Tipperary County Council and Design By Nature have come together to support the Rural Pollinator Plan.
Farmers across Tipperary are being given free Irish native wildflower seeds at nine different marts throughout the month of March, in the hope that they will be sown on farms across the county.
Approximately 1,000 farmers will receive the seeds to participate in the Pollinator Plan for Ireland; this step makes both partners the leaders in direct-action for conservation in Ireland this year.
The aim is to use deep-rooted perennial plants to recycle leached minerals, combat drought and attract beneficial insects to the farm to assist with pest management.
Following the National Biodiversity Conference that was held in February, Tipperary County Council and Design By Nature decided it would be best to introduce farmers to the benefits of wildflowers with a simple mixture that would grow across a wide variety of soil types and situations.
The information contained in the seed pack has web links to farm support and further research currently undertaken at Teagasc – attracting pollinators to farm crops.
The 30 species in the seed packs include perennials such as birdsfoot trefoil; clover and vetch, to fix nitrogen; yarrow and wild carrot, to recycle lost nutrients; and many flowering perennials to attract insects and fix carbon.
Annuals are included as a nurse crop and a small amount of grass to assist with seed scattering.
Sandra Cafolla - founder of Design By Nature and provider of the seeds - asks farmers that choose not make full use of the seeds, to give them to schools or tidy town groups who will use them instead.
Image source: The National Biodiversity Data Centre – All-Ireland Pollinator Plan