WATCH: Tipperary farmer Séan Farrell shortlisted for Farming for Nature Award

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A Tipperary farmer is in the running for a major national award which aims to celebrate farmers working across Ireland who are doing great things for nature on their land and in their community. 

Séan Farrell, of Cloncannon Biofarm is one of six farmers shortlisted for the inaugural ‘Farming for Nature Awards’. Now members of the public, and in particular the farming community, are being asked to vote for their top pick for the 2018 National ‘Farming for Nature’ Award.

Mr Farrell is passionate about farming in hand with nature, organic food production, protection of natural habitats and heritage and educating the public about farming, wildlife habitats and species. He currently runs an engaging education programme for primary and secondary schools, events for Biodiversity and Heritage Week and opens his farm as an eco-tourist visitor site.

Speaking about Séan, award organiser, Brendan Dunford, commented: ‘It’s powerful to witness these farmers tell their unique story, and act as such eloquent spokespeople for nature. Séan is passionate about organic food production, farming in hand with nature and the protection of natural habitats and heritage. He runs an engaging education programme for primary and secondary schools, events for Biodiversity and Heritage Week and opens the farm as an eco-tourist visitor site.’

He continued ‘while recognising the damage that can sometimes result from the wrong type of farming, it’s important to celebrate the good stories, to highlight these role models – who we can all relate to I think – who show that simple actions on the farm can make a big difference for nature without compromising viability, while making the farm a more enjoyable place to live, work and rear a family ’.

Project co-ordinator Brigid Barry explained the voting system: ‘We – our panel of 10 judges and I – have managed to narrow down this year’s nominees to a shortlist of six finalists, a really tough job as the standard was simply outstanding. The judges have assessed all six finalists in detail and rated each one according to a list of agreed criteria. This will account for 40% of the final vote but we want the public to decide on the other 60% - the majority of the vote - and they can do so by simply visiting www.farmingfornature.ie and selecting their favourite entry.

She continued: ‘As well as voting, we would love if people would share their stories or pictures of farming for nature with us – maybe a memory from when you were young and out exploring the farm, or a story of a memorable wildlife encounter you may have had when out on the farm. We’d love to share these on the website and on social media’.

To vote for Sean click here.

The national Farming for Nature Award is sponsored by Bord Bia and supported by a wide range of farming and conservation interests including the Dept of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the National Rural Network, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Irish Farmers Association, the National Biodiversity Data Centre, Teagasc, the Irish Farmer’s Journal and the Heritage Council. The deadline for votes is midnight Thursday Oct 25th2018.