Landowners on the MacGillycuddy Reeks face increasingly difficult challenges in farming. Farming in this unique upland landscape, encompassing over eight thousand hectares of Natura designated, privately owned HNV farmland, to a height of 1039 metres is subject to economically unviable labour-intensive practices, coupled with rising pressures bought about by the largely uncontrolled and unmonitored recreational use by over 125,000 people visiting the Reeks annually to climb Ireland’s highest mountain.
The project aims to improve sustainability, the economic viability of farming through practical, achievable actions & innovative solutions to address issues & to protect biodiversity in this Natura 2000 area:
- Empowering landowners to continue upland farming through development of sustainable agricultural management practices,
- Develop, with landowners, innovative management interventions for the preservation, restoration and enhancement of upland habitats;
- Create positive outreach programme and to prevent further habitat damage due to increasing recreational pressures through the formation of a landowner ranger system,
- Improve the conservation status of Annex I habitats