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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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The Hare’s Corner to help farmers ‘make more space for nature’

The Hare’s Corner, a new pilot project in Co. Clare is set to help landowners “make more space for nature”.

The new biodiversity initiative will see farmers create pocket-sized mini-woodlands, ponds, and orchards on their land.

Organisers believe the project will benefit both wildlife and farming.

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett, joined members of Burrenbeo Trust, some local farmers, and representatives of Clare County Council and Irish Seedsavers for launch on Monday, August 23rd, 2021.

The Hare’s Corner  

Inspired by the term ‘The Hare’s Corner’, an old farming expression for an awkward section of a field which was not intensively farmed and so was ‘left to nature’,

Participation in the Hare’s Corner will come at no cost to the landowner.

Farmers can avail of assistance with site assessments, permissions, training and costs towards materials and works through the project.

Minister Hackett said,

“I want to congratulate the Burrenbeo Trust on getting this project started and am delighted my department has been able to support it.”

“The Hare’s Corner is championing simple, straightforward measures for nature, and will use farmers’ knowledge of their own place and their own needs to help them to support nature, literally starting in a small corner.”

“The collaboration among farmers, Irish Seedsavers, and the local authority will hopefully see farmers across Clare get involved and will benefit the local community also. I look forward to seeing the project progress.”

Tom Lane, Clare Chair of the IFA, who was also present at the launch, added:

“We welcome and fully support The Hare’s Corner project, which has a bottom-up approach and will benefit both farming and nature.”

“We would be strongly encouraging our members to participate in it.”

Hassle-free way to support farmers

Pranjali Bhave, co-ordinator of the project for Burrenbeo Trust, said:

“The Hare’s Corner is designed to be a simple, hassle-free way to support our farmers and landowners in responding to the climate and biodiversity crisis we find ourselves in.”

“While the project is currently limited to Co. Clare, we hope the success and learnings from the project will help us expand its scope to other counties in future.”

Brendan Dunford, manager of the Burren Programme and a member of The Hare’s Corner project team, said that by participating in this project, landowners will be:

  • Helping increase biodiversity on their land;
  • Creating a natural legacy for future generations,
  • Increasing our collective resilience against the effects of climate change. For example, by providing shade and water for livestock at times of drought, preventing soil erosion and enhancing water quality.
How to become involved

The Burrenbeo Trust, a local landscape charity, is co-ordinating the project, which the DAFM is funding through the European Innovation Partnerships Initiative (EIP)/Locally led schemes, through the EU Recovery Instrument Funding under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2022 as well as the Clare County Council and the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Burrenbeo is now inviting expressions of interest from farmers, landowners and community groups across Co. Clare, who want to participate.

Funding will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to some basic selection criteria.

The Phase 1 call for applications is now open and will close on September 6th. Further calls may be made subject to available funding.

You can find further information on the project and application form on Burren Beo’s website.

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