The Green Low-Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) offers payments for applicants who carry out actions to enhance the rural environment.
GLAS offers a maximum payment of €5,000 per year to participants to commit to carrying out a GLAS plan of actions. Some farmers undertaking particularly challenging actions may qualify for GLAS+ which provides a top-up payment of up to €2,000 per year.
Farmers must commit to a GLAS plan for a minimum of five years.
To join the scheme, farmers must develop and submit a GLAS plan in partnership with an approved planner. The optional actions to be undertaken under the GLAS plan are divided into three tiers.
Tier 1 is the most important Tier, comprising of all the Priority Environmental Assets identified for support through GLAS, targeting vulnerable landscapes (including commonages), important bird- species and protection of high-status watercourses. Tier 1 also identifies a series of Priority Environmental Actions for specific cohorts of farmers, targeting climate change mitigation and farmland birds.
Tier 2 is the next most important tier and focuses on water-quality, through protection of predetermined vulnerable water-courses, while also accepting proposals from other farmers who are prepared to take on predetermined actions again targeting climate change mitigation and supporting farmland birds.
Tier 3 comprises a menu of complementary environmental actions for applicants approved into Tiers 1 and 2, as well as a channel for entry to the Scheme in its own right. It consists of actions such as the protection of traditional hay meadows, low input permanent pastures, important landscape features like archaeological monuments, hedgerows and stone-walls, as well as provision of bird, bat and bee nesting facilities and the planting of small groves of native trees.
- Engage the services of an approved Advisor to prepare and submit the application for support
- Undertake to have a farm nutrient management plan prepared for the holding before the end of the first full calendar year in the scheme. Actions involving reduced fertiliser inputs will be subject to a compulsory mid-term review of the nutrient management plan, as directed by the Department.
- Attend training in environmental practices and standards before the end of the second full calendar year in the scheme
Application to GLAS is online and must be submitted by an approved planner. Ranking of applications will take place on a tranche basis. Successful applicants will be notified in writing of acceptance into the scheme and commencement date of GLAS contract.
All participants currently in AEOS and REPS may apply to join GLAS. Those with either Commonage or Farmland Bird Environmental Priorities on their farms who are approved under the first Tranche may be eligible for a part year payment in 2015. All other REPS and AEOS participants approved for GLAS in the first Tranche will have a contract commencement date of 1st January, 2016 and relevant payment will be calculated from that date. AEOS and REPS participants must exit their existing contracts before a new GLAS contract can commence.
Farmers participating in the National Parks and Wildlife Service Farm Plan Scheme may submit an application for GLAS but if approved cannot draw down payment under both schemes.
All applications must be made via the Department’s online system and will be made under notified Tranches advertised by the Department. Applications must be prepared by a registered GLAS advisor in accordance with these Terms and Conditions and the Specification.
GLAS is structured on a three-tier basis. Proposals from Tier 1 farms will receive priority over proposals from farms in Tier 2, which in turn receive priority over proposals from farms in Tier 3.
Within Tiers 1 and 2, a general rule prioritising ‘assets’ over ‘actions’ will also apply, i.e. farms with particularly important environmental assets will be prioritised over farms who have no such assets.
Payments will be calculated annually on the basis of qualifying actions delivered for the year in question.
Payment of 75% of the annual amount due will issue when the first suite of controls and checks have been carried out; payment of the remaining 25% will issue when all controls and checks and regulations have been implemented.
The 75% payment will be paid in October where no follow up action is required when all administrative checks for GLAS are completed.
The 25% payment will be processed and paid where no follow up action is required, when the last of the year’s spot checks has taken place. The target for that is mid-December annually.
Payment for the action “Rare Breeds ” and “Low Emission Slurry Spreading” will be made in arrears subject to appropriate documentation being submitted.
Inspections will be carried out on 5% of applicants to check compliance with requirements. These inspections will be unannounced.