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Last Chance to apply for Agri-Environment Scheme - Gildernew

21 August, 2008


Sinn Féin Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA has reminded potential applicants for the Countryside Management Scheme (NICMS) that the closing date for applying is 5.00pm on 29 August 2008.

The NICMS financially rewards landowners (including farmers) for positively managing and enhancing the countryside and is a voluntary scheme. Participants of the scheme will be required to undertake a number of requirements such as managing all farmland habitats and historic monuments and protecting the environment.

Confirming the closing date, the Minister said:

"The new CMS has been a great success story, with a tremendous level of applications since the process opened in June. But with every success, there can be those who are left behind and I would encourage anyone who has not already done so, to get their applications into my Department by the 29 August deadline.

"This new scheme is an opportunity to deliver real environmental benefit. It has been designed to deliver for biodiversity, landscape, heritage and water quality and £219million funding for these schemes reflects the importance of the environment from a DARD perspective."

Applications can be made by contacting DARD by telephone, in person, by email ([email protected]), by fax or by writing in. If there are too many applications for the Scheme, selection criteria and a scoring system may be applied to prioritise entry and to achieve greatest environmental benefit. Contact your local DARD office for details.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

  1. The NICMS is open to farmers with a trading DARD Farm Business Number and with at least three hectares of eligible land. The scheme is voluntary and includes all owned eligible land. Land taken in conacre is not eligible.
  2. Participants of the scheme will be required to undertake a number of requirements such as managing all farmland habitats and historic monuments and ensure that a minimum entry environmental benefit is achieved. There are also a number of voluntary options that can be undertaken for example hedge restoration, leaving stubble over the winter months or planting wild bird cover.

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