The Farming for Nature (FFN) project is delighted to welcome Waterford farmer, David Dennison to their growing Ambassador network.
To be part of Farming For Nature as an Ambassador is a reflection on our everyday respect of the environment and biodiversity of our Terroir. At Dennison’s farm, our philosophy is creating a natural space for our business and wildlife, which are the making of our hot bed environment and Terroir. Reed beds or reconstructive wetlands were introduced to receive all waste water and purify all water is also a natural habitat for many flora and fauna. David Dennison
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.
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. David 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 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 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.
For more information go to www.farmingfornature.ie or contact [email protected]