Catchment News

Farming for Nature farm walks: The BRIDE Project, Cork

The BRIDE Project (Biodiversity Regeneration In a Dairying Environment) is an innovative agri-environment project based in the River Bride catchment of north-east County Cork and west Waterford, Ireland. The project is co-funded by the European Union and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine through the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) funding initiative and the project will operate through the period 2018- 2023. The Project aims to design and implement a results-based approach to conserve, enhance and restore habitats in lowland intensive farmland.

An innovative feature of the BRIDE Project is the landscape-scale approach to biodiversity whereby groups of farmers in a given area will be encouraged to implement a range of habitat improvement measures. This combined, community-based effort is an entirely new approach to environmental management compared to the randomised process of selection in previous agri-environment schemes. Another innovative aspect is the use of a results-based payment scheme where farmers will have each habitat on their farm assessed and scored, with higher quality habitats gaining higher payments.

Donal Sheehan explains his 2 metre field margins during the Farming for nature
farm walk.

In May 2019 there was a great turnout of over forty people at their Farming for Nature farm walk where participants were given an update on the project to date and habitat management measures were explained:

  • Treelines
  • Ponds
  • Field margins
  • Multi-species grassland
  • Bird and bat boxes
  • Rodenticide alternatives
Sometimes, simple measures are best: an exposed vertical bank made by simply
using a shovel has made an ideal solitary bee habitat.

A picture speaks a thousand words – and seeing the BRIDE Project measures in a farming environment not only demonstrates the practical side of the measures but immerses you into what can be achieved on your farm as a whole when biodiversity is improved.

Learn more:

The BRIDE Project’s bird, bat and owl boxes.

Who is involved?

Quite simply, everyone in Ireland has a role to play. This can be from something as simple as making sure you don’t pollute your local stream, or a local community working together to establish a Rivers Trust to enhance the rivers and lakes in their area, to a Government Department or Agency helping a Minister implement a new policy to help protect and enhance all our water bodies.

This website has been developed and is maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency, and is a collaboration between the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Local Authority Waters Programme.


Local Authority Waters Programme

The Local Authority Waters Programme coordinates the efforts of local authorities and other public bodies in the implementation of the River Basin Management Plan, and supports local community and stakeholder involvement in managing our natural waters, for everyone’s benefit.


Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA is responsible for coordinating the monitoring, assessment and reporting on the status of our 4,842 water bodies, looking at trends and changes, determining which waterbodies are at risk and what could be causing this, and drafting environmental objectives for each.


Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

The Department is responsible for making sure that the right policies, regulations and resources are in place to implement the Water Framework Directive, and developing a River Basin Management Plan and Programme of Measures to protect and restore our waters.