Farming for Nature Welcomes Cavan Farmer to the Network

The Farming for Nature (FFN) project is delighted to welcome Cavan farmer, Gerry Fitzsimons to their growing Ambassador network.

“It’s an honour to be a chosen member of Farming For Nature.  As a child I was privileged to see and hear the corncrake – a species that our modern farming methods banished ,also the curlew and snipe to the extent that that I haven’t heard the snipe “drumming” for more than 25yrs. For my 60th birthday I organised a few days birdwatching to InnishBoffin for Netty and myself. Our group got within 20m from a calling corncrake. It made me realise that if we had the will to change a little in our land management it’s possible to reintroduce many endangered species to many area’s.  It gave me the impetus to make changes to the way I do thing’s on our with nature and wildlife more in mind,” says Gerry Fitzsimons.

Gerry Fitzsimons is an organic beef farmer from Co Cavan. Having farmed conventionally for some years and seeing the damage that some of the conventional farming practices were having on nature on his land, he decided to go organic and farm in a more holistic manner. Gerry used to run suckler farm, but he now buys in a small number of angus bullocks every year and fattens them on the farm before selling them, mostly direct to customers via his meat scheme. Gerry has been running a grass-fed beef system for some 20 years. There is about 6 acres of birch woodland on the farm, and the land ranges from some good grassland to heavy land to bogland. Even though a lot of the grassland was reseeded in the 90s, a lot of plant diversity has returned to the pasture and Gerry now has some good multi species pasture again. The farming system is very extensive and external inputs are minimal. The cattle are in for a very short period over winter where they are bedded on rushes cut from the land. Some haylage is cut every year to supplement winter feeding.  There is lots of space for biodiversity and wildlife on the farm, from bog and ponds to thick hedges, pockets of woodland and an orchard. Gerry is delighted to have a pair of nesting buzzards on the land. There are lots of frogs and newts on the farm, as well as badgers, foxes, rabbits and hares. Gerry and his family take a holistic approach to life and are passionate about protecting nature in any way possible – “Anything that I can do to encourage better care of our environment, on or off the farm, I’m happy to do it.”

Now in its fifth year, Farming For Nature was set up with an aim to source, share and celebrate the stories of farmers across Ireland who manage their land in a way that sustains nature, while providing a livelihood for their family. Gerry is part of 2022’s  fifteen ambassadors that come from across Ireland and include beef, sheep, forestry, dairy, horticulture and tillage farmers who manage a wide range of very valuable habitats including species-rich grasslands and heaths, wetlands, woodlands and hedgerows. The Farming For Nature ambassador network is made up of family farms, couples, and both male and female farmers.

FFN is featuring their newly awarded Ambassadors on a monthly basis until late summer 2023. Keep an eye on FFN’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter platforms to learn more about these wonderful farmers and the valuable work they are doing for nature on their land. FFN will work with these inspiring ambassadors to produce farm videos, podcasts, ‘Ask the Farmer’ sessions, farm walks and more. Go to to learn about this incredible network of Ambassador farmers and to access further information, resources and tips.

The Farming for Nature Awards are sponsored by Bord Bia and supported by a wide range of farming and conservation interests including the Dept of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the National Rural Network.

For more information go to Gerry’s farm here.



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