A draft framework document, with proposals relating to the management of the Natura 2000 network, which consists of Special Areas of Conversation and Special Protection Areas, has been published.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) said the Prioritised Action Framework (PAF) is a “strategic multiannual planning tool”, aimed at providing a “comprehensive” overview of the prioritised measures that are needed to manage the EU-wide Natura 2000 network and its associated green infrastructure.
“The draft PAF for Ireland identifies the financing needs for these measures for the period 2021 -2027 and links them to the relevant EU funding programmes.”
“The estimated costs in the draft PAF for Ireland are not commitments to funding, rather they are indications of the level of investment required to manage and restore habitats and species in the Natura 2000 network.”
Some of the proposals contained in the 116-page document include:
- €350/ha for no fertiliser input on certain land-types under various schemes;
- €400/ha for non-productive investment for the restoration of habitat for Hen Harrier, creation of strip grazing, rush management, predator control, retention of stubble;
- €400/ha for agri-environmental scheme for wintering Hen Harrier, extensive grazing, lower fertiliser input;
- €1,000/pound for non-productive investment for the restoration of habitat for Bufo calamita (1202): pond creation;
- €590/ha for land management for Corncrake;
- €400/ha for non-productive investment for the restoration of habitat for birds (including Red Grouse, Golden Plover, and other upland birds) breeding in heathlands where bird species are the priority: creation of scrapes, removal of scrub, predator control;
- €400/ha for non-productive investment for blanket bog (7130), transition mires (7140) and Rhynchosporion depressions (7150): Exclusion areas to prevent encroachment of livestock (average annual cost per hectare: €400)
- €350/ha for agri-environmental scheme for blanket bog (7130), transition mires (7140) and Rhynchosporion depressions (7150): extensive grazing, no fertiliser input (average annual cost per hectare;
- €350/ha for agri-environmental scheme for lowland hay meadows (6510);
- €430/ha for agri-environmental scheme for birds (including waders, excluding Curlew) breeding in wet pastoral grasslands: extensive grazing, low fertiliser input;
- €366/ha to enhance GLAS measures;
- €400/ha for non-productive investment for the restoration of priortisied turloughs, including fencing, water troughs, nose pumps, exclusion areas to prevention livestock incursion;
- €629/ha for native woodland conservation measures for 91A0 old sessile oak woods (tree planting, non-native tree removal, invasive alien species control, fencing);
- €300/ha for agri-environmental scheme for Geese and Swans (Whooper swan, Greenland white-fronted goose & Barnacle goose) in intensive farming systems under the NPWS farm plan scheme;
- €350/ha for agri-environmental scheme for Lowland hay meadows;€1,300/ha for non-productive investment for the restoration of Lowland hay meadows (6510); Green hay strewing (average annual cost per hectare: €1,300).
The document can be viewed in full here. The public consultation period will run until 5pm on Friday, September 18th, 2020. Comments should be sent by email to – [email protected] – using the response template here.