Farmer to Farmer Mentorship

Peer to Peer Mentorship
The Horse’s Mouth 

A farmer-to-farmer knowledge share & mentorship

Applications now open (form below)

First 50 applications considered


Here at Farming For Nature (FFN) we often get queries from farmers and landowners who are seeking on-site advice about how to enhance the biodiversity of their land but aren’t quite sure how best to proceed. Some have asked for a fellow farmer to visit and provide practical tips. In response to this, we are offering a farmer-to-farmer knowledge sharing service to help people decide on what actions could be undertaken to improve the environmental condition of a site and how to do them.

Whether you are just starting the journey to include more nature on your farm, maybe you have recently inherited/bought a farm, or you want to change a farming system, or you already have lots of nature but want advice on what more you can to do, no matter how far you are along the journey of increasing biodiversity on your farm, this project for all farmers and landowners looking for on-the-ground practical advice from fellow farmers on how to include more nature on their farms but remain productive.  It will involve an informal walk on the farm and a farmer to farmer chat to share simple, practical advice and encouragement.  These farmers are not ecologists but are fellow farmers that are working day in, day out in situations that have a abundance of wildlife and plant life without impacting their farming systems.  

How to get involved

  • Please ensure that you are happy with what is expected of you as the host farmer (see below) and wish to proceed with the application process.
  • Complete the application form at the bottom of this page.
  • The application for this has to be done through this form to be consider.  This should take between 30-60 mins to fill out depending on the detail you wish to give.  
  • Just so you know, questions include:
    • Location, extent (ha) of land holding/parcel
    • Background to ownership
    • Description of land
    • Description of Farm Management System
    • What would you like to do here and why – what’s your main motivation?
    • What’s your bottom line
    • What’s your timeframe
    • Is there any other relevant information you’d like to share with us?
    • Do you have a preferred Ambassador you would like to work with?
  • We will be shortlisting up to 50 application for this year’s  scheme depending on the interest and capacity.  To ensure your application is given serious consideration, please complete the application to the best of your knowledge and complete the application in full.
  • We will let you know a month after you have applied if you have been shortlisted for a peer-to-peer visit.

What is expected of the host farmer:

  • If shortlisted, we will ‘match’ you with a FFN mentor, chosen from our national network of Ambassadors.  You will be asked to make yourself familiar with this FFN Mentor by looking at their online profile and watching/listening to any videos/podcasts they have.  These links will be sent to you beforehand.
  • You and the FFN Mentor will arrange a date to walk the farm along a route decided by you beforehand – it should include all the potential habitats and areas that you hope to improve (ie hedgerows, watercourses, woodlands, crops etc).
  • We encourage you to take notes during this visit.
  • The visit should last no more than 3-4 hours and should focus on the habitats present and how you might be improved for nature through simple changes in management.
  • Following the visit, a short list of recommendations will be drawn up by the FFN Mentor and sent along with any other useful resources to you by FFN within a month.
  • You would need to fill out a short feedback form to help us develop this programme going forward.
  • IMPORTANT: We would ask that the Mentor’s goodwill and time is respected with any further engagement post-visit to be done through FFN.

Cost to you

  • You must pay the visiting Ambassador €50 on arrival.  We will pay the remaining balance to the Ambassador for their time.

FFN Farming Mentors

This is a list of FFN Ambassadors who are willing to act as mentors for this pilot project. In your application form, you will have the option to request a specific mentor (ideally one that is close by) otherwise we will suggest a suitable mentor based on what we consider to be the best match. Not all selections can be guaranteed.


Aoife Reilly, Horticulture, Co. Mayo.  See profile here.
Andrew Chilton
, Mixed stock, Co. Roscommon.  See profile here. 
Clive Bright, Beef, Co. Sligo.  See profile here.
Colm Gavin, Sheep, Co. Mayo.  See profile here.
Fergal Anderson, Horticulture, Co. Galway.  See profile here.
James Gilmartin, Beef, Co. Leitrim.  See profile here.
Tommy Earley, Beef. Co. Roscommon.  See profile here.


Andrew Bergin, Tillage, Co. Kildare.  See profile here.
Bruce Thompson, Dairy, Co. Laois.  See profile here.
Colm Flynn, Cereals & Beef, Co.Kildare.  See profile here.
David Kerr, Dairy, Co. Laois.  See profile here.
Donna Mullen, Mixed stock, Co. Louth. See profile here.
Edmund Joyce, Beef, Co. Carlow.  See profile here.
James Ham,  Beef & hedges, Co. Westmeath.  See profile here.
Kate Egan, Horticulture, Co. Westmeath.  See profile here.
Kim McCall, Beef, Co. Kildare.  See profile here.
Mariann Klay, Equine, Co.Kildare.  See profile here.
Michael Keegan, Beef, Co. Wicklow.  See profile here.
Nicholas Redmond, Mixed stock, Co. Wexford.  See profile here.
Noel Kiernan, Forestry, Co. Longford.  See profile here.
Norman Dunne, Tillage, Co. Kildare.  See profile here.
Stephen Morrison, Beef, Co. Kildare.  See profile here.
Suzanna Crampton, Sheep, Co. Kilkenny.  See profile here.


Gearoid Maher, Dairy, Co. Limerick.  See profile here.
Joe Condon, Beef, Co. Tipperary.  See profile here.
Mona Muller, Mixed stock, Co. Clare. See profile here.
Mimi Crawford, Dairy, Co. Tipperary.  See profile here.
Padraic Ó Flaithearta, Beef, Co. Galway.  See profile here.
Sean Condon, Dairy farmer, Co. Limerick.  See profile here.
Sean O Farrell, Mixed Farm, Co. Tipperary.  See profile here.
Thomas Fouhy, Tillage, Co. Cork. See profile here.  
Thomas O Connor, Horticulture & Permaculture, Co. Kerry.  See profile here.


Boyd Bryce, Sheep, Co. Donegal.  See profile here.
Cathal Mooney, Mixed farm, Co. Donegal.  See profile here.
Henry O’Donnell, Beef & sheep, Co. Donegal.  See profile here.
Pat McKenna, Beef, Co. Monaghan.  See profile here.

Feedback from previous participants

” It was a fascinating and stimulating visit. I immediately found myself looking at our own farm with fresh eyes and full of new ideas. I think the two of us could have stayed chatting for hours!  Farming can be a very solitary pursuit, and it is important that we, as farmers, periodically bring in outside perspectives and support(s).

Farming For Nature Ambassadors demonstrate that environmental protection/enhancement and profitability do not have to be mutually exclusive. I think that this is an important aspect in attracting a great number of farmers towards farming alongside nature, especially younger generations of farmers. I think that there is often a misconception in agriculture that it is one or the other. ” Michael Doherty, Farmer, Co. Sligo.  Participant 2022.


“It was a great visit.  Our mentor was like a walking encyclopaedia.  I have never had anyone come to visit the farm and give new ideas before.  It was an enlightenment.  Also, things that are actually there that I had completely taken for granted.” 
Niamh Doddy, Farmer, Co. Sligo.  Participant 2022.


“Our mentor was forensic in his approach. He had a breath of knowledge and a keen interest in farming for nature.  Any farmer would be lucky to have his help and support. To have a farmer out to give you advice, to have boots on the ground. This type of peer to peer help is invaluable”
Conor O’ Riordan, Beef Farmer, Co. Cork.  Participant 2023.


‘It was a hugely motivating and worthwhile exercise for me. I am so glad to have these sorts of resources available to me, it makes me very optimistic for the future of farming in this country” Conor McAuley, Horticulturalist, Co. Cork.  Participant 2023


“I think it’s a fantastic project and the more people that learn of it and take part in it the better for the future of farming in Ireland.” David Russell, Dairy farmer, Co.Tipperary, Participant 2023.


The Horse's Mouth Application Form

To be compiled by landowners who are interested in farming for nature on some or all of their land and who are looking for some advice and support. As our resources are limited, we cannot guarantee that application will be successful. However, the more information you put in the more chance you have of a successful application.

Email address(Required)
Is this your entire holding or part thereof?
A screen shot from your BPS/BISS maps would be helpful.
Accepted file types: jpg, png, pdf, Max. file size: 5 MB.
Eg. inherited, bought, leased in/out – some timeframes? (250 words max.)
Include map, sketches or pictures if possible) – describe the general habitats, their condition, any relevant designations, as well issues of concern regarding habitat condition. (250 words max.)
Drop files here or
Accepted file types: jpg, png, pdf, Max. file size: 5 MB, Max. files: 6.
    Are you farming the land yourself, if not, who is? Refer to past and current management, include description of livestock numbers/type, tillage, housing, machinery etc. (250 words max.)
    Is it to preserve a particular habitat or species, to help address climate change, to produce food in a more sustainable way, to create a legacy for your children etc? (250 words max.)
    Do you need to earn an income from this? What can you bring to the table - do you have resources (human, capital, livestock) to invest in this? (250 words max.)
    If not, we will choose one based on your farming type and location. (Please note we can not guarantee your preferred mentor - depending on their own workload but we will try our best) If you would like to see which Mentors have signed up to this please view The Horses's Mouth webpage.
    This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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