The Isle of Man Government has appointed Manx Wildlife Trust (MWT) as its delivery partner for the Agri-Environment Scheme (AES).
Under the AES farmers can apply for targeted funding for projects on their land that benefit the environment, enhance biodiversity or mitigate climate change. A wide range of grants are available for initiatives such as habitat creation, tree planting and flood reduction.
The partnership will see the MWT providing free expert farm consultations and helping active farmers with applications, with DEFA maintaining full control of the AES.
Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA), said:
‘Our hard working farmers are the custodians of our environment and this targeted support is helping them play an even bigger role.
‘The AES supports our climate change goals, encourages habitat creation, boosts bio-diversity and delivers on our UNESCO Biosphere targets, which are core Government objectives.
‘AES also supports active farmers to ensure that economic activity is maximised and the future of farming is sustainable – so we are excited to work with MWT to make sure these projects are as successful as possible.’
Leigh Morris, CEO of MWT, said:
‘We’re delighted to be able play an even greater role in protecting and restoring the Manx countryside, by helping to drive an increase in nature friendly farming across the 88% of the Isle of Man that is agriculture land. Our help will not cost Manx farmers a penny and we are looking forward to helping them to get the most from the scheme.’
Last year MWT and the Manx National Farmers' Union (MNFU) signed a memorandum of understanding which stated their desire to work more closely for the benefit of the environment, and MWT aim to work with all Manx farmers within the AES.
Tim Johnston, MNFU President, said:
‘We are delighted that Manx Wildlife Trust has been selected for this important scheme, and we look forward to working with them and making it a success for sustainable agriculture.’
The AES was launched on 1 April and eligible farmers can apply online or request a hard copy from DEFA.