Patsy Carrucan deserves national recognition for his work in farming as he is a true ambassador for farming for nature. Patsy is very proud of the Burren, his homeland, and nature, and he has worked tirelessly to help develop a results-based agri-environment programme with his great input into BurrenLIFE and Burren Programme. On his own farm Patsy has changed his management on the coastal grasses of his farm, to ensure more plants flower. Patsy has maintained a high quality species rich grassland Winterage because of his excellent management based on long experience of farming a Winterage. Patsy is also very mindful of the heritage of the area and has restored shelter walls, boundary walls and placed traditional Burren Style gates around his farm, greatly improving the visual nature of the landscape for locals and visitors to enjoy. As a farm advisor Patsy is a great leader, advising local farmers on how best to protect and enhance nature on their land. Patsy has participated in a number of Burren Winterage Schools, working together with farmers, policy makers and scientists, to the betterment of High Nature Value farming. Patsy is passionate about the Burren, its cultural heritage and nature, a passion he shares enthusiastically and entertainingly with visitors to his farm and when leading local walks. A great example of this passion and enthusiasm was shown by Patsy in 2018, when Patsy walked his cattle up into the Winterage, followed by the community, as part of the Burren Winterage Weekend (photo attached). Patsy is a linchpin of his community and knows the importance of the next generation and is only too delighted to pass on his knowledge of farming and nature to children in the local schools of the Burren region. And patsy’s own words: Our family have farmed in Fanore long before records began. My great, great grandfather (Patrick) was a tenant on 19 acres prior to the famine. Many of his children emigrated to Australia in the 1860s and now there are far more Carrucan’s in Australia than in Ireland as we are the only family left here now. We farm 194 acres, keeping approx. 45 suckler cows and most of the progeny are sold as weanlings. We are part-time farmers as I work as an Agricultural advisor and Anne operates a B&B. This is why we have opted for an extensive system of farming as it makes it easier to combine farm and off-farm work. Outwintering the stock on Winterage grassland, keeps the cost of wintering animals at a very low level but more importantly frees up a lot of time for our other work and community involvement. Approx. 78 acres of the farm is very high bio-diversity. Over 100 acres of the farm is in an archaeological complex which strengthens our bond with past and our caring for what we want to leave behind us. Every day I walk out on the farm here in Fanore, I am inspired by the beauty of the area I live in and I ask myself, how did I get to be so lucky to be able to bring up a family in this wonderful landscape and why would I not want to leave it to the next generation in as good a condition, if not better, than the condition in which I received it.
Nominator: Paula McHale, Programme Assistant, The Burren Programme