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SUAS Project hosting an Open Day and Demonstration Event in West Wicklow

The SUAS Pilot Project which is working with upland farmers in the Wicklow and Dublin uplands, is hosting an Open Day and Demonstration Event in west Wicklow on Tuesday the 20th of August.

Ireland’s Uplands are vital natural and cultural heritage sites which have been traditionally managed by upland farmers over generations. The SUAS Project aims to support upland farmers while protecting this significant heritage by remunerating them for activities which improve and protect their farmed habitats.

Organised to coincide with National Heritage Week, the event will commence in the Hollywood Community Centre at 11am where Declan Byrne, Project Manager of the SUAS Project and a number of other speakers, will give an overview of the project and the positive impact it is having. 

Launched in 2018 by Wicklow Uplands Council, the 5 year SUAS Pilot Project is one of 23 European Innovation Partnership for Agriculture Productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI) projects established in Ireland. To celebrate the diversity and importance of these projects, an exhibition from the National Rural Network on all Ireland’s EIP AGRI projects will also be on display in the community centre for all to enjoy. 

The assembled group will then travel by bus to the nearby Granamore Commonage, which is one of the locations that was included in the first round of the SUAS Project.

The lands which are now within the boundaries of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, were formerly part of Lord Waterford Estate in County Wicklow and contain a number of interesting features such as old turf cutting banks, a small hill of blanket bog, a Mass rock, and the Douglas River and other water systems. The commonage area is being managed by ten shareholders participating in the SUAS Project through a formal commonage group structure.

Those attending the event will be guided to four stops on the site to observe demonstrations related to the land management activities being undertaken as part of the SUAS Project.

Presentations and discussion will include topics such as commonage management, roadway and culvert repair, gully planting and streamside vegetation, and vegetation management practices such as controlled burning and cutting. A number of speakers will contribute to the visit including representatives from NPWS, the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science and a number of the local farmers.

Speaking following the announcement of the event, Declan Byrne Project Manager of the SUAS Project shared,

“This event is a wonderful opportunity for farmers, upland communities and everyone interested in the project, to observe first-hand some of the new approaches to hill farming and land management that SUAS promotes”.

“The full schedule and the topics being covered, offers lots of informative discussion and valuable insights on hill farming practices and the preserving of our upland environments for future generations”

The free event is open to all interested parties and includes refreshments and the transfer to Granamore by bus. Appropriate clothing and footwear will be required for the site visit which is quite exposed.  Due to transport logistics, advance booking is advised. Please RSVP to info@wicklowuplands.ie or 01-2818406.

For further information on the event, please visit: www.wicklowuplands.ie/suasproject

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