Meath landowners: supports to create space for nature – The Hare’s Corner

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Meath Landowners to be offered ‘hassle-free’ support to create more space for nature on their land

Meath landowners can apply for support to create wildlife ponds, mini-woodlands, mini-orchards, or ‘plans for nature’ on their land. Applications are welcomed through an online portal from March 15 to March 31, 2024.

The Hare’s Corner, an innovative biodiversity initiative coordinated by the Burren-based landscape charity Burrenbeo Trust, is being rolled out this year to landowners in Meath in conjunction with Meath County Council. This follows the recent successful piloting of the non-profit initiative in Clare and Mayo, which saw a total of 590 Hare’s Corner actions implemented in those counties since 2021.

Inspired by the term ‘The Hare’s Corner’ – an old farming expression for an awkward section of a field that wasn’t intensively farmed and so was ‘left to nature’ – this project aims to help create habitats that have proven benefits to biodiversity, climate-action as well as to the wellbeing of participants.

The Hare’s Corner project offers landowners ‘hassle-free’ support to carry out simple but impactful actions for biodiversity. Some of the actions that participants can implement include the creation of a wildlife pond, a native mini-woodland, a heritage mini-orchard with apple trees from the Irish Seedsavers Association, or a bespoke ‘plan for nature’. This support is offered in the form of materials (native trees and heritage apple trees), micro-funding (e.g., machinery costs for pond digging), professional services (such as a hydrologist’s visit to help plan a pond or an ecologist’s visit to ‘plan for nature’) and guidance.

Ben Malone, Biodiversity Officer for Meath County Council, said, “Meath County Council is delighted to partner with The Hare’s Corner project and welcome its launch in Co. Meath. Many people want to do something for nature but are confused about what they can or should do and how to do it. The Hare’s Corner meets this need by providing encouragement, advice, and micro-funding to do it. Meath County Council is looking forward to providing the local support necessary to bring this fantastic opportunity to willing participants in the county.”

An application portal is now open for landowners in Meath and can be accessed through www.burrenbeo.com/thc.

The deadline for submission of applications is Sunday, March 31.

According to Lee Worrell of Burrenbeo Trust, “Landowners can apply for one or more biodiversity actions, and participation in the Hare’s Corner involves no cost to the landowner and minimal hassle. All we ask in return from beneficiaries is their commitment to act as ‘stewards’ of their own special Hare’s Corner”.  However, places will be limited by the available budget, so screening conditions, such as suitability of the proposed site for the biodiversity measure, may be used to select applications. The project is open to applications from landowners, including farmers, as well as schools and community groups. To avoid double-funding, farmers involved in ACRES or the NPWS Farm Plan Scheme are currently not eligible to apply.

The Hare’s Corner project in Co. Meath in 2024 will be funded by Meath County Council, Local Biodiversity Action Fund via the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and by NTR PLC. Support is also offered to the project by the Heritage Council through the biodiversity officer programme.

Further funding support for projects may be granted subject to available funding. If the call is oversubscribed, then places may be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

For further information, please visit burrenbeo.com/thc or contact a member of the local project team by emailing biodiversity@meathcoco.ie.

Other useful links

  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BurrenbeoTrust/
  • X/Twitter: https://twitter.com/BurrenbeoTrust
  • Linkedin: Burrenbeo Trust
  • Application link: www.burrenbeo.com/thc
  • Application link QR CODE:

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