Farming For Nature welcomes Kildare farmer to the network
The Farming for Nature (FFN) project is delighted to welcome Kildare farmer Colm Flynn to their growing Ambassador network.
Colm Flynn is a 4th generation lifelong farmer from Athy county Kildare. The land has been intensively farmed for cereal production for many years. About 7 ago, having experienced and understood the impacts of intensive tillage on the soil health, Colm decided it was time to re-evaluate his farming practices. He is actively involved in the Danú farming project and has spent the past number of years working to rehabilitate soil using biological solutions – “learning how to rehabilitate a commercial farm in a commercial context and find alternatives to chemical applications.” Part of his involvement in the project included reintroducing grasses and multispecies swards to the farm – allowing the land to rest, building organic matter and regenerating the soil biology. The farm is currently 50% cereal production, producing spring peas, winter barley, oats and wheat. The remaining 50% is under grassland and used for silage production and cattle grazing. Colm has always been interested in nature and wildlife. Areas of mature woodland on the farm serve as habitats for hares, foxes and badgers. He has planted an orchard on the farm, most of which is left as food for birds and insects. There are numerous species of birds on the land including finches, mistle thrush, jackdaws, long-eared owls and barn owls. Colm continues to work hard to create a farm that is productive, economically viable and ecologically biodiverse – “I recorded 33 species of birds come through the farm this winter. I did an audit of the plants that grow on the farm and 84 plant species were recorded – from the tiniest little flowering plant to rushes to wild orchids. I hope in a few years time that the number of plant species on the farm will have increased.”
If you want to hear more from Colm and his farming practices, check out this recording of his online Q&A on the 22nd November 2022 here.
To register other upcoming FFN Q&A sessions go here.
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. Colm is part of this year’s 15 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, uplands and hedgerows. The Farming For Nature ambassador network is made up of family farms, couples, and both male and female farmers.
FFN is featuring these Ambassador farmers on a monthly basis until August 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 www.farmingfornature.ie 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.
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