The MacGillycuddy Reeks project, a locally-led project with €1m in funding, has been launched by Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed.

The aim of the project is to develop “practical, achievable actions and innovative solutions to address the issues facing farmers in the MacGillycuddy Reeks”.

It is one of 23 such projects co-funded by the Department and the EU.

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It will be a four-year pilot scheme to restore, preserve and enhance the biodiversity of the Reeks, which is a Natura 2000 area.

The area involved stretches from the Gap of Dunloe in the east to Glencar in the west and from the Kerry Way in the south to the northern foothills of the Reeks.

It covers an area of over 100km2, encompassing over 8,000ha of natura designated land.

Locally-led

Speaking at the launch, Minister Creed said: “By having locally-designed and -led schemes enables greater flexibility in responding to the particular environmental challenges in different areas.”

Commending the involvement of local farmers, the Minister said: “The contribution they [the farmers] are making through their actions will improve not only their own local environment and communities, but through dissemination of the outcomes of this project they will play an even larger role throughout the country.”

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There are now six upland projects being funded and Minister Creed highlighted the opportunity to share knowledge and learning experiences among these groups.