Annual Farming for Nature Gathering

October 28, 2023

Start: 10:30 am 

Finish: 5:00 pm

Gort Town Hall Eircode: H91 E0C8

The annual Farming For Nature Gathering  and network day will be held on Saturday of the October Bank Holiday, in the Burren, Co.Clare & Galway as part of the Burren Winterage Weekend each year. There will be a slightly different lay out this year – due to Ireland’s potential (and hopeful) inclusion in the Rugby World Cup final we recognise that many of you may like to see both.  Therefore we have changed our panel discussions/Awards times around to allow for that.  We will hold panel discussions and the annual Farming For Nature Ambassador Awards between 10.30am-5pm, followed by entertainment (with very special guests) and we hope you can join us.  This event allows us to come together to celebrate farmers across Ireland who are striving to work alongside nature, and to share ideas on how these great custodians might best be supported at a time of great challenge and opportunity. 

All farmers and other interested parties who want to be part of this discussion and know more about farming for nature are welcome to attend.

Book here



10.30am– 11am   Registration/ Tea & coffee

Join us for tea/coffee and meet fellow farming for nature farmers/interested parties.

11am– 12pm   Welcome followed by a discussion on Agri policy & economics

FFN Welcome followed by a discussion on how current and upcoming policy and economics is/might influence and impact at farm level.  Led by Dr James Moran (GMIT) and Dr Lawrence Dooley (UCC)

12pm-1.15pm Panel 1: Building Resilience: adapting to a rapidly changing world

We are undoubtedly in a period of unprecedented change and challenge, particularly for farmers. As a food exporter, Ireland is very exposed to global markets – and the pandemics, wars and supply chain issues that affect them. Farmers are also the focus of rapidly evolving EU policy and national ‘sustainability’ strategies. Climate change is bringing droughts and floods and increased unpredictability. So how can individual farmers build resilience in the face of these ongoing changes?

Farming For Nature Ambassadors & Panellists:

Cathal O Rourke  (Direct selling) Beef farmer, Co. Clare
Kim McCall (Nature based solutions – ponds, woodlands etc)  Beef farmer, Co. Kildare
Gearoid Maher  (Cutting costs) Dairy Farmer, Co. Limerick
Mona Muller (Diversifying income streams) Mixed Stock farmer, Co. Galway

Chaired by farmer and journalist Hannah Quinn Mulligan (5 mins each with Q&A with the audience)

1.15pm-2.15pm Light lunch provided in the hall.

2.15pm-3.30pm Panel 2: Farming & social sustainability: the forgotten pillar?

With the focus on the economic and environmental sustainability of farming, are we in danger of eroding the social sustainability of a sector which is the lifeblood of rural Ireland? Dol efficiency-based solutions to climate, increased incentives for forestry and the growing interest in rewilding pose a risk for farming communities and cultures? Do we undervalue the contribution farmers can make in terms of community health and wellbeing?

Farming For Nature Ambassadors & Panellists:

Tommy Earley (Social farming) Mixed stock farmer, Co. Roscommon
Fergal Smith (Community gardening) Mixed stock farmer, Co. Clare
Colm Gavin ((The importance of the hill farm) Sheep farmer, Co. Mayo
Kate Egan (Feeding the community)  Horticulturalist, Co. Westmeath

Chaired by Dr Brendan Dunford (5 mins each – followed by Q&A with the audience)

All the above is organised with support from DAFM and NPWS

3.30pm-4pm Break 

4pm-5pm The Annual Farming For Nature Ambassador Awards 

Presentation of the 2023 Farming For Nature Ambassador Awards. Facilitated by Ella McSweeney.
Organised with support from the Bord Bia Origin Green Programme

5pm-6pm Free to enjoy local eateries etc

6pm-7pm A Winterage Session; poetry, music and storytelling celebrating farming traditions (see festival programme page )

7.30pm (Gathering in local hotel for meet/greet/rugby watching)

€15 for the event (this nominal change is to help us prevent no-shows and to contribute to the unfunded cost of Farming For Nature in hosting this event.).
Capacity in Gort Town Hall: 100 people

Book here
Buurenbeo logo
The Burrenbeo Trust is a landscape charity dedicated to connecting people and place. Our aim is to help all of us identify ways in which we care for our places.

This is carried out through providing information, education, active conservation and supporting research on the future sustainable management of the Burren region.
Burrenbeo Trust
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram