The Burren Life Programme is a unique agri-environmental initiative designed to conserve the habitats of the Burren. The Programme is aimed at mainstreaming the findings of the BurrenLIFE Project and is a joint initiative between the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (DAHG). DAFM have provided the funding to support the participating farmers, while the cost of administering the Programme has been borne by DAHG from 2010-2016. The team who administer the Programme are based in Carron in the central Burren.
The Programme commenced in April 2010 (under the name Burren Farming for Conservation Programme), and the name changed to Burren Life Programme in 2015.
The objectives of the Burren Life Programme are:
- To ensure the implementation of up to 170 focussed farm plans aimed at maintaining and/or enhancing the quality of the environment in the Burren, in particular those habitats listed in Annex I of the EU Habitats Directive that occur within the Burren
- To work towards an improvement in the conservation quality of the Annex I habitats, as assessed under Article 17 of the Habitats Directive.
- To ensure sustainable agricultural management of high nature value farmland within the Burren
- To contribute to improvements in water quality within the Burren
- To maintain the high quality of the Burren landscape and cultural heritage
Appropriate management of the land will ensure the maintenance of and/or improvement in the conservation status of the Annex I habitats and lead to an increase the area of sustainably managed high nature value farmland within the Burren. This will in turn lead to an improvement in water quality in aquatic ecosystems and ensure the maintenance of and/or improvement in the high quality Burren landscape and its cultural heritage.