Landowners on the MacGillycuddy Reeks face increasingly difficult challenges in farming. It is a unique upland landscape, encompassing over nine thousand hectares of Natura 2000 designated, privately-owned High Nature Value (HNV) farmland, to a height of 1039 metres. Landowners here face difficult challenges farming in the MacGillycuddy Reeks due to the terrain, climate, succession issues, economically unviable labour-intensive practices and the rising pressures brought about by increasing recreational activities each year.
With these issues in mind, South Kerry Development Partnership and the MacGillycuddy Reeks Mountain Access Forum held several consultation meetings with the farmers in the area to help identify possible solutions. This resulted in South Kerry Development Partnership CLG (SKDP) submitting a project plan to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for approval.
This involved the preparation of a Project Initiation Document which outlined the project management structure, quality, risk and communications management strategies as well as timelines, milestones, budgets and monitoring and control. In April 2018 SKDP signed contracts with the DAFM to deliver the MacGillycuddy Reeks EIP “A sustainable Agricultural Plan for the MacGillycuddy Reeks utilising a Collective Farm Management Approach”.
Farmers within this area were then invited to submit Expression of Interest forms to the project office to be considered for inclusion in the Project.