Farmers around Swords will be able to receive payments for land with up to 50 per cent given to scrub, thicket, woodland habitat, and rock.
These areas were previously ineligible for farm payments, and this led to farmers removing these high nature value habitats.
This process was devastating for wildlife that relies on these pockets of trees and scrub for survival.
This change will come into effect from 2023 and is a major change in approach from the Department of Agriculture in an effort to boost biodiversity.
Cllr Ian Carey said:
“I very much welcome this move. About five years ago I remember watching farmers remove large swathes of gorse and scrub from fields outside Swords. The area had been rich in bird life and insects.
“I was pretty horrified to find out that the reason it was being removed was to avoid being penalised by the Department of Agriculture for claiming farm payments on ‘ineligible’ land. This made no sense to me. We were paying some farmers to protect nature under environmental schemes while demanding others remove habitats.
“It was unnecessary and so damaging to nature.
“Now thankfully this is going to end. If half of a farmeres land is in scrub or woodland then the CAP payments can be made in full.
“This will have the power to create really important pockets of nature right across the wider countryside and help relieve the pressure on nature that these mindless regulations were exerting. I know so many environmental NGOs have been pushing this for a such a long time and I’m glad that the Green Party have been able to push this.”