Farming for Nature is not-for-profit initiative which aims to support high nature value farming in Ireland.   It is an independent project of the  landscape charity Burrenbeo Trust ( and was established in 2018.


There is widespread awareness of the environmental damage that can be caused by the wrong type of farming. We hear about it all the time.

There isn’t as much discussion of those that are doing a great job farming for nature, about the positive stories, meaning we don’t have many good role models. This negative narrative can alienate farmers from nature, making them feel apart from it rather than part of it. Encouraging farmers to feel that they are part of the solution, not just the problem, is the first step in a long journey which will require a lot of financial and technical support, new partnerships and new visions. This can hopefully be the start.


The Farming for Nature initiative seeks to acknowledge and support those farmers who farm, or wish to farm, in a way that will improve the natural health of our countryside.

We do this by:

  • Building a network of exemplary farmers
  • Celebrating the positive role that these farmers play in supporting biodiversity
  • Making sure that this ‘can do’ attitude is reflected in the discourse around farming & the environment
  • Enabling farmer-to-farmer knowledge exchange
  • Developing practical resources in easy-to-digest format
  • Providing advisory services
  • Advocating on behalf of this growing farming community

‘To change the world, let’s start by changing the way we talk about it, and let’s highlight those initiatives that are having a positive impact on people and the planet, to renew our confidence and spur us into action’ (Sparknews)


Much of the impetus for Farming for Nature has come from our experience of working with farmers in the Burren region, western Ireland. This convinced us, if given the right financial incentives, technical support and encouragement, of the enthusiasm of many farmers to look after their heritage (the pocket, head and heart as we say). During this time we also witnessed the power of ‘partnership’ in achieving what are, ultimately, common goals: indeed we are delighted to welcome many of these partners, agricultural and environmental, in supporting this initiative.

The Farming For Nature project  started with a national award.  The main purpose of this award was to unearth and to share the stories of farmers across Ireland who are making a positive difference to nature on their farms and in their communities. We want to show that farmers are a part of nature and not apart from it, and we want to use these positive testimonies to encourage others to follow suit. We want to show that farming for nature can also be agriculturally, economically and socially progressive. Of course storytelling alone won’t solve all of our challenges.   So we have been busy developing our resources, our outreach and expanding our network.

Today the Farming for Nature network has grown to include farmers from every land type and farming sector across Ireland.  Our objective is to seek to acknowledge and support farmers who farm, or wish to farm, in a way that will improve the natural health of the countryside.


We do this by:

  • Building a network of exemplary farmers
  • Celebrating the positive role that these farmers play in supporting biodiversity
  • Making sure that this ‘can do’ attitude is reflected in the discourse around farming & the environment
  • Enabling farmer-to-farmer knowledge exchange
  • Developing practical resources in easy-to-digest format
  • Providing advisory services
  • Advocating on behalf of this growing farming community

We hope you can join us on this journey.  Why not start with listening to the below podcast.

What is Farming For Nature Podcast

The founders of Farming for Nature, Brigid Barry and Brendan Dunford, explain what the initiative is, and how and why farmers across Ireland should get involved.


It is great to be able to meet all these people who think the same way as we do. Very often, as a farmer, you work in isolation, especially if you do something a bit different from the “norm”. It gives a great boost to know there are a lot more farmers who do the same thing in their own corner and to feel supported in your ideas.  Kim & Mirielle McCall, Farming For Nature Ambassadors 2018

“Delighted to win the public vote but the real winning was been nominated and meeting like-minded farmers from across the country and spectrum of farming systems.  For us it was a privilege to be there with such high-class people engaged with their land.”
Thomas and Claire O’Connor, winners of the 2019 Public Choice Award

“The Farming for Nature awards and the profiling of the farmers /their farms is setting the footprint as to how our Irish landscape will look in the future.  It does what it says on the tin integrates farmers into the wider community ecologically.”
Jim Cronin, winner of the 2020 Public Choice Award
“We are both extremely appreciative of all the support to win the public vote. To follow in the footsteps of the greats of Jim Cronin and Thomas O’Connor is quite a daunting task. But to be considered as equals really strives us forward. Here’s to an exciting year ahead and many more of farmers empowering each other with their knowledge of their landscape and their soils and of course their care for nature!!”  Norman and Michael Dunne,  winner of the 2021 Public Choice Award

“Through working with Farming For Nature I am amazed by all the larger more commercial farmers having those light bulb moments when they question all they were putting into their farm (not just fertilizer and chemicals but also labour) and weighing up what they get out of it in return – and then making the change and not looking back – less costs, better life, more time for family.” Nia O’Malley, Beef Farmer & Farming for Nature Ambassador, Co.Galway

“I am thrilled to win the FFN public vote award. It’s so nice that so many people liked how I farm with consideration for nature. More importantly it’s amazing to be part of an evergrowing network of FFN Ambassadors and like-minded people who are working together for nature – together can achieve a lot!” Sean Condon, Winner of the 2022 Public Vote Award.


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It is set up to encourage and support farmers that are or wish to include nature more in their farming practices. Whilst it is primarily for farmers we welcome users that are able to contribute from related fields.

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