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At the launch of the Hare Corner Biodiversity Inititive for Co Clare were from left Brendan Dunford, Manager Burren Program, Congella Maguire, Heritage Officer, Harold Kingston, Munster IFA, Minister of State for Agriculture Pippa Hackett, Tommy Lane, Chairman Clare IFA, Karen Van Dorp and Pranjali Bhave, Burren Beo Trust and Elaine Bradley, Irish Seed Savers. Photograph by Eamon Ward

BurrenBeo turns a Hare’s Corner with launch of biodiversity initiative


ON Monday, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett joined members of local charity, Burrenbeo Trust, some of the local farmers, and representatives of Clare County Council and Irish Seedsavers to launch The Hare’s Corner, a new biodiversity initiative for Clare.
Inspired by the term ‘The Hare’s Corner’, an old farming expression for an awkward section of a field which wasn’t intensively farmed and so was ‘left to nature’, this project aims to help Clare landowners create pocket-sized habitats such as a mini-woodland, a pond, an orchard or a combination of all three on their land, which will be beneficial for both wildlife and farming.
Participation in the Hare’s Corner will come at no cost to the landowner and assistance with site assessments, permissions, training and costs towards materials and works will be provided through the project.
‘The Hare’s Corner’ is co-ordinated by the Burrenbeo Trust, a local landscape charity and funded through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Clare County Council.
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 Hares 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”
“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” said Tom Lane, Clare Chair of the Irish Farmers Association who was also present at the launch.
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 Clare, we hope the success and learnings from the project will help us expand its scope to other counties in future”.
“By participating in this project, landowners will be helping increase biodiversity on their land, creating a natural legacy for future generations, but also 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”, said Brendan Dunford, manager of the Burren Programme and a member of The Hare’s Corner project team.
Burrenbeo is now inviting expressions of interest from farmers, landowners and community groups across 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 6.
Further calls may be made subject to available funding. You can find further information on the project and application form on burrenbeo.com.

Conor Clohessy

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