FAQ’s 2019-01-23T14:07:36+00:00

BRIDE Project FAQ’s

What is a BMA? 2019-01-23T14:11:13+00:00

The BMA is the Biodiversity Managed Area and will comprise of all the habitats that are present on a farm. These include hedgerows, bogs, drains, quarries/glens, field margins, derelict buildings, historic monuments, wetland, semi-natural grassland, treelines, woodland, streams/rivers, ponds, scrub, riparian buffer strips and winter stubble.

How does BMA% relate to the project? 2019-01-23T14:11:43+00:00

The principle aim of the project is that all participating farmers will have at least 10% BMA by the end of the 5 years duration.  Teagasc research suggests that most farms have close to 10% BMA already.

What is a BMP? 2019-01-23T14:12:22+00:00

The BMP is the Biodiversity Management Plan drawn up by the Project Ecologist for each individual farm. Each farm will be walked and all habitats noted. Following a consultation with the farmer and taking into account the farm enterprise, a specific plan for the farm will then be drawn up. This will then be explained to the farmer and if agreed the plan will then be implemented.

What does Results-based Payment mean? 2019-01-23T14:12:47+00:00

In previous agri-environment schemes farmers were paid on actions e.g. planting trees/hedges, however, with the BRIDE Project a farmer will receive a one off capital payment for work carried out e.g., fencing a hedgerow or excavating a pond but annual payments will be made on the biodiversity quality of the habitats on the farm. All of the habitats included in the BMA will be scored and a quality mark given accordingly.

Can GLAS participants enter the BRIDE Project? 2019-01-23T14:13:10+00:00

Yes but the BRIDE Project cannot give payments for the same measure undertaken in GLAS. No duplicate payments.

Can rented land be part of the BMA? 2019-01-23T14:13:36+00:00

Yes, provided the land will be farmed by the participating farmer for the duration of the plan (up to 31st Dec 2023)). Written permission will also have to be sought from the owner of the rented land. However, the rented land will have to be within the BRIDE catchment area (see map).

Do participants have to be farming the land themselves? 2019-01-23T14:13:59+00:00

Yes, all participants must be actively farming the land i.e. landowners not farming and leasing their land cannot participate in the project.

Can commercial woodland or forestry be part of the BMA%? 2019-01-23T14:14:22+00:00

Yes, but only if it is in the BRIDE catchment area.

Is there a minimum or maximum owned land area for applicants to the BRIDE Project? 2019-01-23T14:14:44+00:00

No, all farm sizes will be eligible. There are no minimum or maximum thresholds for entry to the BRIDE Project.

Will I be allowed to cut hedges? 2019-01-23T14:15:08+00:00

A hedgerow management plan will be drawn up for each individual farm and will differ depending on enterprise and species present. However, in general mature hedgerows are more biodiverse than those that are routinely cut so farmers will be encouraged to allow hedges to blossom and fruit. Side trimming of hedges will be encouraged to prevent scrub encroachment onto the field but also to allow light into the base of the hedge thus helping wildflower growth, small mammals and pollinators.

How will I manage roadside hedges? 2019-01-23T14:15:29+00:00

Roadside hedges can be managed in a similar manner, however where sightlines, sharp bends, overhead power lines and encroachment onto the road are an issue, these can be dealt with as normal and at any time of the year.

Are part-time farmers eligible to participate? 2019-01-23T14:15:48+00:00

Yes – the project is about managing the farm for biodiversity so once the plan is carried out and managed correctly it is irrelevant whether a farmer works full-time or part-time.

Are there priority categories for entry? 2019-01-23T14:16:08+00:00

The Project team will attempt to include a cross-section of farm enterprises. Also, a wide geographic spread over the entire Bride river catchment area will be more beneficial to the goals of the project rather than in a specific localised area.  However, clusters of farmers in any given area will get priority over a fragmented farm base.

Will farms with target species and/or habitats get higher priority? 2019-01-23T14:39:57+00:00

Yes, any farm with a species from the BRIDE Project Target Species or Habitat List will get higher priority. The Project Ecologist will confirm the criteria. These include breeding confirmation of any of the bird, mammal or amphibian species listed below.
The presence of any of the Targets Habitats listed including a roost site for any of the bat species will also receive a higher priority.

Targe Species Birds (Breeding / Wintering) Mammals (Breeding / Validated Record) Amphibians (Breeding)
Barn owl Irish Hare Common Frog
Cuckoo Bat: Whiskered, Daubentons, Natterers Smooth Newt
Hen Harrier Red Squirrel
Lapwing
Meadow Pipit Butterfly
Skylark Marsh Fritillary
Snipe
Stock dove
Woodcock
Yellowhammer
Target Habitats
Native Woodland
Reed Bed
Semi-Natural Grassland
Bog / Marsh
Pond

What happens if I sell or lease my farm within the 5 years, Is there claw back of any payments received? 2019-01-23T14:17:24+00:00

There will be no claw back but a letter of compliance, with the Project measures carried out, will be needed from the purchaser/leasee.

What about cases of Force Majeure? (unforeseen circumstances arising preventing the contract being fulfilled e.g. illness) 2019-01-23T14:17:50+00:00

There will be no penalties or claw back.

Is there an appeals process if I’m not happy with a decision? 2019-01-23T14:18:16+00:00

Yes, an independent ecologist is available to give a second opinion.

Will this scheme bring more inspections from the department? 2019-01-23T14:18:43+00:00

Because the payments are coming from public funding,  the usual accountability and transparency  guidelines will apply but it is envisaged that the probability of an inspection  is low and is more likely to occur at project team level rather than at farmer level.

How often will I be inspected by the Project team? 2019-01-23T14:19:04+00:00

Because a new system of payment is being tried (results based) this will mean at least one visit per year to score the habitats on the farm and thus estimate payment.

How long do I have to wait to get paid after implementing the measures? 2019-01-23T14:19:56+00:00

It is hoped that payments for capital costs will be paid twice yearly. For work carried out in Jan-June payment will issue once all receipts are in and the work inspected. This should be September at the latest. Work carried out between July and December will be paid in February upon receipt of paid invoices. The result-based payment will issue at the end of each year of the Project.

Across all farms;

  • Hedge cutting date – Sept.15th to March 1st.
  • Mechanical management only, of hedgerows and field margins – no pesticides
  • Bord Bia Quality Assured?
  • Cross-compliant??