Three payment streams will be available to participating farmers:
- Results-based payments
is based on the result of the habitat quality assessment adjusted for the whole-farm assessment result.
- Floodplain payments
rewards farmers for maintaining active floodplains on their land adjacent to important river habitats. Payment rates vary according to habitat quality as indicated by average habitat quality score along those watercourses.
- Supporting actions payments
are available for selected measures completed by the farmer aimed at improving habitat quality and reducing risk of impacts to the environment.
In addition, in 2021 & 2022, knowledge-exchange groups will be piloted with approximately 20 farmers in each demonstration area. The knowledge-exchange groups will be developed and implemented in partnership with Teagasc.
Wild Atlantic Nature RPBS will be using similar payment structures to those developed and tested in comparable locally-led programmes. Due to the nature of the project as a pilot initiative with a limited budget, it is hoped to engage as many farmers as possible to demonstrate how the RBPS approach works and provide farmers with practical experience of RBPS.
A minimum payment will be set at €800 per annum for participation in the pilot. This means that a supplementary payment will be made to participants receiving a results-based payment of less than €800. It is important to bear in mind that this is a pilot programme and the objective is to use the opportunity to design a programme that can benefit farmers over the long-term.
All payments will be subject to the programme’s Terms & Conditions, to which participants must agree and adhere.
Supporting actions payments
Supporting actions are voluntary measures that a farmer may choose to undertake with the aim of improving habitat quality.
Where a farmer (or group of farmers) wishes to carry out supporting actions, additional funding is available. Typical supporting actions that will be funded by the programme are fencing, invasive species control, livestock drinking facilities, peatland reactivation and drain-blocking. The project team will consider funding other actions that are likely to help meet the project aims, subject to value for money and the necessary consents being in place.
Project team approval for supporting actions is required prior to works commencing. Supporting actions are subject to Terms & Conditions. Payment for actions are made following declaration by the participant that the works have been delivered.
Applications for supporting actions on commonage are cross-checked against the relevant Commonage Management Plans to avoid double funding. Participants proposing actions on commonage will need to ensure that all necessary permissions are obtained from all other relevant shareholders in the commonage.
Knowledge-exchange groups will be piloted with approximately 20 farmers in four demonstration areas. Participation in knowledge-exchange groups will be entirely voluntary and is not required as a condition for inclusion in the RBPS. Participation payments for the knowledge-exchange groups will be funded independently of the RBPS programme.
Calculation of results-based payment
Habitat quality is assessed using a specifically designed scorecard and each plot is awarded a score between 0 and 10. All farm plots are ranked according to field score in increasing order. Therefore, lowest ranking plots are paid at band A rates for the first 30ha and subsequent area paid at band B & C rates respectively, where relevant. The habitat quality payment is then calculated by multiplying area of lands by the corresponding payment rate as per the table below. A floodplain payment is added to the habitat quality payment, where applicable.
|Average Plot Score|
In order to calculate the final results-based payment, the total of the habitat quality payment plus any floodplain payment is adjusted according to the whole-farm assessment result. Most farms or commonages can progressively increase their environmental score and associated payment over the lifetime of the RBPS pilot.
|Poor||0.3 – 30% of the potential results-based payment is awarded|
|Inadequate||0.6 – 60% of the results-based payment is awarded|
|Good||1 – 100% of the results-based payment is awarded|
|Excellent||1.2 – a bonus payment of 20% is applied to the results-based payment|
For commonage lands, the total results-based payment will be divided amongst the shareholders proportional to their shareholding in the commonage.