By Dan Walsh
Farm families across Wexford and around the country have planted over 80,000 hedgerow shrubs and native Irish trees across the country since December, almost meeting the two-year target for the first phase of Glanbia Ireland’s nation-wide Operation Biodiversity plan in just five months.
Over 81,000 whitethorn, green beech, blackthorn and oak trees have been planted on farms since mid-December under the Glanbia Ireland subsidised initiative. These will provide shelter for wildlife and create special environments for biodiversity on farms and in gardens.
Phase two is just underway and Glanbia Ireland is now focusing on boosting clover cover in grazed pastures to improve grass and milk yields and the environmental credentials of family farms.
Glanbia Ireland is also teaming up with its farmers, its loyal retail outlet, garden centre and online customers to lift the nation’s spirits as Operation Biodiversity II also promotes the use of pollinator-friendly seeds and colourful farm pollinator mixes. Glanbia Ireland Chairman and Wexford man, John Murphy, said farmers are eager to increase the biodiversity value of their farms and improve soil nutrition in a natural, sustainable way. “Operation Biodiversity II is all about maximising grass growth, incorporating clover and creating biodiversity spaces, including around farmyards, farm laneways, field margins, arable margins, watercourse margins, field corners and roadside verges. It’s a win-win for farmers as they can increase the biodiversity value of a farm, while maintaining productivity.”