Please note: The information provided below is a limited selection of the information available relating to this scheme. You can find more information on this scheme on the main Department website here.
REPS (Rural Environment Protection Scheme), is a Scheme designed to reward Farmers for carrying our their farming activities in an environmentally friendly manner and to bring about environmental improvement on existing farms. The objectives of the Scheme are to:
- Establish farming practices and production methods which reflect the increasing concern for conservation, landscape protection and wider environmental problems;
- Protect wildlife habitats and endangered species of flora and fauna;
- Produce quality food in an extensive and environmentally friendly manner.
Farmers in REPS were able to undertake additional actions in the form of Supplementary Measures. These were designed to take account of the need to resolve specific environmental problems that relate to the priority environmental themes of water quality, biodiversity/landscape and climate change. These Supplementary Measures provided farmers with the opportunity to draw down additional payments under the scheme. The Supplementary Measures in REPS 4 were as follows:
- Wild Bird Habitat;
- Traditional Irish Orchards;
- Conservation of Animal Genetic Resources;
- Riparian Zones;
- LINNET Habitats;
- Low Input Spring Cereals;
- Traditional Sustainable Grazing;
- Incorporation of Clover into Grassland Swards;
- Mixed Grazing;
- Heritage Buildings.
Farmers who wished to undertake Supplementary Measure(s) were required to comply with the Measure(s) from the commencement date of the plan, with the exception of the Heritage Buildings measure, as a condition of eligibility for payment.
Participants in REPS must
- Carry out their farming activities for a five year period in accordance with an agri-environmental plan prepared in accordance with the Scheme document and agri-environmental specification.
- Have a plan, specific to their own farm, prepared by a Planning Agency approved by the Department of Agriculture and Food.
- Comply with eleven basic measures as follows:
- follow a farm nutrient management plan prepared for the total area of the farm;
- adopt an appropriate grassland management plan for the total area of the farm;
- protect and maintain all watercourses and wells;
- retain wildlife habitats;
- maintain farm and field boundaries;
- cease using herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers in and around hedgerows, lakes, ponds, rivers and streams, except with the consent of the Minister;
- protect features of historical and/or archaeological interest;
- maintain and improve the visual appearance of the farm and farmyard
- produce tillage crops: without burning straw or stubble; leaving a specified field margin uncultivated where no nutrients or sprays are applied;
- become familiar with environmentally friendly farming practice,
- prepare, monitor and update agri-environmental plan and keep such farm and environmental records as may be prescribed by the Minister.
Applying to join REPS?
A farmer may apply to join REPS by submitting an application form(available on the Department’s main website here) and accompanying farm agri-environmental plan to the local Agricultural and Environment Structures Office (AES). The Department has approved a number of Planners to prepare agri-environmental plans. A list of approved Planners is available from local AES Offices and on the Department’s main website here. The farmer may select a planner of his/her choice.
To ensure that your application is dealt with in a speedy manner you should:
- Become fully familiar with the terms and conditions of the REPS scheme before filling out application form
- Complete all forms carefully, accurately and legibly
- Provide accurate and comprehensive information
- Provide all necessary supporting documentation
- Check that all applications are fully complete and signed before submission
- Ensure applications are submitted to arrive in sufficient time i.e. before closing date
- Obtain proof of posting
Where can you get further information about REPS?
Further information, documents and forms can be found on the Department’s main website here, from your local AES Office or by contacting:
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine,
Johnstown Castle Estate,
LoCall: 1890 200 509
Tel: 053 916 3400