How to Apply

Who can apply?

As this is a pilot project, it is limited in the number of participants it can accommodate. Outcomes from the design of the CAP strategic plans may impact the future number and distribution of sites to be targeted for the programme. It is hoped that this pilot will transition into future schemes in the target areas.

The primary focus of LIFE IP Wild Atlantic Nature is on 24 Natura 2000 sites in the northwest of Ireland. For inclusion in the RBPS programme, sites were prioritised based on area (size of SAC), existence of other agri-environment projects and geographical spread. A provisional list of priority sites will be targeted for the pilot RBPS in 2021 and 2022.

The pilot project will be first launched in the Owenduff/Nephin Complex SAC in 2021 for a limited number of participants who will be selected following receipt of expressions of interest. It will extend to other project areas in 2022.

Lands should be declared on the applicant’s most recently approved Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) application to be considered for the pilot programme. Leased or rented land must have been declared on the applicant’s BPS application for the year previous to applying to participate in this programme.

Private lands

All farmland within the target areas can be considered for payment with the exceptions of buildings (and their curtilage), extensive water, farmyards, quarries and commercial forest.


The project team will review all commonages within the target areas and select those of highest priority for entry.

On commonage lands, the fraction declared by the participant on their most recently approved BPS application is that which will be considered for payment. Where the catchment boundary splits a land parcel, only the proportion within the catchment boundary will be paid on.

How do I apply?

Complete and submit the Expression of Interest form to the project team. This form is available from the project team or can be downloaded here.

Nominate your preferred farm advisor, who must then be trained and approved by the project team.

Prior to applying, all applicants should read this guide carefully.

Where an applicant is successful, the project team will prepare the farm plan and issue a contract offer to the farmer. This offer must then be accepted by the farmer within one month of issue.

Unsuccessful applicants will be notified at the end of the recruitment period.

Selection criteria

The selection of participants is based on farm information from the applicant’s BPS application in the previous year. As funding is limited, it will not be possible to accommodate all eligible applicants at pilot stage.

For each Wild Atlantic Nature operational area, applicants will be ranked by the project team according to the criteria outlined below, for both private lands and commonage lands. Categories proposed, regarding the characteristics of lands, include:

  1. Extent of which proposed land parcels (for both private and commonage subgroups) are situated within target Natura 2000 Sites.
  2. Presence of high status objective river sub-basins that intersect target Natura 2000 sites.
  3. Lands proposed contribute to a well distributed geographic spread across the project areas.
  4. Notable presence of ecological features of conservation concern regularly occurring on the lands proposed.

Full criteria details are outlined in the Terms & Conditions documents and selection process technical reports for the Wild Atlantic Nature project. You may also wish to view or download our privacy statement.