Brendan Dunford


Name: Brendan Dunford
Organization: Burren Farming for Conservation
Title: Dr
Background in Engineering MSc and PhD in Environmental Resource Management Main focus is conservation of heritage (natural and cultural) Main methods are working with farmers on bespoke, output-based conservation programmes ( and place-based learning initiatives (

Challenge Entries

Mar 09, 2016 / 0 Comments / in Environment

Over centuries and millennia, Ireland has evolved as a farmed landscape. Recent trends in depopulation, particularly in lands at the edge of things, pose significant threats to biodiversity and culture. For example, it costs €10,000 to reclaim one neglected acre of scrubland, in order to restore biodiversity. Brendan is creating a new approach to preserving these unique landscapes through farming by moving the farmer to the creative center of maintaining and protecting these marginal lands.

Farming for conservation entails a new paradigm: shifting the focus away from protecting the environment from farmers, to investing in farming as a way to enhance the delivery of a wide range of public goods and services. It is highly innovative in terms of the measures adopted, the simplicity of approach and the output based payment system. It has been piloted in a highly complex protected landscape of the Burren and has proven envirnmental, agricultural and socio economic benefits.