Farmer Pat on short­list for award

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS - By MYLES BUCHANAN

A SIXTH gen­er­a­tion hill farmer from Glen­malure is among the six farm­ers short­listed for the in­au­gu­ral ‘Farm­ing for Na­ture Awards’.

Mem­bers of the pub­lic are be­ing asked to vote for their top pick for the 2018 Na­tional ‘Farm­ing for Na­ture’ Award.

Wick­low’s Pat Dunne has been short­listed for the awards which are part of a wider in­de­pen­dent ini­tia­tive which hopes to source, share and cel­e­brate the sto­ries of those farm­ers across Ire­land who are do­ing great things for na­ture on their land and in their com­mu­nity.

Each of the six can­di­dates has made a short five-minute film which the pub­lic are be­ing asked to view be­fore vot­ing for their favourite farmer.

Speak­ing about Pat, award or­gan­iser, Bren­dan Dun­ford, said: ‘It’s pow­er­ful to wit­ness these farm­ers tell their unique story, and act as such elo­quent spokes­peo­ple for na­ture. Against the back­drop of the pro­gres­sive de­cline of hill sheep farm­ing and its as­so­ci­ated bio­di­ver­sity, Pat takes his role as the cur­rent ‘keeper’ of the fam­ily’s long tra­di­tion of hill sheep farm­ing se­ri­ously.

‘Pat is also a key fig­ure in the Sus­tain­able Up­lands Agri­cul­ture-en­vi­ron­ment Scheme (SUAS) in Wick­low, an am­bi­tious project de­signed to ad­dress the com­plex agri­cul­tural, en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cio-eco­nomic chal­lenges as­so­ci­ated with hill farm­ing in the up­land re­gions of Wick­low and Dublin,’ said Mr Dun­ford.

A panel of ten judges nar­rowed the fi­nal­ists down to six and they have as­sessed all the short­listed farm­ers in de­tail and rated each one ac­cord­ing to a list of agreed cri­te­ria. This will ac­count for 40 per cent of the fi­nal vote, with the pub­lic de­cid­ing on the 60 per cent ma­jor­ity of the vote.

You can vote buy vis­it­ing www.farm­ing­for­na­ture.ie.

The dead­line date for votes is Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 25 with the win­ner set to be an­nounced at a spe­cial event tak­ing place on Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 27.

Pat Dunne of Glen­malure.

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