The Team

The Team

Brigid Barry

Brigid has been the manager for the Farming for Nature project since its inception in 2018.  Prior to this initiative, she was the manager of the landscape charity Burrenbeo Trust for 9 years, biodiversity officer for Clare County Council and a project officer on numerous conservation projects abroad for the previous 10 years.  Brigid comes from a suckler and tillage farm in Co. Cork.  Listen here to a podcast on how she got involved in conservation and the background to Farming For Nature.  Brigid works part time (Tuesdays & Wednesdays).  She can be contacted on

Lucy Bowler

Lucy is the Programmes Officer for the Farming For Nature project since 2021. Growing up on a small mixed farm in Co. Wexford, she has always had a keen interest in nature, animals and growing food. Following completion of a BSc Food Science in UCD in 2017, she completed an 18-month graduate programme with Bord Bia in Dublin. Having spent some time travelling and volunteering on farms in South America, she completed a course in permaculture/sustainable horticulture in Kinsale College before joining FFN.  Lucy works part time with Farming for Nature between March and November. Lucy works just 20 hours a week. Lucy can be contacted on 

Executive Committee

This is a voluntary committee that meet on a quarterly basis to discuss the progress and plans of the organisation.  Is composed of FFN staff (above), volunteers, funders and ambassadors with experience in policy, research and practice.

Áine Bird

Áine is the manager of Burrenbeo Trust, Farming For Nature’s umbrella organisation. From a farming background in Co. Meath, she is currently undertaking her PhD at University of Galway investigating community stewardship and place-based learning.   Áine oversees Farming for Nature’s governance and financial administration.  Joined FFN ExCo in 2023.

Andrew Bergin

Andrew farms 420 acres of arable land in Co. Kildare.  Andrew is an active member of BASE Ireland. He is a participant in DANU EIP project studying conversion to biological farming. He is also a participant and sits on the steering group of the Protecting Farmland Pollinators EIP.   Andrew has been a Farming For Nature Ambassador since 2020.   Joined FFN ExCo in 2023.

Dr Barry O’Donoghue

Barry manages the Agri-Ecology Unit for National Park and Wildlife Service.   Barry manages Farming For Nature’s funding streams from NPWS.  He has been a judge on the Ambassador Awards since 2019. Joined FFN ExCo in 2023.

Dr Brendan Dunford

From a farming background in Co. Waterford, Brendan has spent the past 25 years living and working in the Burren region. Following completion of his research doctorate (1998-2000) into the impact of farming on the natural heritage of the Burren, he led the award-winning BurrenLIFE Project (2005-2010) and its successor, the pioneering ‘Burren (Farming for Conservation) Programme’ (2010-2022). Along with his late wife Ann O’Connor, Brendan co-founded the Burrenbeo Trust, Ireland’s only landscape-based charity which delivers an extensive range of place-based learning and community stewardship initiatives. These include Farming for Nature, The Hare’s Corner and the Burren Winterage Festival, all of which Brendan supports in a voluntary capacity. Brendan is a former board member of the Heritage Council, a member of the EPA Advisory Committee and a former Director of the European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism. He is an Ashoka Fellow for Ireland and was awarded an honorary doctorate by NUI Galway in 2018 for his work in championing farmland biodiversity.  Joined FFN ExCo in 2023.

Clive Bright

Clive raises 100% pasture-fed organic livestock on his 120-acre farm in south Co. Sligo.  As well as managing the farm and direct meat sells business, Clive is PR and Development Officer with the Organic Trust, a board member of the National Organic Training Skillnet and a member of the Irish Agroforestry Forum. Clive has been a Farming For Nature Ambassador since 2019.  He is a Farming For Nature Ambassador Awards judge since 2021 and a mentor on The Horse’s Mouth programme since 2022.  Joined FFN ExCo in 2023.

Ella McSweeney

Ella is a broadcaster and journalist, with a focus on food, farming and the environment. She has presented Ear to the Ground since 2010. She produces the Farming for Nature podcasts and joined ExCo in 2023.

Dr Emma Hart

Emma is a conservation ecologist.  She has a 50-acre farm in Co. Cork where she is trialling out difference conservation farming methods including holistic grazing, multi-species swards, wild bird cover etc to increase her biodiversity levels.  Emma has a company that advises others on how to achieve the same on their lands.  Emma has been editing and providing content for FFN since 2022.  She is currently editing a FFN handbook and developing training for The Horse’s Mouth. Joined FFN ExCo in 2023.

Hannah Quinn Mulligan

Hannah Quinn-Mulligan runs a beef and free-range poultry farm with her grandmother in Co Limerick.  She is also co-managing a dairy herd with a neighbour.  She the founding member and chairperson of the Women in Agriculture Stakeholders Group. Hannah has a masters in Organic Farming with SRUC and previously worked with the Irish Farmers Journal, the UN, and the BBC where she presented and produced a number of documentaries on rural life.  Hannah continues to work as a journalist around her farming commitments.  Hannah has been a FFN Ambassador Awards judge since 2020.  Joined FFN ExCo in 2023.

Dr James Moran

James is a lecturer in Biology and Ecology at Galway’s ATU. His research and outreach work concentrates on sustainable agricultural systems specialising in High Nature Value farming. He leads a number of projects in this area. He is particularly interested in the potential of a HNV farmland network where innovative local communities can work in partnership to realise a sustainable future for their area. He is a member of the National Biodiversity Forum and the National Rural Network sub-committee on Biodiversity, Environmental Challenges and LIFE Programmes.  James is from a farming background in Co.Mayo.  James has been advising FFN since its inception. Joined FFN ExCo in 2023.

Niall Ryan

Niall has worked as a secondary school teacher, a Teagasc advisor, a Technical Representative a for grain company prior to joining the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in 2001 were he was assigned to the Organic unit.  He then joined the Agricultural Environment and Structures and his duties included the development and effective delivery of controls on Argi-Environmental Schemes, e.g. REPS, AEOS, GLAS.  He moved to Crop Evaluation & Certification Division.  In 2019 he moved to the Nitrates Biodiversity and Engineering Division based and his main responsibilities focus on Biodiversity policy, soils and EIA (agriculture) Regulations.  He is also on the Irish Wetlands Ramsar Committee.   Niall has been managing Farming For Nature’s funding streams from DAFM since 2019. Joined FFN ExCo in 2023.






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