Current farming practices and activity will be maintained on the newly acquired national park at the Conor Pass in the Dingle peninsula, the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) has said.

The INHFA said the commitment was given at a recent meeting between regional National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) staff and representatives from the farm body.

The organisation's national council representative for Kerry DJ Buckley outlined the positive nature of the engagement, especially the commitment to work with existing farmers.

Buckley said that farmers “are critical in managing the existing landscape and sensitive habitats through sustainable grazing practices, which we have been assured will be supported by the NPWS”.

Increase in visitors

Buckley detailed how concern has been expressed around the possibility of a major increase in visitors and the knock-on effect this will have in the area.

On this, the INHFA representative stated how “commitments were also given that any access will be tightly controlled and limited to existing pathways, with assurances given that the surrounding area won’t become a gigantic car park”.

While the purchase of this land has received a lot of national attention, Buckley stressed “it is vital that local farmers and the wider community are involved in any future plans as this is, above all else, their homes, their community and their livelihoods”.

“With this in mind, the INHFA will work to ensure the commitments given are delivered on in the coming months and years," he concluded.