burren-life-DSCF2943The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) provide €1m annually to Burren Life farmers.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht provide funding to administer the delivery of the Burren Life Programme through the project team in Carron.

The Burren Life Programme also enjoys the strong support of the Burren branch of the Irish Farmers Association (Burren IFA) and Teagasc, both of whom were centrally involved in the original BurrenLIFE project, and from a range of other stakeholders including The Heritage Council who co-fund the Field Monuments Advisor position.

Our Team

The administration of the Burren Life Programme is funded by the NPWS and delivered under contract by High Nature Value Services (HNVS) Ltd, the directors of which are Dr. Brendan Dunford, Dr. Sharon Parr and Dr. Bryony Williams. Their main roles include:

Dr Brendan DunfordProgramme Manager
Site assessments, farm plan admin checks and sign-offs, education and communication, liaising with project partners, chairing meetings of the PSG.
Dr. Sharon ParrProgramme Scientist
Site visits, liaison with farmers and advisors, meadow assessments, monitoring, compliance – felling licences, notifiable actions etc.
Dr. Bryony WilliamsProgramme Technical Officer
Liaise with farm advisors, manage office and project finances, farm plan admin checks, personnel support.

The Programme team also includes:

Paula McHale Programme Assistant
Paula joined HNVS as an intern in August 2013 and as an employee in June 2014. Paula assists with data input, admin checks and general office support.
Anne MullenEcological Consultant
Anne has worked with HNVS since May 2012, assisting with site visits, ecological support, farm plan admin checks, GIS and data management.
Michael LynchField Monument Advisor
Michael advises farmers on planned M2 works and their impact on archaeology, including mitigation measures. He works 80 hours per month as FMA for Co. Clare (funded by the Heritage Council and HNVS Ltd.), mostly on BLP tasks.

The BLP team are based in Carron in the central Burren and support Burren Life (and other Burren) farmers directly through office or site visits, and indirectly via their farm advisors.

Farm Advisors

burren-life-DSCF7433Central to the success of the Burren Life Programme are the cohort of trained Farm Advisors. A panel of DAFM-Approved Trained Advisors has been drawn up for the purposes of the programme and is available on burre or through the Burren Life Office in Carron. These Trained Advisors have undergone an intensive training course and must participate in annual ‘refresher’ courses on farming for conservation in the Burren. Participants in the Burren Life Programme can select from this panel of Advisors.

The Farmer must pay for the services of his/her Burren Life Programme Advisor.

Trained Advisors liaise with farmers, conduct farm audits and assemble farm plans. This entails working closely with the farmer and advising on priority tasks, where, how and when they should be done. The Trained Advisor also assesses grazed habitats on the farm which are eligible under Measure 1 and award them a score using standardised methodologies and ‘M1 calculators’. The Trained Advisor works closely with the Burren Life Programme team and the farmer, and farm plans, actions and scores will be cross-checked by the team. The Trained Advisor also signs a Declaration on the finalised farm plan to confirm that the farmer is fully aware of the obligations under the plan.