Corncrake Grant Scheme
Corncrake Hotline at 071-9666700
|The Corncrake Grant Scheme (CGS) is a grant available for landowners who have Corncrake calling on or near their land. The scheme is available to all landowners who have meadow within 250m of a calling male Corncrake, except for participants in the Shannon Callows of the Rural Environmental Protection Scheme (REPS)/Agri-Environment Option Scheme (AEOS) and the NPWS Farm Plan Scheme (FPS). Landowners receive a grant/payment if they agree to delayed mowing of meadows, carry out Corncrake Friendly (CF) mowing when cutting the meadow and leave an unmown strip of meadow along the side of the plot if required. The terms and conditions of the grant scheme vary in different parts of the country. In general the Terms and Conditions of the Scheme are summarized as follows:
- The presence of corncrakes must be confirmed by a NPWS Corncrake Fieldworker. An application form must be completed as soon as possible after a visit by the fieldworker. This must be signed by both the applicant and the fieldworker.
- To enter the scheme an application form must be completed by the 1 July and mowing must be delayed one of the agreed dates. The various cutting dates and associated payment rates are outlined in the table below. Any applications after the 1 July will usually involve delaying mowing for not less than six weeks from the date of the application.
|Delay Mowing until 10th August
|Delay Mowing until 20th August
|Delay Mowing until 1st September
|Delay Mowing until 15th September
Donegal/West Connaught (and rest of Ireland)
|Delay mowing until 5th August
|Delay mowing until 20th August
|Delay mowing until 1st September
- A margin option is available for landowners in the Shannon Callows, who agree to leave a 2.5 metre (8 ft) unmown strip of meadow along each side the plot.
- In relation to Corncrake Friendly Mowing, the applicant must notify the fieldworker as early as possible before mowing the relevant area by calling the Corncrake Hotline or another number as specified by the Corncrake Fieldworker. If no attempt is made to contact the fieldworker in advance of mowing, the grant will not be paid. Corncrake Friendly Mowing involves:
- cutting a small area for turning at either end of the field, mowing down the centre of the field and then continuing to mow from the centre outwards or cutting the field in strips from one side to the other. It is not allowable to cut any rounds around the outside of the field before starting centre-out mowing.
- using a mower with width less than 10'.
- driving the mower at a reasonable speed i.e. ~8 km/hr, to allow the chicks to escape.
- Livestock must be excluded from grant aided areas between the date of application and the agreed mowing date. Field operations requiring the use of tractor machinery (fertilising, rolling, spraying etc.) are not permitted until after the date of mowing. The grants are payable to the landowner or, in the case of rented land, to the tenant. Payments will be made within three months of verification of compliance.
- Any variation in the conditions is only acceptable if it is agreed in writing with National Parks & Wildlife Service.
A special Island Scheme also exists for the offshore Islands in Co. Donegal. Also there are Conacre Agreements which NPWS may enter with the landowner as another conservation measure. For further information or to report a calling Corncrake please contact the Corncrake Hotline at 071-9666700 or contact the:
National Parks & Wildlife Service,Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht,Ballinafad,Via Boyle,Co. Sligo.