Since becoming a member of the European Union, Ireland has placed great emphasis on the intensification and specialisation of agriculture. This policy has had a negative effect on the rural environment, often resulting in water pollution, the loss of habitats for wildlife and their associated species.
More people are becoming aware of the importance of preserving our countryside and providing for wildlife. Environmentally responsible farming would have a major impact on bio-diversity. As humans we have an obligation to be concerned about the well-being of all living creatures.
At "An Taírseach" we are in process of preserving and enhancing a variety of habitats on our farm. Ten acres, including three acres of wetland, have been set-aside as a sanctuary for wildlife so as to restore habitats and increase diversity. Over the past few years 8,000 mainly broadleaved trees have been planted. Wetland bordered by a stream is being preserved, and a pond was established in 2001. There are small areas of wild flower meadows. Hedgerows, which are very important as cover and corridors for many species of wild-life, are being improved and field margins and headlands are left to grow wild. These are useful sites for nesting game birds and over-wintering beneficial insects. Nature trails and walkways have been established. There are guided tours focusing on the organic farm or on different aspects of the environment.