The BRIDE Project is an innovative agri-environmental project that adopts a results-based payment approach to conserving, enhancing and restoring biodiversity.
We are currently in the midst of a Biodiversity crisis with an obvious growing need to re-balance human interactions with the natural environment. The BRIDE pilot project represents a new form of agri-environmental scheme to tackle biodiversity loss in an intensive farming environment.
The main objective is to trial a results-based grant payment approach to biodiversity enhancement measures by farmers in the River BRIDE catchment. Project objectives are actively monitored by the project team post notification of measure implementation. Metrics of biodiversity enhancement measures relative to established baselines are utilised in the BRIDE project to calculate individual farm and overall improvements in the River BRIDE catchment.
At the outset the project ecologist surveys each farm, develops a Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) containing a list of recommended annual farm specific measures which are subsequently agreed with the participating farmer. Following notification the project team carry out inspections of measures implemented. A Biodiversity Managed Area (BMA)% for each individual farm is calculated on the basis of measures implemented with associated results based grant grant payments issued.
Stakeholders/Beneficiaries: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Cork County Council, Teagasc, Bord Bia, Bird Watch Ireland, the National Biodiversity Data Centre, Kepak and Glanbia Ireland/ participating farmers, the local community and the wider public.
€1,100,000 (2018 – 2022)
1 Project Manager
1 Project Ecologist
1 Project Administrator
Working Group (5)
Operational Group (7)
Evidence of success
Huge interest locally - 44 farmers selected, measures implemented early. Environmental improvements to date: 35 ponds, 36 pollinator plots, 95 farm specific bird boxes, 31 mini woodlands,100% rodenticide free, all natural habitats are pesticide free, 12km of 2 metre field margins added, 6 km of new hedgerows, 220 bee scrapes, 12 farmers managing invasive species, 11 farmers trialling multi-species grassland plots and 3 tillage farmers retaining winter stubble as food and cover for birds.
Potential for learning or transfer
The BRIDE project has the potential to pioneer a new approach to Biodiversity regeneration in areas which are intensively farmed both in Ireland and other regions in Europe. Adopting a farm specific, bottom up approach with wider river catchment scale monitoring the project model has considerable upscaling and transferability potential.
From a policy perspective the BRIDE project model has the potential to inform environmental policy at European, National and sub-national levels. It is anticipated that the next round of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will have a significant focus on environmental protection and pilot schemes such as the BRIDE project can point the way foward for evidence based policy formulation.
Proposed future expansion of the project: development of a smart device mapping monitoring tool to facilitate real time monitoring of environmental measures/biodiversity improvements. The associated dataset could provide a new pathway for biodiversity monitoring.
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