Company Profile

ACRES West Connacht

Chapel Street
Co. Mayo
F26 C5V6
Website Address:

ACRES is the new national agri-environment climate measure (AECM) that will be available to over 30,000 farmers throughout Ireland from 2023. Using a habitats-based approach, delivered through a mix of results-based and prescriptive actions, ACRES aims to achieve improved biodiversity, climate, air and water quality outcomes. Through a hybrid payment model farmers will be rewarded and incentivised to maintain and enhance the environmental condition of their farms.

There are two approaches under the ACRES scheme:

• an ACRES General approach offering a range of measures for individual farmers (both targeted and general); and

• an ACRES Co-operation approach, available to farmers in eight high-priority geographical areas, who opt to undertake measures, as well as bespoke farm, and landscape actions.

Farmers participating in the Co-operation approach will have the assistance of a Local Co-operation Project (CP) Team, who will assist with the implementation of the scheme at the local level. Wetland Surveys Ireland in partnership with the Pearl Mussel Project have been appointed to fulfil the roll of the local CP team in two of the eight CP zones (Northwest Connacht and South Mayo Connemara), collectively referred to as ACRES West Connacht.

ACRES West Connacht includes the North West Connacht and South Mayo Connemara Co-operation Project zones.

ACRES West Connacht is being administered by a local project team. The initial task of the project team is to develop a Local Action Plan which will set out local objectives and the means by which these will be met during the operation of the scheme. The aim of the Local Action Plan is to ensure that the scheme is tailored to best meet the environmental needs of the local area taking into account the agricultural and environmental characteristics of the landscape. The team will engage with the local farming community during the development of the plan. Following this the main role of the project team will be to support farmers and their advisors in delivering improved environmental outcomes across the region.

What environmental challenges will be addressed?

- Agriculture’s contribution to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

- Carbon sink/emission source potential of soils

- Energy use across farm systems

- Increasing ammonia emissions

- Decreasing water quality

- Sub-optimal soil fertility

- The pressure agriculture is placing on Ireland’s natural resources

- The unfavourable or declining status of the majority of Ireland’s designated habitats and landscapes

- Lack of forest area under protection

- Preservation of biodiversity

- Safeguarding landscapes and specific natural elements

- Lack of climate adaptation measures

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