Opening of the conservation program for traditional agricultural buildings

Rural communities in Wicklow can apply for a €1.25 million scheme which funds the conservation of traditional farm buildings.

Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue has confirmed the opening of the 2022 GLAS Grant Scheme for Traditional Farm Buildings, open to applicants who participate in GLAS.

Minister McConalogue said: “I have been delighted to again secure €1.25 million in the budget for this very important program as it continues to make a vital contribution to our rural heritage, to our traditional skills and to support farmers in preserving and enhancing biodiversity. Experience tells us that many of these buildings serve as habitats for wildlife, especially bats and birds, many vulnerable species now dependent on these buildings for their survival.

The minister said the first record of a whiskered bat roost in County Louth was found in a traditional farm building supported under the scheme in 2021.

“The program helps demonstrate that sensitive conservation actions and management by farmers preserve these habitats and contribute to the reversal of biodiversity loss.

“It is good to note that so many of these buildings still serve as useful assets for the farm and are not only supported buildings, but also other built elements of our heritage. agricultural.”

Minister McConalogue recently visited the mid-18th century Dunmore Gardens in County Donegal to see work being done on the boundary walls.

“The conservation and use of our traditional farm buildings and other built elements avoids mining, quarrying, logging, manufacturing and transportation of new building materials and more. farmers renovating and adapting for on-farm use, less new construction will be needed. This contributes to climate change mitigation and sustainable resource use and supports farmers in their efforts to be more resilient to climate change.

Grants of up to €25,000 are available, with up to 75% of the project cost being fundable. Up to 80 projects are expected to be selected for funding on a competitive basis under the scheme, which has been running since 2008.

In addition to the conservation of traditional agricultural structures, the program contributes to the preservation of the skills needed to maintain these buildings.

The deadline for submitting applications is Tuesday, February 22 at 5 p.m.

Comments are closed.