprisonment on summary conviction.

Department of Agriculture and Food

A fine not exceeding €2,000 and/or up to 12 months imprisonment.

274


Statutory Provision

Implementing Body

Penalties

European Communities Act, 2007 This is an Act to amend the European Communities Act, 1972 for purposes of allowing offences under regulations of that Act to be prosecuted on indictment; to make provision in relation to the transposition of provisions of the treaties governing and acts of the institutions of the European Communities under Acts of the Oireachtas other than that Act and to provide for matters connected therewith. European Communities (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations, 2006 These Regulations give effect to Council Directives Nos. 75/442EEC, 76/464/EEC, 80/68/EEC, 91/676/EEC, 2000/60/EC And 2003/35EC. They provide statutory support for good agricultural practice to protect waters against pollution from agricultural sources.

Inter-departmental

As set down by the regulations

Inter-departmental

As set down by the regulations

275


Appendix 5 State Aid

PART III.12.A SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION SHEET ON SUPPORT FOR INVESTMENTS IN AGRICULTURAL HOLDINGS

This information sheet relates to investments in agricultural holdings discussed in point IV.A of the Community Guidelines for State Aid in the agriculture and forestry sector 2007â&#x20AC;&#x201D;2013.

1. OBJECTIVE OF THE AID 1.1 Which of the following objectives does the investment pursue? Reduce production costs Improve and redeploy production Increase quality Preserve and improve the natural environment, comply with animal hygiene and standards Promote the diversification of farm activities Other (please specify): If the investment pursues other aims, please note that only investments pursuing one or more of the objectives listed above are eligible for support for investments in agricultural holdings. 1.2 Does the aid concern simple replacement investments? yes

no

If yes, please note that simple replacement investments are not eligible for support for investments in agricultural holdings.

276


1.3 Is the aid linked to investments in products which are subject to restrictions on production or limitations of Community support at the level of individual farmers, holdings or processing plants under a common organisation of the market (including direct support schemes) financed by the EAGF, which would increase production capacity beyond these restrictions or limitations? yes

no

If yes, please note that, under point 37 of the Guidelines, no aid may be granted for such investments.

2. BENEFICIARIES Who are the beneficiaries of the aid? Farmers Producer groups Other (please specify) ……………………………………………………

3. AID INTENSITY 3.1

Please state the maximum rate of public support, expressed as a percentage of eligible investment: (a) 40 per cent in less-favoured areas or the areas referred to in Article 36(a)(i), (ii) or (iii) of Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 42 (max. 50 per cent) (b)

40 per cent in other regions (max. 40 per cent)

(c) 50 per cent for young farmers in less-favoured areas or the areas referred to in Article 36(a)(i), (ii) or (iii) of Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005, carrying out the investment within five years of setting up (max. 60per cent) (d) 50 per cent for young farmers in other areas, carrying out the investment within five years of setting up (max. 50per cent); (e) in the outermost regions and on the smaller Aegean islands within the meaning of Regulation (EEC) No 2019/93 43 (max. 75 per cent) (f) for investments entailing extra costs linked to the preservation and improvement of the natural environment or improvements in the hygiene of livestock farms or the well-being of livestock carried out within the time-limits for transposition of the newly introduced minimum standards (max. 75per cent in less-favoured areas or the areas referred to in 42

Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 of 20 September 2005 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) (OJ L 277, 21.10.2005, p. 1). 43 Council Regulation (EEC) No 2019/93 of 19 July 1993 introducing specific measures for the smaller Aegean islands concerning certain agricultural products (OJ L 184, 27.7.1993, p. 1).

277


Article 36(a)(i), (ii) or (iii) of Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005, and max. 60 per cent in other areas) (g) for investments entailing extra costs linked to the preservation and improvement of the natural environment or improvements in the hygiene of livestock farms or the well-being of livestock carried out within three years following the date on which the investment must be authorised under Community legislation (max. 50 per cent in less-favoured areas or the areas referred to in Article 36(a)(i), (ii) or (iii) of Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005, and max. 40per cent in other areas) (h) for investments entailing extra costs linked to the preservation and improvement of the natural environment or improvements in the hygiene of livestock farms or the well-being of livestock carried out in the fourth year following the date on which the investment must be authorised under Community legislation (max. 25 per cent in less-favoured areas or the areas referred to in Article 36(a)(i), (ii) or (iii) of Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005, and max. 20per cent in other areas) (i) for investments entailing extra costs linked to the preservation and improvement of the natural environment or improvements in the hygiene of livestock farms or the well-being of livestock carried out in the fifth year following the date on which the investment must be authorised under Community legislation (max. 12.5per cent in less-favoured areas or the areas referred to in Article 36(a)(i), (ii) or (iii) of Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005, and max. 10per cent in other areas, no aid can be granted for expenses incurred beyond the fifth year) (j) for additional investment expenditure made by those Member States who joined the Union on 1 May 2004 and 1 January 2007 respectively, for the purposes of implementing Directive 91/676/EEC 44 (max. 75per cent); (k) for additional investment expenditure made for the purposes of implementing Directive 91/676/EEC and which is the subject of support under Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 (max. 50per cent in less-favoured areas or the areas referred to in Article 36(a)(i), (ii) or (iii) of Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005, and max. 40per cent in other areas) (l) for investments made by young farmers in order to comply with Community or national standards in force (max. 60per cent in less-favoured areas or the areas referred to in Article 36(a)(i), (ii) or (iii) of Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005, and max. 50per cent in other areas) 3.2

In the case of investments entailing extra costs linked to the preservation and improvement of the natural environment, improvements in the hygiene of livestock farms or the wellbeing of livestock, are the extra costs limited to investments either exceeding the minimum requirements currently prescribed by the Community or complying with newly introduced minimum standards? Are they strictly limited to eligible extra costs in connection with these objectives without resulting in an increased production capacity? yes

no

44

Council Directive 91/676/EEC of 12 December 1991 concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources (OJ L 375, 31.12.1991, p. 1).

278


3.3

In the case of investments made for the purposes of implementing Directive 91/676/EEC, is the envisaged aid intensity limited to necessary and eligible extra costs, and does it exclude investments leading to increased production capacity? yes no

3.4

In the case of investments made by young farmers in order to comply with Community or national standards in force, is the aid limited to extra costs as a result of implementing these standards and have these costs been incurred within 36 months after installation? yes

no

4. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA 4.1

Is the aid limited to agricultural holdings not in difficulty? yes

4.2

no

Is the aid intended for the manufacture and marketing of products which imitate or substitute for milk and milk products? yes

no

5. ELIGIBLE EXPENDITURE 5.1

Do eligible expenses include: construction, acquisition or improvement of immovable property; the purchase or lease purchase of machinery and equipment, including computer software up to the market value of the asset, exclusive of costs connected with a leasing contract (tax, lessor’s margin, interest refinancing costs, overheads, insurance charges etc) overheads connected with the two previous types of expenses (for instance architect’s fees, engineer’s fees, expert’s fees, feasibility studies, acquisition of patents and licences)?

5.2

Does the aid cover the purchase of second-hand machinery? yes

5.3

no

If yes, is eligibility limited to small and medium enterprises with a low technical level and limited capital? yes

no

5.4 Are any of the following excluded from the aid scheme: the purchase of production rights, animals and annual plants, or the planting of annual plants?

279


yes

no

If no, please note that according to point 29 of the Guidelines no aid may be granted for such types of expenditure. 5.5

Is the share of purchases of land other than land for construction purposes in the eligible expenses for the planned investment limited to 10per cent? yes

no

If no, please note that this 10per cent ceiling is one of the eligibility criteria to be met under point 29 of the Guidelines.

6. AID FOR THE CONSERVATION OF TRADITIONAL LANDSCAPES AND BUILDINGS 6.1.

Does the aid concern investments or capital works intended for the conservation of nonproductive heritage features located on agricultural holdings? yes

6.1.1.

no

If yes, what is the envisaged rate of aid (max.: 100per cent): ……………………………

6.1.2

Do the eligible expenses include remuneration for the work of the farmer or his workers? yes

6.1.3

If yes, will this remuneration be limited to a maximum of €10,000 per year? yes

6.1.4

no

no

If no, please give reasons for exceeding the above limit.

Grant-aid is payable on completed investment work which complies with the Department’s technical specifications for such buildings. These may exceed a sum of €10,000.

280


6.2.

Does the aid concern investments or capital works intended to conserve the heritage features of productive assets on farms? yes

6.2.1

If yes, does the investment entail any increase in the production capacity of the farm? yes

6.2.2

no

no

What are the envisaged maximum aid rates for this type of investment? Investments without increase in capacity: Maximum rate envisaged for less-favoured areas or the areas referred to in Article 36(a)(i), (ii) or (iii) of Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 (max. 75per cent): Maximum rate envisaged for other areas (max. 60per cent): Investments with increase in capacity: Maximum rate envisaged in cases where contemporary materials are used (max.: see point 3.1): …………………. Maximum rate envisaged in cases where traditional materials are used, expressed as a percentage of the extra cost (max. 100per cent): …………..

7. RELOCATION OF FARM BUILDINGS IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST 7.1

Does the relocation result from expropriation? yes

7.2

no

Is the relocation justified on grounds of public interest specified in the legal basis? yes

no

Please note that the legal basis must explain the public interest served by the relocation. 7.3

Does relocation simply consist of the dismantling, removal and re-erection of existing facilities? yes

7.3.1

no

If yes, what it the intensity of the aid? (max. 100per cent) …………………………………………………….

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7.4

Does relocation result in the farmer benefiting from more modern equipment and facilities? yes

7.4.1

no

If yes, what is the farmer’s own contribution, as a percentage of the added value of the facilities after relocation? In less-favoured areas or the areas referred to in Article 36(a)(i), (ii) or (iii) of Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 (min. 50per cent) ………………………… In other areas (min. 60 per cent) ………………………………….. Young farmers in less-favoured areas or the areas referred to in Article 36(a)(i), (ii) or (iii) of Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 (min. 45per cent) …………………………………… Young farmers in other areas (min. 55per cent)

7.5

Does relocation result in an increase in production capacity? yes

7.5.1

no

If yes, what is the farmer’s own contribution, as a percentage of the expenditure linked to the increase? In less-favoured areas or the areas referred to in Article 36(a)(i), (ii) or (iii) of Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 (min. 50 per cent) ………………………… In other areas (min 60per cent) ………………………………….. Young farmers in less-favoured areas or the areas referred to in Article 36(a)(i), (ii) or (iii) of Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 (min. 45 per cent) …………………………………… Young farmers in other areas (min 55 per cent)

8. OTHER INFORMATION 8.1.

Is the notification accompanied by documentation demonstrating how the state aid measure is consistent with the relevant rural development programme(s) concerned? yes

no

If yes, please provide this documentation below or in an annex to this supplementary information sheet. (See page 77 of this programme on the measure on the modernisation of agricultural holdings.) ...........................................................................................................................

282


If no, please note that this documentation must be provided under point 26 of the Guidelines. 8.2

Is the notification accompanied by documentation showing that support is targeted on clearly defined objectives reflecting identified structural and territorial needs and structural disadvantages? yes no If yes, please provide this documentation below or in an annex to this supplementary information sheet. (See page 71 of this programme on the measure on the modernisation of agricultural holdings.) ........................................................................................................................... If no, please note that this documentation must be provided under point 36 of the Guidelines.

283


Part III.12. D Supplementary Information Sheet on Aid to Compensate for Handicaps in Certain Areas This form must be used for the notification of aid aiming to compensate for natural handicaps in certain areas, which is dealt with in point IV.D. of the Community Guidelines for State aid in the agriculture and forestry sector 2007—2013.

1. questions relevant for all notifications of aid to compensate for handicaps in certain areas 1. Describe the handicap in question: In Ireland Less Favoured Areas (LFAs) are known as disadvantaged areas and are currently classified under Council Regulation (EC) No. 1257/1999 (as amended by Council Regulation (EC) No. 1698/2005), which deals with support for rural development. These consist of (i) areas in danger of abandonment and where conservation of the countryside is essential (Article 19) and (ii) areas affected by specific handicaps (Article 20), e.g. island position and low soil potential. Under (i) these Less Favoured Areas are divided into: about 4.075 million hectares of More Severely Handicapped Areas and, about 1.053 million hectares of Less Severely Handicapped Areas For (ii) there are about 0.027 million hectares of Coastal Areas with Specific Handicaps. Within the More Severely and Less Severely Handicapped Areas some 1.501 million hectares of land is designated as Mountain Type Grazings, as it is of poor quality (normally a gley type or peat with impeded drainage and a low pH and totally unsuited for any type of arable production) growing inferior type vegetation (heathers, sedges, brackens and mosses). Although Mountain Type Grazings are normally found in elevated areas, some are found in lowland bogs also, as their soils fit this description precisely.

2. Provide proof that the amount of compensation to be paid avoids any overcompensation to farmers of the effect of the handicaps: The Annex to Council Regulation (EC) No. 1257/1999 provides minimum and maximum rates in respect of Compensatory Allowances. For Ireland the rates are €25 (minimum) and €200 (maximum). The proposed rates per forage hectare for 2007 are: • • •

Mountain Type Grazings: €109.71 More Severely Handicapped Areas: €95.99 Less Severely Handicapped Areas: €82.27

284


As these rates equate to 41per cent, 48per cent and 55per cent respectively of the maximum compensation payable, and because the Area-Based Compensatory Allowances Scheme is successful in achieving the objectives of: ensuring continued agricultural land use and thereby contributing to the maintenance of a viable rural community maintaining the countryside maintaining and promoting sustainable farming systems, which take account of environmental protection requirements the Irish Authorities are satisfied that there is no over-compensation. 3. If there are areas of handicaps where the average impact of handicaps per hectare of comparable farms differs, demonstrate that the level of compensatory payments is proportionate to the economic impact of the handicaps in the different areas: In Ireland the lands located within each of the three different types of Less Favoured Areas are by and large homogenous as regards the degree of handicap in each of the three types of areas. Therefore, the type of difference referred to above does not arise. 4. Is it within human control to reverse the economic impact of the permanent handicap? yes

no

If yes, please note that only the economic impact of permanent handicaps that lie outside of human control may be taken into account for calculating the amount of compensatory payments. Structural disadvantages open to improvement through modernisation of farms or factors like taxes, subsidies or the implementation of the CAP reform may not be taken into account. If no, explain why it is outside human control to reverse the economic impact of the permanent handicap: In Ireland almost 75per cent of total land area is designated as Less Favoured. Due mainly to the permanent natural handicaps affecting holdings in these areas, farmers earn lower farm incomes, which in turn is compounded by higher than normal production costs and/or lower than normal output. As a result, such areas became prone to land abandonment mainly due to migration in significant numbers away from rural areas, which in turn had a negative effect on the viability of rural communities and maintenance of the countryside. In the absence of the Compensatory Allowances system, which has operated in Ireland since 1975, it is the belief of the Irish Authorities that it would not be possible to reverse/partly reverse the negative economic impact of living in such areas. Could you specify the size of the farms that will benefit from these payments? In general these are small-scale farms with an average of 27 hectares, consisting of poor land in the main.

285


5. Is the amount of compensation established by comparing the average income per hectare of farms in areas with handicaps with the income of same-sized farms producing the same products in areas without handicaps situated in the same Member State, or when a whole Member State is considered as consisting of areas with handicaps, with the income of same-sized farms in similar areas in other Member States in which the production conditions can be meaningfully compared to those in the first Member state? The income to be taken into account in this respect shall be direct income from farming and notably leave aside taxes paid or subsidies received. yes

no

Describe how the comparison was made. Income per hectare in Less Favoured Areas averages 66per cent of income in the nonDisadvantaged Areas. This figure increases to an average of 81per cent when the Compensatory Allowances are factored in. These figures are derived from data from the annual Farm Survey and used by the Irish Authorities to determine average Family Farm Income. Teagasc (Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority) conducts the survey and adjustments are made in respect of income from farm subsidies. 6. Is the aid measure combined with support under Articles 13, 14 and 15 of the Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/1999 45? yes

no

7. Can you confirm that the total support granted to the farmer will not exceed the amount determined in accordance with Article 15 of Regulation No 1257/1999? yes

no

Specify the amount. Maximum amount of Compensatory Allowance payable is €200 (Article 15(3) – see Table of Amounts Annex) Proposed rates for 2007: Mountain Type Grazings: €109.71 More Severely Handicapped Areas: €95.99 Less Severely Handicapped Areas: €82.27 If no, please note that, according to point 72 of the Agricultural Guidelines, the maximum aid that can be granted in the form of compensatory allowance cannot exceed the above amount. 8.

Does the measure provide that the following eligibility criteria must be fulfilled? Farmers are required to farm a minimum area of land (please specify the minimum area)

45

Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/1999 of 17 May 1999 on support for rural development from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) and amending and repealing certain Regulations; OJ L 160, 26.6.1999, p. 80–102

286


Three hectares of forage Farmers must undertake to pursue their farming activity in a less-favoured area for at least five years from the first payment of a compensatory allowance. Farmers must apply the relevant mandatory standards established pursuant to Articles 4 and 5 of, and Annexes III and IV to, Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 46 as well as minimum requirements for fertiliser and plant protection product use and other mandatory requirements established by national legislation and identified in the rural development programme. yes

no

9.Does the measure provide that, in the event of obstruction on the part of the owner or holder of the animals when inspections are being carried out and the necessary samples are being taken in application of national residue-monitoring plans, or when the investigations and checks provided for under Directive 96/23/EC are being carried out, the penalties provided for under question 4 shall apply? yes

no

10.In case of aid schemes still in force at the date of the entry into force of Articles 37 and 88(3) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 47, will the aid scheme be amended to comply with the provisions of those articles as from that date? yes

no

If no, please note that from the entry into force of Articles 37 and 88 (3) of the above mentioned regulation new rules will be applied to measures aiming to compensate for natural handicaps in certain areas and that aid measures that do not fulfil all the criteria of these Articles and any implementing rules adopted by the Council or the Commission will have to be put to an end.

46

Council Regulation No 1782/2003 establishing common rules for direct support schemes under the common agricultural policy and establishing certain support scheme for farmers (OJ L 270, 21.10.2003, p. 1). 47

Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 of 20 September 2005 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD); OJ L 277, 21.10.2005, p. 1â&#x20AC;&#x201C;40.

287


2 Other Information Is documentation demonstrating that the State aid fits into and is coherent with the relevant Rural Development plan attached to the notification? yes

no

If yes, please provide that documentation hereunder or in an annex to this supplementary information sheet. See Measure 212 [Payments to Farmers in Areas with Handicaps, other than Mountain Areas (Less Favoured Areas Compensatory Allowances Scheme)].

288


NATURA 2000 PAYMENTS AND PAYMENTS LINKED TO DIRECTIVE 2006/60/EC This form must be used by Member States to notify aids under Natura 2000 payments and payments linked to Directive 2000/60/EC 48 as dealt with in Part IV.C.3 of the Community Guidelines for State aid in the agriculture and forestry sector 2007 to 2013 49 1.

Objective of the measure

1.1.1

Is the measure aimed to compensate farmers for costs incurred and income foregone resulting from disadvantages in the areas concerned related to the implementation of Directives 79/409/EEC 50, 92/43/EEC 51 and 2000/60EC? X

Yes

No

1.1.2

If no, please note that Part IV.C.3 of the Agricultural Guidelines does not allow for aid to compensate for costs other than those related to the disadvantages related to the implementation of Directives 79/409/EEC, 92/43/EEC and 2000/60/EC.

2.

Eligibility criteria

2.1

Are costs incurred and income foregone resulting from disadvantages in the areas concerned related to the implementation of Directives 79/409/EEC, 92/43/EEC and 2000/60/EC? Yes

X

No

2.1.1

If yes, please provide all the details concerning the relevant provisions of the Directive(s) in question. Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, of Council Directive 79/409. Articles 1, 2, 3(3), 6, 10, 13, 15, 22(b) of Council Directive 92/43. See also attached notifable actions at Appendix 2 of the RDP.

2.1.2

If no, please note that Part IV.C.3 of the Agricultural Guidelines does not allow for aid to compensate for other costs than those resulting from disadvantages related to the implementation of Directives 79/409/EEC, 92/43/EEC and 2000/60/EC.

2.2

Arising from the Directive(s), are the planned compensation payments necessary to solve specific problems? X

Yes

No

48

Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (OJ L 327,22.12.200. p.1). 49 OJ C 319, 27.12.2006, p.1. 50 Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds (OJ L 103, 25.4.1979 p.1). 51 Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (OJ) L 206, 22.7.1992, p.7).

289


2.2.1

If yes, please explain why this measure is necessary. On Natura 2000 sites the restrictions on farming practices result in reduced economic returns to the farmer. A real risk exists that the land would be abandoned with no farming activity being carried out. This would result in the total loss of the habitat and it is accordingly necessary to put this measure in place.

2.2.2 If no, please note that according to Part IV.C.3 of the Agricultural Guidelines only payments that are necessary to solve specific problems arising from these Directives can be authorised. 2.3

Is the support granted only for obligations going beyond cross-compliance obligations?

X 2.3.1

Yes

No

If no, please justify its compatibility with the provisions of Part IV.C.3 of the Agricultural Guidelines. ………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………

2.4

Is the support granted for obligations going beyond conditions set out by Article 5 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003? X

2.4.1

Yes

No

If no, please justify its compatibility with the provisions of Part IV.C.3 of the Agricultural Guidelines. ………………………………………………………………………………... …………………………………………………………………………………

2.5

Is the aid granted in breach of the polluter pays principle? X

Yes

No

2.5.1

If yes, please provide all elements justifying its compatibility with the provisions of Part IV.C.3 of the Agricultural Guidelines and that it is exceptional, temporary and degressive.

3

Aid amount

3.1.1

Please specify the maximum amount of aid, based on the utilised agricultural area (UAA): X

On privately owned Natura 2000 sites proposed payment of €77/ha. (beneficiaries may in addition draw down agri-environment payment under Measure 214)

290


For commonage Natura sites the proposed payment is €282/ha. Beneficiaries are not entitled to draw down any agri-environment payment on the Natura 2000 land under measure 214. (initial maximum Natura 2000 payment for a period not exceeding five years of 500 EUR/hectare of UAA) X

On privately owned Natura 2000 sites proposed payment of €77/ha (beneficiaries may in addition draw down agri-environment payment under Measure 214) For commonage Natura sites the proposed payment is €282/ha. Beneficiaries are not entitled to draw down any agri-environment payment on the Natura 2000 land under measure 214. (normal maximum Natura 2000 payment of 200 EUR/hectare of UAA)

X

No payment is proposed for actions under this directive at present. Any payment proposed in the future will be subject to amendment of the programme and will be notified as state aid at that stage. (maximum amount of support linked to Directive 2000/60/EC is fixed in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 90 (2) of Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005)

3.1.2 With regard to payments linked to Directive 2000/60/EC please provide additional information. No payment proposed under this directive. 3.1.3 If you intend to grant a higher amount of aid, please justify its compatibility with the provisions of Part IV.C.3 of the Agricultural Guidelines and Article 38 of Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 (1). For commonage Natura sites the proposed payment is €282/ha. Beneficiaries are not entitled to draw down any agri-environment payment on the Natura 2000 land under measure 214. 3.1.4 Please explain the measures taken to ensure that payments are fixed at a level which avoids overcompensation. See Appendix 2 of the RDP. 4.

Other information

Is documentation demonstrating that the State aid fits into and is coherent with the relevant Rural Development plan attached to the notification? X

Yes

No

If yes, please provide that documentation hereunder or in an annex to this supplementary information sheet.

291


See Measure 213 (Natura 2000 payments and payments linked to Directive 2000/60/EC) of the RDP. If no, please note that this documentation is requested in conformity with point 26 of the agricultural guidelines.

292


Re:

Agri-environmental payments (Rural Environmental Protection Scheme (REPS) and Organic Farming)

Supplementary Information Sheet on Agri-environmental and animal welfare aid This form must be used for the notification of any state aid measure to support agricultural production methods designed to protect the environment and to maintain the countryside (agri-environment) or to improve animal welfare covered by point IV.C. of the Community Guidelines for State aid in the agriculture and forestry sector 2007-2013 (hereinafter called ‘the guidelines’) and articles 39 and 40 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005.² 52 •

Does the measure concern compensation to farmers who voluntarily give agrienvironmental commitments (articles 39(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005? yes no If yes, please refer to the part of this SIS relating to ‘aid for agri-environmental commitments.’

Does the measure concern compensation to farmers who voluntarily enter into animal welfare commitments (article 40(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005? yes no If yes, please refer to the part of this SIS relating to ‘aid for animal welfare commitments’.

Does the aid only concern environmental investments (point 62 of the guidelines)? yes no If yes, please refer to SIS relating to ‘Investment aids in the agricultural sector’.

Does the environmental aid pursue other objectives such as training and advisory services to help agricultural producers (point IV.K of the guidelines)? yes

no

If yes, please refer to SIS relating to point IV.K of the guidelines. •

Others Please provide a complete description of the measure(s).

Is documentation demonstrating that the State aid fits into and is coherent with the relevant Rural Development plan attached to the notification?

52

² Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), OJ L 277, 21.10.2005, p. 1

293


yes

no

If yes, please provide that documentation hereunder or in an annex to this supplementary information sheet. The aid fits into and is coherent with Measure 214 of the Rural Development Plan. The required documentation is set out under Measure 214 (Agri-environmental payments (Rural Environmental Protection Scheme (REPS) and Organic Farming) of Axis 2 of the RDP. If no, please note that this documentation is requested in conformity with point 26 of the agricultural guidelines.

294


Aid for Agri-environmental commitments (point IV.C.2 of the guidelines)

1. objective of the measure Which one of the following specific objectives does the support measure promote? Ways of using agricultural land which are compatible with the protection and improvement of the environment, the landscape and its features, natural resources, the soil and genetic diversity, reduce production costs An environmentally-favourable extensification of farming and management of low-intensity pasture systems, improve and re-deploy production The conservation of high nature-value farmed environments, which are under threat increase quality The upkeep of the landscape and historical features on agricultural land The use of environmental planning in farming practice. If the measure does not pursue any of the above objectives, please indicate which are the objectives aimed at in terms of environmental protection? (Please submit a detailed description) ………………………………………………………………… If the measure in question has already been applied in the past, what have been the results in terms of environmental protection? Over two million hectares of agricultural land are being farmed by almost 60,000 farmers to environmental standards which go beyond the requirements of regulation 1782/2003. REPS has increased awareness among the farming community of the relationship between farming activity and the wider environment. The scheme has delivered in terms of habitat protection and the protection of watercourses. It has also delivered in biodiversity terms by establishment of new hedgerows, uncultivated field margins, the creation of wildlife habitats and providing crops for seed-eating birds. The table below sets out the main pro-active achievements since the amendment of the programme in 2004. REPS FACTSHEET 2006 2A Hay Meadow

6889.309ha contracted

2B SP Rich Grass

11,793,646ha contracted

4B Tree Planting

221,666 trees contracted for planting

4C Nature Corridors

17,296 – participants who opted to increase field margins

7A Archaeological Buffer

37,782m of additional margins 295


2. 2.1

Margins

contracted

4A New Habitat

13,696.934ha contracted for creation

5A Hedgerow Rejuvenation

Approx. 2,700km of hedgerow contracted for rejuvenation

5B New Hedgerow Establishment

Approx 4000km of hedgerow contracted establishment

Eligibility criteria Will the aid be exclusively granted to farmers and/or other land managers (Article 39(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005) who give agri-environmental commitments for a period between five and seven years? yes

2.2

2.3

new for

no

Will a shorter or a longer period be necessary for all or particular types of commitments? yes no In the affirmative please provide the reasons justifying that period ………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………… …… Please confirm that no aid will be granted to compensate for agrienvironmental commitments that do not go beyond the relevant mandatory standards established pursuant to Articles 4 and 5 of, and Annexes III and IV to, Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 53 as well as minimum requirements for fertiliser and plant protection product use and other relevant mandatory requirements established by national legislation and identified in the rural development programme. yes

no

If no, please note that Article 39(3) of Regulation 1698/2005 does not allow for aid for agri-environmental commitments that do not involve more than the application of these standards and requirements. 2.4

Please describe what the above mentioned standards and requirements are and explain how the agri-environmental commitments involve more than their application.

53

Council Regulation 1782/2003 establishing common rules for direct support schemes under the common agricultural policy and establishing certain support schemes for farmers, OJ L 270, 21.10.2003, p. 1

296


See APPENDIX 3 of the RDP. 3.

Aid amount

3.1

Please specify the maximum amount of aid to be granted based on the area of the holding to which agri-environmental commitments apply: for specialised perennial crops €234/ha (maximum payment of 900 €/ha) for annual crops €376/ha (maximum payment of 600 €/ha) for other land uses €376/ha (maximum payment of 450 €/ha) for local breeds in danger of being lost to farming €234/ha (maximum payment of 200 €/livestock unit). This payment is justified on the basis that the breeds for which support is available show no market return. In addition to production cost, beneficiaries must register with a recognised breed society for which there is an annual registration fee and a fee is also incurred in respect of each animal registered. It is estimated that the total expenditure for this undertaking for the programming period 2006 to 2013 will not exceed €500,000. other? Riparian zones: Proposed payment €850/ha up to a max of 4 hectares. The payment is justified on the basis that no agricultural production is permitted on the area as the objective is to create a riverbank environment that protects the breeding ground of specific aquatic species. LINNET Plots: It is proposed to pay €700/ha up to maximum of 1 hectare per holding. This payment is justified on the basis that a crop is planted for seedeating birds and is not harvested by the farmer. It is estimated that in the programming period a total land area dedicated to linnet plots and riparian zones will be in the order of 6,000 hectares with an estimated total expenditure of €1.5 million. If the maximum amounts mentioned are exceeded please justify the compatibility of the aid with the provisions of Article 39(4) of Regulation (EC) N° 1698/2005. 3.2

Is the support measure granted annually? yes

no

If no, please provide the reasons justifying other period ………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………… ……

297


3.3 Is the amount of annual support calculated on the basis of: - income foregone, - additional costs resulting from the commitment given, and - the need to provide compensation for transaction costs yes

no

Explain the calculation method used in fixing the amount of support and specify the income foregone, additional costs and possible transaction costs SEE APPENDIX 3 OF THE RDP. 3.4 Is the reference level for calculating income foregone and additional cost resulting from the commitments given, the standards and requirements as mentioned above under point 2.3? yes

no

If no, please explain the reference level taken into consideration. 3.5

Are the payments made per unit of production? yes

no

If yes please explain the reasons justifying that method and the initiatives undertaken to ensure that the maximum amounts per year eligible for Community support as set out in the Annex to Regulation (EC) N° 1698/2005 are complied with. ………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………… …… 3.6 Do you intend to give aid for transaction costs for the continuation of agri-environmental commitments already undertaken in the past? yes

no

3.7 If yes, please demonstrate that such costs still continue to be incurred All beneficiaries under the REPS must have a farm plan drawn up by a professional planner. A new plan must accompany an application for a new 5year contract. While the objectives of the scheme remain constant the work schedule detailed in the individual farm plan varies. 3.8 Do you intend to give aid for the costs of non-productive investments linked to the achievements of agri-environmental commitments (nonproductive investments being investments which should not lead to a net increase in farm value or profitability) ? yes 3.9

no

If yes, which aid rate will be applied-75 per cent (max. 100 per cent)?

298


Appendix 6 Independent Verification of Costings Independent Role and Expertise Teagasc carried out the independent verification of costings for the Natura 2000 and agri-environmental schemes. Teagasc is the Semi-State body with responsibility for providing agricultural research, advice and training in Ireland. In these roles it carries out a significant research programme in the areas of Agriculture, Rural Economics and Food to support the development of the agriculture and food industries and rural communities. It also supports the development needs of a high proportion of the farming community through its advisory and training services. Teagasc is functionally independent from the Department of Agriculture and Food, which calculated the payments at issue here. Teagasc has considerable expertise and experience in relation to assessing the financial impact of policy measures at farm level. From a research perspective two key long term research projects provide much of the basis for this expertise, namely: â&#x20AC;˘ The National Farm Survey, completed annually to meet the needs of FADN and the national requirements of policy makers and those involved in the industry to have a comprehensive assessment of the financial and technical performance on Irish farms â&#x20AC;˘ FAPRI â&#x20AC;&#x201C; This project provides detailed independent assessment of the impact of policy interventions on Irish (and European) agriculture. The Teagasc Advisory service has considerable experience in supporting farmers in their decisions through the provision of detailed financial assessment and advice. It also produces detailed financial guidelines on an annual basis for farmers and those working on their behalf. Qualifications and Expertise of the Reviewer The assessment of costs was carried out by the Assistant Director of Advisory Services, Strategy and Planning. He holds the following qualifications: B.Agr.Sc (Economics) M.Agr.Sc He has over 20 years experience working in Teagasc in a variety of specialist roles prior to the current position including Farm Management, Systems Development and Public Management Reform. Examination of Calculations In carrying out this assessment, the reviewer examined the documentation provided and, where necessary, sought clarification from responsible officials in the Department of Agriculture and Food on the measures involved. He also sought and received detailed background costings on the agri-environment measure so as to have a better understanding of the specific actions specified under the measure and the economic justification of the proposed payments. He discussed and sought clarification on many of the issues with research and advisory colleagues with specific expertise in the enterprises/issues so as to arrive at a conclusion as to the accuracy and adequacy of the calculations involved.

299


Appendix 7

Irelands Rural Development Programme 2007—2013 Management & Control Structure Managing Authority CAP Rural Development DAFF 1. 2. 3.

Certifying Body Deloitte & Touche Has role as independent overseer and verifier of the completeness and accuracy of the paying agency’s accounts

Has responsibility for efficient, effective and correct application of programme Leads monitoring committee Ensures evaluation of programme, progress reports & retention of documentation

Paying Agency Finance Division DAFF 1. 2.

Oversees financial management and control system Submits EAFRD* claims to European Commission

Implementing Divisions & Associated Inspectorate DAFF 1. 2.

Implements Schemes Certifies payments to beneficiaries 3. Submits EAFRD claims to Finance Division, DAFF

*DAF—Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food *EAFRD—European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development *DCRGA- Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs

301

DCRGA & Local Area Action Groups 1. 2. 3.

Delegated paying agency functions covering Axis 3 & Axis 4 Implements individual schemes Submits EAFRD claims to Finance Division, DAF


Appendix 8 Glossary of Abbreviations AWU BMW BTS BWI CAP

Annual Work Unit Border Midland and Western Region Biomass to Liquid Bird Watch Ireland Common Agricultural Policy

CAs CBS CHP COFORD CSO DAF DCGRA DCMNR DELG DJELR DoEHLG DSL EAFRD EAGGF EIA EPA ERS ESF FDT FETAC FFI FP FTE GAEC GFP GIS GVA IAS ICT Ktoe LAG LEADER LFAs LSH LU

Designated Areas (Less Favoured Areas) Compensatory Amounts Countryside Bird Survey Combined Heat and Power Council for Forestry Research and Development Central Statistics Office Department of Agriculture and Food Department of Community, Gaeltacht and Rural Affairs Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Department of the Environment and Local Government Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government Digital Subscriber Line European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund Environmental Impact Assessment Environmental Protection Agency Early Retirement Scheme European Social Fund Food Drink Tobacco Further Education and Training Awards Council Family Farm Income Framework Plan Full-time employment Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition Code of Good Farmer Practice Geographical Information System Gross value added Young Farmer Installation Aid Scheme Information and Communication Technology kilo tons of oil equivalent Local Area Group EU Community Initiative for rural development Less Favoured Areas Less Severely Handicapped Livestock Units 302


MWU NCCS NDP NFS NHA NRNP NRN NSS NUTS OPW Ph PPS RBD RD Strategy

Manual Working Units National Climate Change Strategy National Development Plan National Farm Survey Natural Heritage Area National Rural Development Programme

RDP REPS SAC SE SEA SFP SMs SPAs SWOT UAA WFD

Rural Development Programme Rural Environment Protection Scheme Special Areas of Conservation South and Eastern Region Strategic Environmental Assessment Single Farm Payment

National Rural Network National Spatial Strategy Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics Office of Public Works Potential of Hydrogen Purchasing Power Standard River Basin District Rural Development National Strategy Plan

Special measures Special Protection Area(s) Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats Utilisable Agricultural Area Water Framework Directive

303


Appendix 9 RURAL DEVELOPMENTAL PROGRAMME 2007– 2013 EX-ANTE EVLUATION

RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME 2007-2013 EX-ANTE EVALUATION

AFCon Management Consultants with Jim Dorgan Associates November 2006

304


Abbreviations The Regulation

Unless indicated otherwise this refers to Regulation 1698/2005

BMW

Border Midland and Western Region

CAs

Designated Areas (Less Favoured Areas) Compensatory Amounts

CAP RDP

CAP Rural Development Programme 2000-06

DAF

Department of Agriculture and Food

DCGRA

Department of Community, Gaeltacht and Rural Affairs

EAFRD

European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development

EAGGF

European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund

EUA

Environmental Impact Assessment

ERS

Early Retirement Scheme

FFI

Family Farm Income

GFP

Code of Good Farmer Practice

IAS

Young Farmer Installation Aid Scheme

LAG

Local Area Groups

LEADER

EU Community Initiative for rural development

LFAs

Less Favoured Areas, Designated Areas

LU

Livestock Units

NDP

National Development Programme

NFS

National Farm Survey

RD Strategy

Rural Development National Strategy Plan 2007-13

RDP

Rural Development Plan

REPS

Rural Environment Protection Scheme

SAC

Special Areas of Conservation

SEA

Strategic Environmental Assessment

SE

South and Eastern Region

SFP

Single Farm Payment

SPA

Special Protection Area

UAA

Utilisable Agricultural Area 305


Table of Contents Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations I

EX-ANTE EVALUATION OF THE RURAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN

1.

BACKGROUND AND INTRODUCTION

2.

3.

4.

1.1

Purpose and Scope of Ex-Ante Evaluation

1.2

Council Regulation 1698/2005 and changes from previous Regulations

1.3

The regulatory framework for ex-ante evaluation

1.4

Structure of ex-ante Evaluation Repor

1.5

Sources of Information

DRAFT RDP (2007-2013) – RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES 2.1.

Structure of the Plan and compliance with EC Regulation EC

2.1.1

Evaluators comments on structure and content of plan

2.1.2

Summary of Plan

2.1.3

Problems RDP is expected to address

2.1.4

SWOT Analysis

2.2.

Identification of Target Groups and Needs

2.3.

Problems not addressed by the implementation of the Programme

OBJECTIVES OF PLAN 3.1.

Overall policy objectives and expected impacts

3.2.

Policy objectives and expected impacts – Axis 1

3.3.

Policy objectives and expected impacts – Axis 2

3.4.

Coherence of Programme objectives with NDP

PROPOSED MEASURES 4.1

Summary of Measures and their relationship to overall objectives.

4.2

Lessons Learned and taken into account in designing the draft programme

4.3

Measures Axis 1 – Competitiveness

4.3.1

Introduction

4.3.2

Early Retirement Scheme and Installation Aid Measures

4.3.3

Farm Improvement Measures

4.3.4

Afforestation Axis 1 Measures

4.4

Measures Axis 2

4.4.1

Introduction

4.4.2

Less Favoured Areas – Compensatory Amounts

4.4.3

Agri Environment (REPS) and Natura 2000 306


4.4.4

AFFORESTATION AXIS 2 MEASURES (221-227)

4.4.5

Animal Welfare, Recording and Breeding Scheme for Suckler Herds

4.5

Axis 3 and 4 Rural Quality of Life and LEADER Implementation

4.5.1

Introduction

4.5.2

Axis 3 Measures

5.

ADDED VALUE OF COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

6.

MONITORING AND EVALUATION SYSTEMS

7.

STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT 7.1

Definition and Scope of Strategic Environmental Assessment

7.2

Outline description of the Measures proposed

7.3

Baseline Environmental Information

7.4

Anticipated Environmental Effects arising from Axis 1 Measures

7.5

Anticipated Environmental Effects arising from Axis 2 Measures

7.6

Anticipated Environmental Effects arising from Axes 3 and 4 Measures

7.7

Alternatives to the Programme

7.8

Monitoring of the Environmental Effects of the Proposed Programme

307


Executive Summary 1.1

Introduction

The ex-ante evaluation of the national Rural Development Plan (RDP) for the programming period 2007—2013 is based on and elaborates on the Ireland Rural Development National Strategy Plan (2007—2013) and Council Regulation 1698/2005 (the ‘Regulation’) on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The draft plan has now been subjected to an ex-ante evaluation and strategic environmental assessment covering: • • • • •

Analysis of the problems that the proposed programme seeks to address The proposed response (measures) The anticipated results and impact of the programme The extent to which the Community’s priorities have been taken into account in the programme. The quality of procedures for programme management including monitoring and evaluation.

The RDP is a plan that seeks to identify specific problems associated with the rural economy and rural environment and respond to those problems with measures that are appropriate, effective and in line with the requirements of the Regulation. The plan is not a comprehensive rural development plan and does not address each and every rural development issue and especially infrastructural deficits. 1.2

Conformity of RDP with Regulation 1698/2005

The draft plan conforms to the requirements of EC Council Regulation 1698/2005 and meets the priorities defined under ‘The Community Strategic Guidelines for Rural Development Policy’. It also reflects the priorities defined under the National Strategy Plan for Rural Development and government priorities for the development of agriculture and food as well as protection of the rural environment. It is consistent with other relevant strategy documents such as the DAF’s document, AgriVision 2015 and the White Paper on Rural Development. The draft plan examines the current issues and problems facing agriculture and the rural economy (Chapter 3) as part of a lead in to a SWOT analysis. Based on the SWOT analysis a range of measures, are proposed under each Axis that address identified problems. The objectives, rationale and actions under each measure are elaborated as is the proposed financial allocation. The overall structure and content of the plan follows closely the provisions of the Regulation and reflects the requirement of the Regulation that development policy should accompany and complement the market and income support policies of the common agricultural policy and that rural development policy should also take into account the general objectives for economic and social cohesion policy set out in the Treaty and contribute to their achievement while integrating other major policy priorities as spelled out in the conclusion of the Lisbon and Goteborg European Councils for competitiveness and sustainable development. 1.3

Problem Identification

The draft plan provides significant background analysis of the socio-economic environment underpinning the plan and this informs the subsequent problem identification. The problems which need to be addressed can be summed up in terms of the three axes in the RDP: there is a threat to the competitiveness of Irish agriculture from a number of 308


sources, there needs to be incentives to preserve and enhance the rural environment and countryside, and supports are needed to create employment and generate economic and social activities and infrastructure in rural areas. The competitive problems arise from, on the one hand the reduction in market aids and supports and the more open EU market for agriculture. On the other hand, demand for land for non-agricultural purposes and alternative employment is raising the cost of the principal inputs for commercial agriculture. These problems are superimposed on fragmented farm structures and a generally ageing agricultural work force. The decline in price supports for agriculture and the introduction of decoupled payments will tend to reduce agricultural activity and the consequent agricultural load on the environment. Unless action is taken, this may tend to the abandonment of land, which generates other environmental problems. Meanwhile, there will be a core of active farms, which generate emissions, and the Nitrates Directive will raise the standards, which farms have to comply with. In relation to rural society in general, many areas suffer from a poor demographic structure and from inadequate infrastructure, social facilities and employment opportunities. Many of these problems are not addressed by the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;mainstreamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; policies of national and local government entities.

1.4

Objectives

Axis 1 The first Axis of the RDP is aimed at improving the competitiveness of farm and forest enterprises through support for restructuring and innovation. This axis includes support for training, installation aid, early retirement, food quality and downstream food and forestry activities. Measures under this axis have the objective of promoting structural changes at farm level as well as investment in key sectors. This is supported by training measures that are seen as essential in meeting the challenges of an increasing competitive environment. Combined, the measures under Axis 1 respond to identified issues that impact on the competitiveness of the agriculture and food sectors and aim to progress restructuring and investment for the challenging era ahead. Axis 2 The second Axis of the RDP is directed at preserving, and where possible enhancing the environmental, biodiversity and amenity values of the countryside. The Compensatory Amounts (CAs), previously paid on a headage basis in the LFAs, are now decoupled. Some farmers may respond by reducing agriculture to a minimum, but maintaining environmental standards will be a condition of the payment and this should, at least, conserve the countryside against abandonment. For the medium term, most farmers will probably continue farming on an extensive basis and the CAs should support them in doing so. On the other hand, major improvement in the management of the countryside is the role of the Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS) and the afforestation measures. The REP scheme will be improved, which should make it more attractive to farmers, and make it more capable of providing environmental benefits. The forestry measures aim to expand forestry but subject to conditions which will ensure an enhancement of the countryside. Aid will be given for schemes likely to have a high value 309


in terms of appearance, environment or amenities. Axis 3 The broad objectives of Axis 3 are to improve the quality of life in rural areas and encourage diversification of economic activity in rural areas including diversification into non-agricultural activities. The measures under Axis 3 encompass a range of initiatives that are designed to promote economic activity in rural areas and also stimulate broader community initiatives aimed at improving the overall quality of life for rural dwellers. The measures will be implemented using the LEADER approach that emphasises a ‘bottom up’ approach and area-based local development strategies. 1.5

Measures

The draft RDP proposes expenditure of €7.055 billion over a 7-year period of which €2.339 billion will be from the EAFRD and €4.716 billion from the National Exchequer. In line with the requirements of Council Regulation 1698/2005 the plan is structured around 3 core objectives of improving competitiveness, improving the environment and improving the quality of life in rural areas. This is reflected in the plan with measures allocated among 3 axes corresponding to the above objectives. The axes and financial allocations are as follows: Axis 1 Competitiveness envisages total expenditure of €665 million of which €234 million will be from the EAFRD. Under this Axis issues relating to the competitiveness of the agriculture and food industry are addressed particularly structural problems. The proposed measures are in the main a continuation of measures included in the RDP but with some changes in approach and design. Most of the funding is allocated to the Early Retirement Scheme (€418) and a complementary scheme of Young Farmer Installation Aid (€63). In total the 2 measures account for 72per cent of total planned expenditure under the axis. Other measures planned under this axis are farm improvement – designed to promote investment in modern facilities in key sectors and support to the forestry sector. Axis 2 Improving the environment envisages expenditure of €5,965 million of which €1,871 will be from the EAFRD. Measures under this Axis focus on ways of improving the environment but with farmers and farms at the core. The measures proposed are measures included in the current RDP but with modifications and improvements based on the up todate problem analysis. The main measure proposed is the continuation of the REPS/Natura 2000 measure for which €2,982 has been allocated representing 50 per cent of expenditure under the axis. The next most important measure in terms of expenditure levels is the Compensatory Allowance measure with planned expenditure of €1,799 million or 30 per cent of expenditure under the axis. The remaining measures cover forestry initiatives with a predominantly environmental focus and for which €934 million is allocated and animal welfare with an allocation of €250 million. Axis 3 Improving the quality of life in rural measures includes a range of measures that are aimed at having a more sustainable rural economy with an improved quality of life. The measures build on similar type measures implemented under the LEADER programme in previous programmes and have a total allocation of €425 million of which €234 million is 310


from the EAFRD. While the measures here are primarily aimed at improving the quality of life in rural areas they also support and complement the objectives of Axis 1 and Axis 2.

1.6

Impact Assessment

Axis 1 The issue of competitiveness is well analysed in the plan but the link between the proposed measures and the identified problems could be strengthened. 72 per cent of expenditure is allocated to the problem of age structure and farm size but it is unclear from the analysis if this is the main competitive issue facing agriculture and food. While the IAS is likely to achieve results in terms of attracting young farmers, the continuation of the ERS is problematic and the low uptake in the current scheme is of c