South Kerry Development Partnership’s (SKDP) Position re proposed CPO on the South Kerry Greenway Project

It is South Kerry Development Partnerships view that the proposed South Kerry Greenway Project is a key and crucial piece of infrastructure for the South Kerry Region as a whole that will help to deliver strong economic benefits in the future.  SKDP warmly welcomed the allocation of Government funding to enable its development.

Extensive consultation has taken place between representatives of Kerry County Council and the landowners along the route which has been facilitated and supported by SKDP. Prior to the announcement of the government funding to enable the project go ahead, SKDP undertook extensive one to one and group consultation with landowners along the proposed route as part of the completion of an RDP (LEADER) funded feasibility study.  SKDP acknowledges and appreciate that the vast majority of landowners along the proposed route are supportive of the project.  Unfortunately it has not proven possible to secure agreement from all landowners with a small minority opposing the project.

SKDP wished to see agreement from all landowners along the proposed route secured through a process of negotiation.  If at this juncture, further negotiation and the withdrawal of the threat of a CPO would secure the agreement of all landowners along the route and this could be achieved in a timely manner having regard to the project timeframe, SKDP would support such a move.

However, it is SKDP’s view that given the strategic importance of this project for the region, everything that needs to be done to ensure this project can be completed by the end of 2016, which is the deadline by which the allocated funding for the project needs to be drawn down, should be done.  SKDP also points out that while a CPO process would cover all landowners along the proposed route, the agreements which have been reached by Kerry County Council with the vast majority of landowners along the proposed route would  be unaffected by the CPO process.


New Links and Opportunities for South Kerry Social Farming Initiative

A delegation of social farmers who are directors in Social Farming Across Boundaries Ltd (SoFAB Ltd) visited South Kerry on Friday last on a networking initiative aimed at strengthening links between social farming practices across the country. The delegation included Larry Masterson (Donegal), Richard Moeran (Cavan) and Malachy Dolan (Fermanagh) were hosted in Kerry by South Kerry Development Partnership Ltd. (SKDP) who have developed a very successful social farming initiative in the region in the last year and provided some of the South Kerry farmers involved the chance to engage with the delegates so as to develop ideas as to how the service can be enhanced, expanded and strengthened in the future.

The social farming programme opens up the opportunity for people with disabilities to get out and work on the farms on a hands-on basis with the farmers and gives them the opportunity to experience farm life at first hand. Those involved work on the farm one day a week over the period of a year. This initiative greatly helps break down barriers around inclusion and helps develop the self-esteem and improves the health and well-being of both the participants and indeed the host farmers.

025Malachy Dolan Chairperson of SOFAB Ltd and one of 20 farmers involved with the initial UCD & Queens Universities led INTERREG cross border Social Farming project showed the Kerry farmers  videos of the outcomes.  These highlighted the benefits for all involved and captured the enthusiasm from existing service providers for the concept. “It is wonderful to see the development in the people involved and the relationships built during a social farming placement. These benefits are not only for the  participants and farmers but for the families of all the people involved and the wider community” Malachy said.

There are currently five farmers involved in the social farming project countywide in Kerry and Joseph McCrohan of the Kerry Social Farming initiative also announced at the networking event that they have been successful in securing additional resources for the training and mentoring of farmers that will enable a number of new farmers to be brought onto programme. “The programme has proven to be a tremendous success here in Kerry” Joseph said and added that they are now looking for additional farmers to join in the project. “Farmers from all parts of Kerry are welcome to get involved and we hope that this additional funding will allow a doubling of the numbers of farmers involved in Kerry” he said.

Farmers who are interested in learning more about the Social Farming Initiative should contact Joseph McCrohan by phone on 066 9472724 or by e-mail [email protected]