TRAINING events in the form of farm walks are being held from August 17 to early September on three new Farm Habitat Technology Demonstration Farms.
These events are to coincide with the opening of the Environmental Farming Scheme Wider (EFS). The three farms all have a history of involvement in consecutive agri-environment schemes and are now participating in the EFS scheme.
The training events will demonstrate to farmers the benefits of a long-term vision of habitat creation and habitat management, taking advantage of each scheme to develop the assets on their farms.
Arable and new Habitat TDF farmer David Sandford, from Strangford, County Down, said: “I am really looking forward to showing groups how we farm alongside nature, maximising the value of our field margins for wildlife and creating new habitats through scheme work.”
During the EFS application window in August, farmers can book onto these training events through the CAFRE website.
There will be both virtual as well as physical farm tours to enable those from further away to access the farm visits.
The full range of dates are listed on the website and pre-registration is essential as the number of participants on each farm walk is restricted.
The visits offer a great opportunity to see, at first hand, the development of farm habitats from previous and current schemes and hear how a farm can benefit from participating in the EFS scheme.
Beef, poultry and Habitat TDF farmer Ian Brown, from Fivemiletown, County Tyrone, said: “You are always developing your farm infrastructure and habitats for the future. Agri-environment schemes such as EFS provide great assistance with this.”
Roy Mayers, from Tempo, County Ferm-anagh, is also a new Habitat TDF farmer specialising in sheep production. He said: “Visiting other farmers is a great way of getting ideas, discussing the options and seeing how agri-environment schemes such as riparian margins might fit into and contribute to your own farm business.”
Information on all of the Technology Demonstration Farms, including details of the upcoming Habitat TDF training events and how you can book onto these, are available on the CAFRE website: www.cafre.ac.uk/habitatTDF
The Department of Agriculture, Environ-ment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and the European Union are funding the establishment of this network of Technology Demonstration Farms across Northern Ireland as part of the Rural Development Programme under the Innovation Technology Evaluation Demon-stration (ITED) Scheme.