Ireland's Illaun Farm-Forest Alliance has come tops in the 'sustainable forest management' category at this year's EIP-AGRI Innovation Awards. 

Illaun Farm-Forest Alliance won the award for its work on developing a new approach to farm forests in Ireland. Collaborating closely with farmers and other stakeholders, their work included planting thousands of trees and helping create a practical transferable model for achieving sustainability and enhancing water quality and biodiversity in forests.

The awards are organised by the EU CAP Network support unit for Innovation and Knowledge exchange. 


The EIP-AGRI Innovation Awards

Since the establishment of EIP-AGRI in 2012, more than 3,400 Operational Groups (OGs) have contributed to the increased productivity and sustainability of agriculture and forestry in the EU.

In order to celebrate the great variety of innovative OG projects and their achievements over the past eight years, the EU CAP Network support unit for Innovation and Knowledge exchange | EIP-AGRI organised the EIP-AGRI Innovation Awards 2024.

The main objective of the awards was to recognise and reward outstanding EIP-AGRI OGs which have developed innovative practices, solutions, products and processes. 

Illaun Farm-Forest Alliance

This Operational Group has developed an innovative approach to farm forests in Ireland, fostering habitat restoration, improved biodiversity, social engagement and knowledge dissemination.

Pioneering a catchment-sensitive farming approach, the project collaborated closely with farmers to enhance forestry management, water quality and biodiversity.

Measures included fencing, connective planting and understory enhancement. Landowners, forest managers and industry professionals took part in the development of the collaborative project.

The project has resulted in securing afforestation licences, planting thousands of trees, overcoming landowner scepticism and delivering a practical, transferable model for achieving sustainability and creating on-farm value.