FINAL CALL FOR FUNDING TO BENEFIT FARMING COMMUNITIES – SOURCE TO TAP CROSS BORDER LAND INCENTIVE SCHEME INFORMATION DAYS
27 February 2020 14:04
A €1.2 million pilot cross-border Land Incentive Scheme, offering 100% funding for measures that will benefit farmers and water quality in the River Derg catchment area, Counties Tyrone and Donegal, is due to end in July 2020. There is still time for landowners in the eligible area to apply for funding that will improve water quality protection and improve the sustainability of the farm business.
The pilot Scheme is part of the Source to Tap Project, which is supported by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).
NI Water is the lead Partner on the scheme, working in collaboration with Irish Water/Uisce Éireann, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, East Border Region, Ulster University and The Rivers Trust.
To help landowners get involved in the Land incentive Scheme, the Source to Tap team are hosting a series of information days about this scheme and are calling for the farming community in the River Derg catchment area to come along and find out more. Landowners will have the opportunity to sit down with one of the project’s Officers and arrange a farm visit or get any questions answered they may have about the Scheme.
Land Incentive Scheme Information Days will be held at:
• Meenreagh Social Centre Wednesday 11th March 3-8pm
• Killeter Heritage Centre Wednesday 23rd March 3-8pm
• Derg Valley Leisure Centre Wednesday 25th March 3-8pm
The Source to Tap team can offer a farm visit to identify what the Scheme can fund for you and produce a tailored Water and Environment Management Plan.
Diane Foster, Source to Tap Project Manager explained: ‘The Scheme is designed to fund measures on farms, such as weed-wiping rushes and watercourse fencing to reduce the amount of herbicide and soil escaping to the River Derg that is a shared source of raw drinking water for communities in Counties Tyrone and Donegal.
‘There is still time for farmers to benefit from the Scheme, but they would need to contact us as soon as possible to allow our project officers to visit the farm, produce a plan and allow the landowners to have all the works carried out by July this year if eligible. If landowners don’t contact us now, they could miss out on up to £20,000 or €23,000 worth of investment on the farm at 100% funding.’
Shaun Slevin, a farmer involved in the Scheme said ‘It's not often you come across 100% funding for anything these days, so for the opportunity to get a contractor in to weed wipe on part of my land, fence off sheughs and streams and to install drinking troughs was brilliant. Knowing that this is helping by sending less soil to the river is an added bonus. The project officer I dealt with was fantastic and was always there at the end of the phone and always very helpful.’
The Ulster Farmers Union, Northern Ireland Agricultural Producers Association (NIAPA), Irish Farmers Association and Agriculture Departments in NI and Ireland support the Scheme.
Further information about the Source to Tap Project and the pilot Land Incentive Scheme can be found at www.sourcetotap.eu