ACRES Kerry/ West-Cork Cooperation Project


The Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES) is Ireland’s largest national agri-environment scheme to-date and aims to help address declines in Ireland’s biodiversity, water quality and climate resilience while delivering an income support for up to 50,000 farming families in Ireland. Replacing GLAS, this new scheme is financed by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) under Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan (CSP), with the first farmers joining the scheme in 2023.

What is the ACRES Co-operation Project (CP) and how does it differ to ACRES General?

Farmers participating in ACRES, will be eligible for one of two possible approaches which is determined by the farm’s geographical location and the environmental assets that their land supports. Both approaches (ACRES General and ACRES Co-operation) require the preparation of a Farm Sustainability Plan by an approved FAS advisor accredited for ACRES.

The ACRES General approach is available to farmers whose land falls outside of certain high priority geographical areas. Under this approach, there are a range of actions that can be undertaken by individual farmers which gives them the opportunity to earn a maximum payment of €7,311 per calendar year.

The ACRES Co-operation approach is available to farmers in defined high priority geographical areas. The Co-operation approach involves results-based payments (where farmers are paid based on ecosystem services their land provides), as well as bespoke farm and landscape actions. The maximum payment available in the Co-operation approach is €10,500 per calendar year. Farmers participating in this approach will have the assistance of a Local Co-operation Project (CP) Team, who will assist with implementation of the scheme at the local level.

ACRES Kerry / West Cork Co-operation Zone (Left) and Sub-Regions (Right)

What is the SKDP’s role in ACRES CP?

The South Kerry Development Partnership CLG (SKDP) is a local development not-for-profit company which has worked in rural and community development in South Kerry, since 1991. Based on the company’s locally led, on the ground experience, working with farmers and farming communities in South Kerry for over 30 years, the SKDP tendered for and secured the contract to roll out the ACRES Co-operation Project in Kerry and West Cork on behalf of DAFM. The SKDP’s work in this area includes the successful operation of the award winning MacGillycuddy Reeks (2018-2022) and Kerry Eco-Social Farming (2022-2023) European Innovation Partnership (EIP) Projects.

As the local Co-operation Project team for ACRES Kerry and West Cork, we will support farmers in improving the condition of our habitats, protecting our waterways, supporting rare and threatened species, and improving the capacity of our land to sequester carbon. Importantly, farmers will be rewarded for meeting these environmental targets which will help to improve the economic prospects for farmers in this region of southwest Ireland, where they are confronted with a broad range of challenges.

For more information on the Co-operation Project, click here.

Co-funded by the European Union and the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine