Agriculture has shaped much of the landscape of rural Northern Ireland, occupying approximately 73.9% of the total land area producing food and a range of public goods on which the people of Northern Ireland depend.

NIEL Recommendations

  • A sustainable agriculture and land–use policy that is fair to farmers, good for nature and benefits society
  • An agricultural subsidy model based on public money for public goods to incentivise the delivery of a sustainably farmed landscape that supports:
    • Profitable farm businesses based on sustainable farming practices
    • Ecologically robust landscapes and habitats where wildlife can thrive and adapt to climate change
    • Improved protection for and management of special or priority species, habitats, landscape features, archaeological sites and cultural heritage
    • Sustainable management of soils (protection for soil carbon, avoiding nutrient build up)
    • A sustainably managed water environment
    • The long-term profitability of High Nature Value and organic farming systems
    • Land management and farming practices that minimise greenhouse gas emissions
    • High animal welfare standards
    • Upland management delivering multiple outcomes including livestock, carbon management, renewable energy, water management and flood control
    • Enforcing cross compliance (respecting environmental and animal welfare stipulations)
  • Development of a land strategy for Northern Ireland, encouraging optimisation of land use and proper valuing of landscape
  • Development of appropriately sited renewable energy options for farmers (individuals and collectives) in appropriate areas
  • Promotion of forestry, including afforestation in appropriate areas and promotion of sustainable native woodland creation, restoration and management.
  • Promotion of sustainable woodland based recreation in Northern Ireland
  • Incentives to support the protection and restoration of peatland

NIEL Mailing List

If you are interested in receiving NIEL's monthly newsletter please enter your details here:

Newsletter Sign Up