Farming for Nature Welcomes Wexford Farmer to the network
“I would see myself as more of a nature warden who is also a farmer.” says Nicholas Redmond. The Farming for Nature (FFN) project is delighted to welcome Wexford farmer, Nicholas Redmond to their growing Ambassador network.
Nicholas Redmond is a mixed stock organic farmer from north county Wexford. He farms sheep and Dexter cattle. There are also chickens, donkeys and alpacas on the farm. Approximately 18 acres of the land is under forestry – some an old-growth Oak forest and the rest a mixed broadleaf forest. There is an orchard on the farm and the family grow a variety of fruits and vegetables for the home. Nicholas operates an extensive farming system and very few external inputs are used on the farm – no chemical fertilizer, no concentrates and minimal machinery. The pasture on the farm is species-rich grassland. The animals are part of a mixed rotational grazing system. Part of the farm is comprised of a 4-acre traditional hay meadow. This pasture is extremely species-rich and full of native Irish wildflowers and grasses. Nicholas is working with Irish Wildflowers to harvest seed every year from the meadow. These seeds are then redistributed to other farms/areas around the country, helping to ensure the vitality of these species. The variety of different plants and trees around the land make it extremely biodiverse as well as attracting much wildlife. On the farm there are numerous birds such as buzzards, jaybirds, woodpeckers, wrens, robins, finches, blackbirds and thrushes. There are also foxes, badgers, grey squirrel and hedgehogs. Nicholas is passionate about nature conservation and a firm believer that farming activities should not impact in a negative way on the land – “Caring for nature and biodiversity is central to our vision of farming. This means for us a super low input and extensive organic system. This includes a low mixed species stocking rate, a low maintenance old pasture and rare traditional flowering meadows, traditional orchards, large deciduous forestry cover, non trimmed high growth hedges and traditional farm ponds that all provide wildlife corridors. And why we do it is because we love living in a biodiversity rich landscape enjoying the beauty of nature every day of the year. We feel called to protect and enhance it for future generations . “
Now in its fourth 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. Nicholas is part of this year’s 23 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 Ambassadors on a bi-monthly basis until June 2022. 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.