IFA SAC Project Chairman Padraic Joyce has said Minister for Heritage, Heather Humphreys must deliver for farmers who have designations imposed on their land in the upcoming Budget with the re-opening of the National Parks and Wildlife Farm Plan Scheme.
Speaking in advance of a meeting with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) due to take place on Thursday this week, Padraic Joyce said that the Minister must reverse cuts that were imposed in 2010 when the NPWS Farm Plan Scheme was abolished, including the removal of the option for renewal for farmers who were in the scheme at the time and who have since concluded their five-year contracts.
Padraic Joyce said the schemes existed in the Shannon callows, hen harrier areas, hill areas, and other designated areas throughout the country until 2010. He said these schemes must now be restored and it is up to the Minister to deliver on this.
“These schemes are necessary as earlier agreements with Government had accepted the principle that where restrictions to farming and other developments were imposed, compensation would be paid,” Padraic Joyce said.
IFA continues to insist that there can be no designations without compensation.