National award for Mayo farm
The winners of the inaugural national Farming for Nature award are an Achill Island family that farms 150 Mayo blackhead ewes on a 20,000-acre commonage, a fl o c k s a i d i t b e p e r f e c t l y adapted to grazing the local mosaic of protected habitats. They are the Calvey family from Keel, Co Mayo, led by master butcher Martin Calvey, and they run the only abattoir on the island.
The Calveys sell their trademarked Achill Mountain Lamb from their local shop, winning numerous awards, and the choice of many top chefs in the west of Ireland. Over four weeks, members of the public were invited to vote for one of six farmers shortlisted for the Farming for Nature award.
O n e o f t h e Aw a r d o r g a nisers, Brendan Dunford, said the finalists are hard working farmers who love their land and their livestock and who really care for their natural environment.
He said the Calveys have managed to bring a taste of Achill to food lovers all across Ireland, testament to their entrepreneurship and hard work.
Project Coordinator, Brigid B a r r y s a i d : “T h e r e wa s incredible buy-in from the public to support these shortlisted six farmers, with nearly 4,000 votes coming in. “Each one of the six farmers has incredible farms in such different landscapes and with diverse habitats, they are all doing fantastic things for nature and are keen to share their stories so that other farmers are inspired to improve their land as well.
Farming for Nature winner Martin Calvey with MEP Mairead Mcguinness.