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Upland farmers showcase their ecological restoration work

Date: 30 August 2021

The SUAS event organised by the Wicklow Uplands Council and Teagasc to demonstrate the environmental protection work and ecological restorative farming being carried out across the Wicklow and Dublin Mountains attracted a large attendance of Wicklow farmers, ecologists, researchers, environmentalists, recreational users and was also attended by Green Party Minister Pippa Hackett and Steven Matthews TD.

Speaking after the event Deputy Matthews said "The Sustainable Uplands Agri-environmental Scheme (SUAS) is a pilot project in Wicklow to develop farming commonage groups and good environmental management and farming practices to protect and preserve biodiversity.

"Our Wicklow uplands provide a livelihood for our farmers but also provides incredibly important natural services such as flood mitigation, pollination, carbon sequestration and is a very important recreational location for many residents across the county and attracts huge numbers of tourists.

"We need to manage this area carefully, ensuring that the natural ecological balance of habitats is maintained, and our farmers have a central role to play in this.

"The SUAS project has been established in the Wicklow uplands because the area is of high value for biodiversity and this is recognised by the designation of a substantial area of the uplands region as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Area (SPA). The SUAS scheme works with farmers on farming practices that will identify and restore degraded lands and provides training, assistance and supports to farmers for this vital work.

"Over the past months I’ve met with farming groups in Wicklow to learn more about the challenges and opportunities that exist and I was delighted to meet on site with Minister Hackett who is also a farmer and fully understands the ongoing supports required for our Wicklow uplands.

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