Working towards a sustainable environment

ACRES (Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme) is Ireland’s new 5 year agri-environment climate scheme proposed as part of Ireland’s draft CAP Strategic Plan. This new €1.5 billion flagship agri-environment scheme will be a farmer-friendly scheme to help address biodiversity decline while delivering an income support for up to 50,000 farm families in Ireland.

Two Approaches.

  • General Approach:

Available nationally (outside of the high priority geographical area as defined for the ACRES Co-operation approach below), which will offer a range of actions for individual farmers to be undertaken.

  • Co-operation approach:

Available to farmers in defined high priority geographical areas, which will involve results-based payments, as well as bespoke farm and landscape actions. Farmers participating in this approach will have the assistance of a Local Cooperation Project (CP) Team, who will assist with implementation of the scheme at local level.

Applications will be ranked into three tiers.

Tier 1

To qualify for Tier 1, the applicant must commit to completing mandatory actions relevant to the Priority Environmental Assets (PEA) on their holding.

These PEAs include: private natura; commonage; geese and swans area; breeding wader mapped areas; and catchments identified as having high status water.

Registered organic farmers will also qualify for priority access under this Tier.

Tier 2

Farmers whose lands include a Vulnerable Water Area may apply for access to the scheme under Tier 2.

Applicants may also be considered if they are in the Native Woodland Establishment Scheme or GPC 11 — Agro-forestry or if they adopt at least one of the tree planting actions.

Or if they have a whole farm stocking rate exceeding 130kg livestock manure nitrogen/ha produced on the holding.

Or if they have more than 30ha of arable crops, they must adopt at least one of the following actions:

minimum tillage; catch crops; over-winter stubble; grass margins arable or grass margins grassland; low-input peat grassland.

Tier 3

Farmers in Tier 3 will be last to get access to the scheme and will undertake various actions outlined by the Department.


  • All applications for the scheme must be prepared and completed by an approved FAS Advisor
  • Completion of a Farm Sustainability Plan. The purpose of the FSP is to assist in locating ‘the right action in the right place’. It is a combination of desk and field assessments where advisors assess the environmental assets/risks and conservation targets on the holding.


ACREs MeasureFarmer Payment (Maximum)
General Measure€7,311
Cooperation Measure€10,500 (Including €3,500 for NPI’s and Landscape Actions)

Closing date 15th November – Contact OCAE Consultants for more information