Mapping our Commonages- Helping us to help farmers to score higher and earn more

With the mapping of participants farms and the training of advisors behind us, our teams are busy with assessing commonages and running open days to introduce farmers to the ACRES Scheme. Along with the open days we are busy with commonage assessments, a task that is now moving into top gear. Our drone pilots have been busy all over Ireland carrying out aerial surveys and preparing the way for the walkover assessments.

The movie clip on the post is not a video, it is a virtual flythrough of a digital model of a commonage in Co. Leitrim. On the clip, you can see areas of bare peat, scrub, self-sown conifers and other physical features. This information informs the work of the teams that carry out the walkover assessments. It helps them to calculate the area of bare peat, and to accurately map out turbary and to locate Rhododendron and other invasive species. It makes us more efficient and ensures that we are better placed to help farmers. Together with the farmers on the hill, the team can then plan appropriate Landscape Actions to address issues on the site, improve scores and increase payments.

The model you see on this post has a resolution of 5cm. This is just an extract, later in the summer we hope to publish digital models of an entire mountain range at this scale. These models will be invaluable in tackling wildfires, identifying and dealing with invasive species and prevent peat erosion.

If you see our teams on the hill, or on the road give them a wave, its hard work but they are making good progress and what they are doing will make a real difference.