These Q&A sessions are a great opportunity to learn from our amazing Ambassadors who work with nature every day on their farms, and also to share your own ideas and experience of ‘Farming for Nature’.
David Dennison runs a vineyard and orchard in County Waterford. David is the founder of Viking Irish Drinks, producing craft wine and cider on his farm in Waterford. The 1-hectare vineyard, which was planted in 2010, provides red and white grapes for wine. There is 2.2 hectares of cider apple trees to produce craft cider. They also produce liqueurs and are now experimenting with alcohol-free beverages. They grow blackcurrants and blackberries on the land, as well as keeping some hives of honeybees.
The entire system is managed with huge sensitivity towards nature and wildlife on the land. David is in the process of Organic conversion; however no chemical sprays have been used on the farm in 20 years. There are different habitats on the farm including woodland areas, meadow, thick hedgerows and 1.5 acres of wetland. Research by the National Biodiversity Data Center stated there are very healthy populations of insects on the land, including bees, hoverflies, beetles. An array of different birds live on the farm including jay thrushes, swallows, buzzards, snipe, woodcock, goldfinches and hen pheasants. There is a reed-bed system to clean wastewater from the wine and cider production. In 2008 David planted an area of nut trees including hazelnut, cobnut and walnuts trees in an effort to provide habitat for red squirrel on the land.