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Landowners and Community Groups in Galway City Offered ‘Hassle-free’ Support to Create More Space for Nature on their Land


Landowners and Community Groups in Galway City Offered ‘Hassle-free’ Support to Create More Space for Nature on their Land

Galway City landowners and community groups can apply for support to create wildlife ponds, mini-woodlands, mini-orchards, ‘plans for nature’ or ‘peatland plans’ on their land, as part of Burrenbeo Trust’s innovative ‘The Hare’s Corner’ programme. Applications open from 15–31 March 2024. Apply online on the Burrenbeo website.

The Hare’s Corner, an innovative biodiversity initiative coordinated by the Burren-based landscape charity, Burrenbeo Trust, in conjunction with Galway City’s Biodiversity Officer, is being rolled out this year to landowners and community groups in Galway City. This follows the successful pilot of the non-profit initiative in Clare and Mayo, which resulted in the creation of 125 ponds, 200 orchards, 175 native mini-woodlands and 97 plans for nature by landowners, farmers, and community groups across these counties.

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’ - the aim of this project is to help create habitats that have proven benefits to biodiversity, climate-action as well as to the wellbeing of participants.

The Hare’s Corner project offers landowners and community groups ‘hassle free’ support to carry out simple but impactful actions for biodiversity such as creation of a wildlife pond, a native mini-woodland, a heritage mini-orchard with apple trees from Irish Seedsavers Association and/or a bespoke ‘plan for nature’ or ‘peatland plan’ for their site. This support is offered in the form of materials (native trees and heritage apple trees), micro-funding (e.g. machinery costs for pond digging), professional services (such as a hydrologist’s visit to help plan a pond, or an ecologist’s visit to ‘plan for nature’, or for a ‘peatland plan’) and guidance.

Paula Kearney, Biodiversity officer for Galway City commented, “We are delighted to partner with The Hare’s Corner project and warmly welcome its launch in Galway City.  Many people want to do something for nature but are confused as to what they can or should do, and how to do it, and The Hare’s Corner meets this need by providing the encouragement, advice, and micro-funding to do it. I look forward to providing the local support necessary to bring this fantastic opportunity to participants in Galway City.”

Maeve Ryan, landowner from Co. Clare says, “Receiving a ‘Plan for Nature’ visit from The Hare’s Corner was like getting an education on your own land, opening your eyes to something you mightn’t have noticed before. The ecologist identified 8 areas on our land for us where we could make small and very manageable changes to enhance biodiversity. The tips were priceless – and came with a map of our site and I keep them handy on my phone at all times.”

“We received guidance and funding and more importantly encouragement to create a wildlife pond from The Hare’s Corner team’, says Connie Corry of Ennis Men’s Shed group. He added, “One and half years later, we did a study on it and identified 30 different species in and around the pond. Our members really enjoy this pond and now we are designated as one of just six ponds in the whole country as a demonstration site for ponds.”

According to Lee Worrell of Burrenbeo Trust, “Landowners and community groups can apply for one or more biodiversity actions and participation in the Hare’s Corner involves no cost to, and minimal hassle for, the landowner. All we ask in return from beneficiaries is their commitment to act as ‘stewards’ of their own special Hare’s Corner”.

  • Places in the Hare’s Corner will be limited by available budget so screening conditions such as suitability of the proposed site for the biodiversity measure may be used to select applications.
  • Preference is also given to community groups and schools.
  • To avoid double-funding, farmers who are ACRES or NPWS Farm Plan Scheme participants are currently not eligible to apply.
  • The Hare’s Corner project in Galway City in 2024 will be funded by the Local Biodiversity Action Fund (supported by the National Parks and Wildlife Service) and by Greencoat Renewables PLC.
  • Applications are now open on www.BurrenBeo.com/THC
  • Deadline for application is Sunday 31 March 2024
  • If the call is oversubscribed then places may be offered on a first-come, first served basis. Further calls may be made, subject to available funding.

This project is supported by the National Parks and Wildlife Service under the National Biodiversity Action Plan (2023-2030).  
The Local Authority Biodiversity Officer Programme is delivered in partnership with the Heritage Council.

Pictured above: Some of the Clare landowners being presented their 'Plans for Nature' through The Hare's Corner