Hedges, trees and non-forest woodland covers more than 6% of the country

IFA Environment & Rural Affairs Chairman Paul O’Brien says farmers and farming play an important role in protecting and enhancing biodiversity.

He says farmers do not get enough recognition for their role in protecting the quality of nature found in the countryside

Ireland has the third largest total hedgerow area in the EU.

The Teagasc Irish Hedge Map estimates Ireland’s cover of hedgerows, individual trees and non-forest woodland and scrub is 450,000 hectares or 6.4% cover.


Mental health

A new initiative to support mental health among farmers and within rural communities has been launched by the Irish Co-operative Organisation

The programme will start with two online workshops in June aimed at advising and helping participants to recognise and cope with mental-health issues.

The course covers various mental health risks that can arise for farmers as lone workers.

It outlines how they can recognise the warning signs, both in themselves and others, as well as showing how they can engage with and support neighbours and family who are experiencing similar difficulties.