Biodiversity Regeneration in a Dairying Environment (BRIDE)
The BRIDE Project: Farming with Nature was designed by two farmers from east Cork, Paul Moore, a tillage farmer from Midleton and Donal Sheehan, a dairy farmer from Castlelyons, along with Tony Nagle, an ecologist from Minane Bridge.
Additional support was given by John Finn and Daire Ó hUallacháin (both Teagasc), Alex Copland, (Birdwatch Ireland) and industry partners Glanbia, Kepak, Cork Co. Council, The National Biodiversity Data Centre and Bord Bia’s Origin Green Programme.
The BRIDE project was one of eleven projects selected from over 100 applications by Department of Agriculture Food, and the Marine, and the European Union, under the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) funding programme.
The Bride Valley contains a rich mosaic of farmland habitats alongside more intensively managed farmland, and supports a range of farmland wildlife. The River Bride is designated as a Special Area of Conservation.
Field margins that are allowed to flower and form a dense vegetation provide a habitat for flowering plants, as well as cover and food for farmland wildlife such as birds and bumblebees. Farmers participating in the BRIDE project will be paid for their existing field margins, and can be paid to create new field margins.
Hedgerows are an important source of food and habitat for wildlife in the Irish countryside. Their management has a large impact on wildlife; here, the flowering hedge is a wonderful resource for bees and butterflies, and the berries will be major food item for birds later in the season. The taller emerging trees are perfect for breeding birds.