Ask the Farmer Q&A with Paul McCormick

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’.

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Paul and Jacinta run a 30-acre mixed farm near Skibbereen County Cork. There is about 16 acres of grassland and 14 acres of mixed woodland on the farm. Some of the woodland is mature with old native trees and other parts were planted by Paul and Jacinta over the years. Having previously run a tree nursery, they experiment with different trees such as cobnut, chestnut, walnut and heartnut trees. They breed a small herd of Droimeann cattle, producing high quality beef that is sold direct to neighbours and friends. Interested in agroforestry, Paul has spent a number of years converting parts of the woodland to a pasture-based wood. Meaning the animals graze the woodland during the summer and autumn season, but in the spring the woodland is left to give spring flowers the opportunity to bloom. Paul and Jacinta are also working hard to re-diversify the grassland as much as possible. One way they are doing this is by feeding a specifically selected multi-species hay to the cattle over the summer months, in the hope that the cattle will help to reintroduce these different grass species back into the seedbank of the soil. Paul and Jacinta take deep consideration for biodiversity and wildlife with every decision they make on the land. There are a few ponds on the land and a river also flows through the farm. Other valuable habitats include the permanent pasture, woodland, a riparian zone along the riverfront and areas of rewilded land. They are delighted to witness the return of bird species like the tree creeper, the red pole, the goldcrest and buzzards to the farm.

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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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