The European Commission has approved funding for 248 new projects under the LIFE+ programme, the EU’s environment fund. Among those is a €2.6 million project by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to protect endangered habitats on the three Aran Islands.
Inishmaan, Inishmor and Inisheer have a rich natural heritage and are designated conservation sites. But despite this protected status, the landscape on the Aran Islands is under threat. Land has been abandoned and the limestone pavement is disappearing under scrub. The Aran project will work to improve the conservation status of the islands and achieve sustainable management of its renowned habitats (limestone pavement, orchid-rich calcareous grasslands and machair).
Half the money will come from the European Commission and the other half is national co-funding.