BirdWatch Ireland concerned at plans to bar them from farm land

The IFA has launched a poster campaign

IFA, BirdWatch Ireland, farmers, compensation, Jer Bergin

Image: IFA

A war of words is brewing between the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) and BirdWatch Ireland.

BirdWatch Ireland says it is "extremely surprised" to learn about a poster campaign by the IFA to bar their organisation, as well as the National Parks and Wildlife Service, from accessing farmers' land.

A post on the IFA website says a poster campaign launched in Co Offaly is instructing National Parks and Wildlife and Birdwatch Ireland to keep off farmers' land.

IFA national chairman Jer Bergin says the next government must address long-standing issues surrounding land designation.

"When designations were first imposed, commitments were given that compensation would be paid where farmers suffered losses. However, in recent years these commitments have not been honoured", he said.

BirdWatch Ireland says it actively works to advocate financial support for farmers who are in a position to help wildlife.

It says it "firmly believe(s) that much more needs to be done by the State and the Irish government to benefit and support those farmers whose actions serve to protect and conserve wildlife and biodiversity".

"Assessing the health of our wildlife populations through survey work is vital, both to safeguard our natural heritage and to direct and maximise support to those farmers and landowners who should quite rightly receive support for their protection of wildlife", it adds.