The Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES) is the agri-environment climate measure under Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan for the period 2023-2027.

 

• ACRES has been designed to contribute significantly to achieving improved biodiversity, climate, air and water quality outcomes, through both multi-functional prescription and results-based actions.

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Ladybird on Wheat

 

An underlying principle is the location of the right action in the right place to maximise and enhance the contribution of actions to these objectives. ACRES is jointly funded by the European Union and the national exchequer.

There are two approaches within the Scheme:

ACRES General, available nationally (outside of the high priority geographical area as defined for the ACRES Co-operation approach below), which offers a range of measures (both prescription and result-based); and

ACRES Co-operation, available to farmers in defined high priority geographical areas.

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Biodiversity

Map in Annex 1 of the ACRES Terms and Conditions shows the 8 ACRES Co-operation Project (‘CP’) zones.

Intake into the Scheme is phased, in at least two tranches. Tranche 1 closed for applications in December 2022.

The Government has committed €1.5 billion for the Scheme over its duration, with this amount to facilitate the acceptance of a total of 50,000 farmers into ACRES.

All valid applications for Tranche 1 of ACRES were accepted into the Scheme, with just under 46,000 participants currently in the Scheme.

This accordingly means that the number that may be accepted into the Scheme in Tranche 2 will be to bring the total number of participants to the 50,000 capacity limit.

If the scheme is oversubscribed, a ranking and selection process will be undertaken.

 

An ACRES application must be submitted, on behalf of the farmer, by an approved ACRES advisor, and this application may only be submitted for one of the approaches, as a farmer may not participate in both ACRES General and ACRES Co-operation.

To submit an application on behalf of their farmer clients, an approved ACRES advisor must, for each of their clients:

  • Submit an Expression of Interest/Access Agreement;
  • Prepare and submit a Farm Sustainability Plan (FSP) on the Department’s Generic Land Management (GLAM) system, and
  • Complete and submit the application to include relevant uploads.

It is essential that all three steps are completed by the deadline for an application to be considered as ‘submitted’.

Tranche 2 of ACRES opened for applications online on Wednesday, 22nd November 2023, and applications may be submitted by approved ACRES advisors via their Agfood account until 5.30 pm on Wednesday, 13th December 2023.

Support material for the preparation of ACRES applications for Tranche 2 including Scheme Specifications, Terms & Conditions, GLAM user manual, AgriSnap guide and video guides on both creating the FSP and submitting the application are available at gov.ie/ACRES.

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